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Congratulations Dame Anne Begg!

December 31, 2010

Scottish MP Anne Begg has been made a dame in the New Year Honours List for services to disabled people.

The Labour member for Aberdeen South is awarded a DBE, also in recognition of her support for equal opportunities.

The MP, who was the first full-time wheelchair user to be voted into Westminster, was born with Gauchers Disease, a genetic condition that causes bones to break easily.

The 55-year-old from Angus said she was “honoured and humbled”.

“Although I got the letter in November, it is only now it is sinking in,” she said.

“I am still a bit stunned and still coming to terms with what this means.

“This is not something I have ever sought in life, but to receive it is a great honour and I am humbled.”

First knighthood

Dame Anne has used a wheelchair for the past 26 years. She was a teacher before being elected 13 years ago.

She is patron of the National Federation of Shopmobility, the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Society and Angus Special Playscheme, as well as president of the Blue Badge Network.

The politician, who has said she always regarded her wheelchair as her “liberator”, has campaigned for people with disabilities not to be excluded from society.

In parliament, Dame Anne lists her political interests as social justice, welfare reform, pensions, equality, genetics and broadcasting.

In 2010, the Aberdeen University graduate was elected as chairwoman of the work and pensions select committee.

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