My Lords, I pay compliments to my right honourable friend Jeremy Wright MP, who started this Bill off in the House of Commons. I was privileged to serve with Jeremy in the Whips’ Office in the Commons from 2007 to 2012. He then went on to become Attorney-General, so this Bill will perhaps have had more legal pondering than most Private Members’ Bills put before the House. It makes an important contribution and I hope it gives some comfort to disabled people that they will be treated the same throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, irrespective of whether their local authority has done, or been able to do, the registration in the past. The Bill is the right move forward; I am just very sorry that it was not done in the four years that I was Secretary of State.
My Lords, about one in five of us is disabled and we know that disabled people rely on taxis and private hire vehicles more than most. That is why the Bill is so important and why the Government have given it their full support. If disabled people are more likely to rely on taxis and private hire vehicles for everyday journeys, instances of discrimination will have a much greater impact. The Bill goes a long way in helping to reduce that impact. I am enormously grateful to all those who have made it happen: my noble friend Lord McLoughlin, for his leadership in your Lordships’ House; my right honourable friend Jeremy Wright, for his expertise in leading it through the other place; all noble Lords who contributed to the debate; and, of course, the team of dedicated officials in my department. The Bill has received cross-party support and I am very grateful that it should pass today.