Crippen despairs as yet another minister for disabled people bites the dust

I’ve lost count of the minister’s for disabled people who have been given the boot following their participation in yet another ill thought out strategy for our future.

Just as Justin Tomlinson was about to face a common’s select committee to answer questions about his part in the national disability strategy debacle, another minister is pushed forward from the ranks to take responsibility for both the strategy and the disability benefits green paper.

Chloe Smith has been appointed to the post following the sacking of Justin Tomlinson, and now has to face not just the select committee but also a host of angry disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) who were excluded from participating in the strategy which will decide the future of disabled people in the UK.

As you’ll be aware, serious concerns were raised by DPOs about both the Shaping Future Support green paper and the National Disability Strategy in the days after their publication this summer. The new DPO Forum England – which represents 21 of the country’s leading DPOs and was set up after Tomlinson shut down his own advisory forum of DPOs – has now completed its detailed response to the green paper consultation, which closes on 11 October.

The Forum, which includes representation from Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, the Reclaiming Our Futures AllianceInclusion LondonThe Alliance for Inclusive EducationEqual Lives, Disability Positive in Cheshire, Disability Sheffield, and National Survivor User Network says in its response that it is “shocking and unacceptable” that the green paper “completely fails to address the inadequacy of the financial support available to disabled people who face multiple and complex barriers to employment”.

The response also says that the green paper is not based in “reality”, partly because it has failed to apologise to disabled people “for subjecting them to a hostile environment” which has caused “many deaths, large scale poverty, exclusion, and human rights abuses that have been examined in detail and condemned by the United Nations”.

The DPO Forum England’s response also stresses the important of independent advocacy for disabled benefit claimants, which it says would best be provided by local DPOs. And it also contrasts the UK government’s approach to reform with that of the Scottish government, which “has been framed to alleviate Disabled people’s stress and anxiety and a lack of trust in the disability benefits system”.

Read more about the DPO Forum England’s response in Disability News Service.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

The new minister for disabled people Chloe Smith is nudging the sacked minister Justin Tomlinson off a high ledge. Below him are lots of human skulls and bones identified as the Tory party political graveyard. She is holding a piece of paper on which is written ‘Tomlinson to answer for disability strategy fiasco to select committee’. Another sign at her feet reads ‘Chloe Smith MP appointed disability minister’. She is looking at you and is saying: “Tomlinson – No I don’t think we have anyone with that name working here!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 03/10/2021 at 22:21

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .


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