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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 April, 2005, 01:11 GMT 02:11 UK
Dyslexia party challenges Kelly
Kate Griggs
Kate Griggs said she was "dismayed" at attitudes to dyslexia
A mother-of-two with dyslexia is to challenge Education Secretary Ruth Kelly in the general election to raise awareness of the condition.

Kate Griggs, leader of the Xtraordinary People Party and contesting the Bolton West seat, promised to fight "negativity" surrounding dyslexia.

She said Ms Kelly's constituency was the "logical choice" in which to stand.

The education secretary said she took the issue seriously and was keen to meet Mrs Griggs to discuss it.

'Frustration and disruption'

Mrs Griggs said teacher training about dyslexia was not sufficient for children to learn effectively.

This could lead to "frustration and disruptive behaviour".

Famous dyslexics - such as Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Richard Branson and Albert Einstein - showed the condition did not mean lack of intelligence, she said.

"As a dyslexic myself and the mother of two dyslexic children, I have become increasingly dismayed at the negativity and lack of understanding surrounding dyslexia and I have founded the Xtraordinary People Party to bring about change," she said.

Ruth Kelly
Ruth Kelly: Open to discussions

Its manifesto, to be launched next week, would "bring about change and unlock the potential of dyslexics across the UK".

Mrs Griggs added that standing in Bolton West would bring the issue to the "forefront" of public debate.

A spokesman for Ruth Kelly told the BBC News website she was keen to get in touch with Kate Griggs to talk about the issue of dyslexia and other special educational needs.

"It's an issue that she takes very seriously," he said.

'Not appropriate'

Conservative education spokesman Tim Collins said his party would improve special needs education, which would make the lives of dyslexic children better.

His Liberal Democrat counterpart, Phil Willis, said pupils should be educated according to their needs.

UKIP's disability spokesman, Quentin Williamson, said: "A general election is not the most appropriate platform to raise a single issue.

"The group would be better off looking at the scientific research going on in the area."

Veritas candidate for Bolton West, Michael Ford, did not wish to express an opinion on dyslexia.

The candidates for the constituency are Philip Allott (Conservative), Marjorie Ford (UK Independence Party), Michael Ford (Veritas), Kate Griggs (Xtraordinary People Party), Ruth Kelly (Labour) and Tim Perkins (Liberal Democrat).