Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of insulting disabled people by telling them to “work your way out of poverty”.His speech to the Conservative conference was short on policy detail but heavy with rhetoric, including a promise that the party would deliver on its election pledge to be “the party of working people”.It came a day after a conference speech by the chancellor, George Osborne, made repeated references to the need to deliver “lower welfare”.A large section of Duncan Smith’s speech was devoted to what he called “the sickness benefit”, employment and support allowance (ESA), which he said was “Labour’s last great legacy” and treated people as “passive victims”.Duncan Smith provided no information about any plans to reform or scrap ESA and its discredited eligibility test, the work capability assessment (WCA).He also failed to acknowledge any potential for his existing policies and reforms to cause harm to sick and disabled people, in the face of overwhelming evidence collected by campaigners, journalists and academics, particularly around the damage caused by benefit cuts, the introduction of personal independence payment and the ESA system.This week, relatives of two disabled people who died after having their out-of-work disability benefits withdrawn – and who believe that those decisions contributed to their family members’ deaths – were protesting outside the conference alongside Disabled People Against Cuts.Last month, Disability News Service uncovered a coroner’s report, addressed to Duncan Smith’s department, which said that the decision to find a London man, Michael O’Sullivan, fit for work had been the trigger for his decision to kill himself.Despite this widely-publicised case, Duncan Smith told the conference: “The evidence of our reforms is that people respond to incentives. We know that. We know that in our hearts.”He added: “We won’t lift you out of poverty by simply transferring taxpayers’ money to you.“With our help, I say to them, you will work your way out of poverty. That is the pledge we make to those who need our support.”There was anger among many disabled activists on social media who had listened to Duncan Smith’s speech.Disability Labour, @disabilitylab, tweeted: “No-one gives up good jobs or chooses sickness or disability, it can and does happen to anyone. IDS speech is an insult to us all.”One activist, @latentexistence, said: “Iain Duncan Smith telling sick and disabled people to work their way out of poverty is pretty much indistinguishable from [the Nazi concentration camp slogan] arbeit macht frei [work sets you free].”The WOWcampaign, @wowpetition, tweeted: “He thinks disabled people can work their way out of poverty as if we have a choice http://wowpetition.co.uk.”Another disabled activist, @Quinonostante, said: “Next Idiot Duncan Smith will be suggesting #disabled chose that life! He’s decided they chose poverty! Horrific ideology.”And @elphiemcdork added: “I mean, he’s really not sugar-coating the ‘disabled people are fakey scroungers’ rhetoric now is he? He’s just comin’ right out with it…”Picture: Disabled activist Chris Hughes protesting outside this week’s Conservative conference
Below is Jeremy Corbyn’s full Diwali message.Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights here in Britain, and to all the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities across the world.Diwali, or Dee Par Va Li as it’s also known, marks the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and of hope over despair.Gifts will be exchanged and sweet festive meetai will be eaten as family, friends and communities come together to celebrate humanity and togetherness; lighting deeyahs to remember how life is a cycle of renewal.We know that within our communities there are many beacons of light. People who work tirelessly and selflessly for others. Those that give us hope in some of our darkest hours, and those who instil the spirit of family in us all.We are delighted that the UK, in particular in Leicester and London, hosts some of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India. It is a truly joyous celebration for all.As the fireworks light up across our skies for Diwali, let us remember to light up our hearts too – to love one another – and to care for each other.To renew the true spirit of community and togetherness, to show that we are a community for the many, and not the few.Shubh Diwali!Yours,Jeremy CorbynLeader of the Labour Party Tags:Labour Party /Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Diwali /
Tags:Newport West /Ruth Jones / I am deeply honoured and humbled to be sworn in as the Member of Parliament for Newport West.I will represent you to the best of my abilities.I will seek to build trust, at a time when trust in politics is so dangerously low.Thank you for this opportunity to serve. pic.twitter.com/rkN2ltCxoE— Ruth Jones MP (@RuthNewportWest) April 8, 2019Labour’s newest MP, Ruth Jones, has been sworn in. She will represent the Welsh seat of Newport West, previously occupied by Paul Flynn.Harriet Harman, the Mother of the House, tweeted her congratulations and photos of Jones in Westminster this afternoon:Congratulations & welcome to our newest Member of @HouseofCommons @RuthNewportWest! pic.twitter.com/jm78eWLmZm— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) April 8, 2019There was a photo for only Welsh Labour MPs too:Welsh labour MPs welcoming @WelshLabour newest mp to parliament today – congratulations @RuthNewportWest pic.twitter.com/iW4JxsbEMM— David Hanson (@DavidHansonMP) April 8, 2019
THATTO Heath under 18s are proud of the all the players and coaches that have recently been selected to coach and play representative rugby league for their country, back row Colin Phillips joint BARLA Great Britain under 19s head coach, Jack Jones, David Pike, Nathan Skupski, Jimmy Waterworth Thatto Heath under 18s Head Coach, front row Adam Hesketh, Andy Lea and Jordan Houghton.David Pike was the tour captain for Great Britain under 19s community Lions tour to South Africa who was joined by Jack Jones and Nathan Skupski.Colin Phillips and Andy Lea went on tour to Serbia with BARLA Great Britain Lions under 19s, Adam Hesketh who was tour captain for BARLA Great Britain Lions under 17s and was joined by Jordan Houghton on their tour to Holland.All the players returned from their respective tours unbeaten of which is an achievement for everyone involved to be proud of.
SAINTS have launched a new one off replica shirt for the Magic Weekend which has been designed to raise the awareness of Autism.This special edition kit will be worn in Newcastle when we take on Huddersfield Giants on May 22.We will be taking pre-orders for the replica version starting today to coincide with tomorrow’s National Autism Awareness Day with a donation from every shirt sold going to local support group St Helens Autism Support.The players’ matchday shirts will also be signed and auctioned off too … more details will follow close to the match.In association with O’Neills, the shirt design follows the traditional Saints White shirt with a Vee – but the Red Vee has been replaced with a Multi Coloured Jigsaw Design Vee.The coloured jigsaw pieces, along with the Ribbon design on the back, are key symbols used to raise awareness of Autism nationally.Each replica shirt also carries the logo of St.Helens Autism Support, a local group already making a massive difference in the area by helping raise awareness of the condition and aiding people, particularly children, with all levels of Autism.The Magic Weekend match details are also listed on the right front hem of the shirt.Tom Jackson from St. Helens Autism Support said: “St. Helens Autism Support is delighted to be associated with this ground-breaking shirt initiative. As a local charity we have two main objectives – to raise awareness of the condition and to raise funds for our current project; a resource centre in the town to provide community, training and employment opportunities for local people.“We would like to thank St.Helens Rugby League Club and fans for their continued and generous support.”The shirt is now available to pre-order and to guarantee delivery, the cut-off date for pre-orders is midnight on April 14 2016.Physical stock will be available for collection/delivery week ending May 15 2016, enabling you to wear your limited Edition Shirt for Magic Weekend whether you are going to Newcastle or supporting Saints from home.We will have a small amount of stock in Saints Superstore at this time (May 15) but cannot guarantee your size will be available.Be in that number and support a great cause at the same time!You can buy Adult Shirts for £48, and Kids for £35 at the Saints Superstore, via 01744 455 050 or online.Shirts are only available in Adults XS-7XL, and Kids Sizes Age 5/6 to Age 13/14yrs.