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News 2020

16/07/20 – Is Prime Minister Johnson tearing up his promise to reform the 1989 Mental Health Act?

Campaigners desperate for a new Mental Health Act during the course of this Parliament may have their hopes dashed after Prime Minister’s Questions on 15th July.

And that’s because of THIS exchange between Boris Johnson and new Conservative MP for Broxtowe, Darren Henry:

After such a difficult few months for everyone, people with mental health conditions are especially suffering from increased anxiety, the effects of isolation, months without treatment and, most importantly, a lack of early intervention. Will the Prime Minister outline what steps the Government will take to make sure that people with mental health conditions are not left alone or behind?

Darren Henry (Broxtowe) (Con)

‘I thank my hon. Friend for campaigning on this issue, which is, of course, incredibly important, and has been particularly so during lockdown. Overall, we have massively increased our funding for mental health care to £12.5 billion, but we are also, as he knows, now publishing our national strategy for disabled people, which will cover all types of disability, including physical and mental health.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, responding to Darren Henry MP

Child Mental Health Charter Campaign Manager Helen Clark said:

In the December 2019 Queen’s Speech, Boris Johnson announced that his Government would be introducing a new Bill to reform the 1989 Mental Health Act during the course of this parliament.

Yesterday, in reply to Mr Henry, he had the ideal opportunity to announce a date for the Bill to begin its progress in the House; thus ‘at a stroke’ giving hope and comfort to a huge number of people.


Instead, Mr Johnson:

  • Fobbed Mr Henry off with waffle about yet another ‘National Strategy’, dumping mental health under a general umbrella of ‘disability’
  • Yet again, made absolutely NO mention of the urgent needs of children
  • Gave no timetable for any of it
  • Studiously swerved all reference to legislation

Mr Henry (who at least mentioned mental health) deserved a better answer – and so did everybody who knows that the 1989 Act is way past its sell-by date

People expect politicians to keep their promises.

Please write to your MP and ask them to tell Boris Johnson to keep his promise and set a date for the introduction of a Bill to reform the 1989 Mental Health Act .

There is no time to lose! MPs break up for summer Recess on 22nd July.

Give them something to think about on holiday – and to campaign for when Parliament returns after recess.