HELEN Morgan, MP for North Shropshire, has pledged her support to all people living with vision impairment through the Guide Dogs’ 'Open Doors' campaign.

At a parliamentary event hosted by the charity Guide Dogs recently, Mrs Morgan met guide dog owners about their experiences of being illegally turned away because they had their guide dog with them.

Recent research conducted by Guide Dogs found that 81 per cent of guide dog owners have been refused access to a restaurant, shop, or taxi at some point because they were with their dog.

And of these people, almost three in four (73 percent) said they experienced an access refusal at least once in the past 12 months.

These refusals have a significant negative impact on the confidence, independence and wellbeing of people who have guide dogs.

Guide Dogs’ launched their Open Doors campaign aims to raise awareness of the rights assistance dog owners have, and the need for better enforcement and clearer laws.

Mrs Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said she was delighted to meet blind man Scott Bailey and his dog Milo.

She said: “Guide dog owners’ rights must be respected but too often they face discrimination.

"That’s why I’m fully supporting the Open Doors campaign.

“We must all do better to stop this from happening by raising awareness and educating people as much as possible.

“It was great to meet Scott and Milo and hear first hand about the challenges that guide dog owners face.

“Guide dogs are a great way of providing confidence and independence and people should not suffer for using them.”

Chris Theobald, senior policy, public affairs and campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, said: “Guide dog owners have the right to live their lives the way they want and feel confident, independent, and supported in the world.

"The law is clear, and yet guide dog owners continue to experience access refusals, which are almost always illegal.

“That’s why we’re working to make sure everyone knows that guide dog owners have the right to access businesses and services with their guide dogs.

"We also want to see the law strengthened on access rights for assistance dogs, to prevent access refusals and to open doors for guide dogs.”