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Tory MP hits back at disabled activist live on TV

Dominic Raab MP on Victoria Derbyshire
Dominic Raab MP on Victoria Derbyshire Image credit: standard.co.uk

A disabled woman was verbally shot down by a Tory MP live on television during a political debate on Victoria Derbyshire.

A disability activist called Fiona told Conservative MP Dominic Raab she has known people with disabilities committing suicide as a result of the cuts to health and service care and they were ‘fleeing’ from England to Scotland where they felt more protective.

Fiona confronted Raab telling the MP: “You’re all talking about numbers and money, and there is an ocean of suffering under that. Oxford University just released research showing that in 2015 in England and Wales alone there were 30,000 excess deaths caused by cuts to health and social care.

“Tens of thousands of disabled and sick people are dying every year. We are dying. There have been hundreds of suicides. I spent hours after the last general election trying to talk people out of killing themselves, and I didn’t always succeed.

“People are dying here and nobody cares. I have friends who have been helping resettle disabled people in Scotland because at the very least we have a Scottish parliament which is trying its best with limited funds to protect people against the worst of these cuts. People have been fleeing England for their lives.”

The student at Napier University assessed how the capability work assessments affected people’s mental health which, in some cases, led to suicidal thoughts.

She added: It kills people. It is an act of violence and we are dying.

Raab replied: There are plenty of heart-rending stories here, and no one could be anything other than moved by it. We have put in 11,000 more doctors into the NHS, 12,000 more nurses. We have got a renewed focus on mental health and also making sure we’re trying to take the pressure off big hospitals in the manifesto.

“But the real truth is the money’s got to come from somewhere, and I can think of lots of things that I would like to avoid making difficult decisions on and lots of areas like the health service or schools that I want to put even more money in, but unless you’ve got a strong economy creating the revenue, it’s just a childish wish list.

“We’re trying to do our best to get the balance right between responsible public finances and investing in some of those crucial areas you discussed.”

But Fiona didn’t accept the response. Instead she hit back at the Tory MP stating: “So you choose to sacrifice tens of thousands of disabled people, for the sake of that? This is the sixth richest country in the world. It is a choice that people make.

“In Scotland, we have a limited block grant, and they still manage to create a health service which functions, they still manage to create a care service which functions. And you are choosing to sacrifice us.”

The government were forced to make a U-Turn on a £4.4bn cut to personal independence payment in March 2016.