Update Sat 12th March: We have received a huge flood of information from you about MPs and their links to charities. Thank you all who have sent in information!
Its going to take some time to go through it all and produce a campaign page, but we are working through it and it should be up on the blog by the end of this coming week.
In the meantime, please keep signing and sharing the petition to reverse the cut to ESA
The petition has already reached over 60,000 signatures and its still growing – getting it over 100,000 signatures will keep the pressure up over the ESA cut and might help to get it more media attention – so please keep sharing it on twitter and facebook
Its come to light in recent days that many MPs who have voted for the cut to ESA have links to local and national charities that claim to represent disabled people (see examples below).
It is not acceptable that MPs can use disabled people to further their political carers, while at the same time stabbing us in the back by voting for this harmful cut to ESA.
It is also unacceptable that charities, that purport to work in the interest of disabled people, have links with any MP who has voted to bring harm to disabled people.
DPAC are starting a campaign to force charities to sever all links with MPs who voted for the ESA Cut.
We can’t do this by ourselves – we need your help, this is what we would like you to do.
- Check to see if your MP voted for the ESA Cut. If you don’t already know the name of your MP – you can look that up here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
- Once you have the name of your MP – look up to see if they appear on this list, if they do, then they are one of the MPs who voted for the ESA Cut.
- Now we’d like you to do some detective work for us –
- Go to the MPs website – see if they claim to support any disability charities. Look at the “about me” page, and also look at the blog to see if they have been at any disability charity events
- You can also look up your MP on Wikipedia – see if their entry in there mentions any disability charity links.
- You can do a web search for disability charities in your local area – look at their website – look especially for names of Patrons or Trustees of the charity.
- Look at the Charity blog, see if you can see a photo your MP grinning inanely in front of the charity logo.
- If you find a connection between MP and Charity – tell us! You can either leave a comment at the bottom of this blog – or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We can then put it on the blog and ask people to contact the charity – asking them to sever all links with the MP, and to ensure that they can’t use disabled people as photo opportunities again. When putting it on the blog – we will credit your work in finding the information – unless you ask us not to.
This approach has is already been used and is working to force charities to disown MPs who voted for the cut.
Case 1) Peter Bottomley MP, NIck Gibb MP and Tim Loughton MP, all of them voted repeatedly for the cut to ESA. All three of them are also Vice Presidents of the Coastal West Sussex branch of Mind (CWSM).
Mind was contacted, and a petition was started and within a day – CWSM had issued a statement to say that they were going to “discuss the position of the three MPs at the next board meeting“. Its a start – but its not enough – we need to keep the pressure up – so if you haven’t signed it already please sign the petition and share it widely.
You can also contact CWSM on twitter at: @MindWestSussex and let them know that you want them to respond.
Case 2) Tory MPs Zac Goldsmith voted for the ESA cut – he is also a Patron of disability charity Richmond Aid. Today Richmond Aid released a statement condemning him for voting for the cut (see below). Tania Mathias is also a Tory MP – who voted for the cut and she has also been included in the statement by Richmond Aid.
— Richmond AID (@RichmondAID) March 9, 2016
From these two cases it appears that with not very much pressure – we can force charities to act as they should have already done – and disown MPs that voted for the harmful cut to ESA.
There is also a petition to get parliament to hold another vote to try to reverse the cut to ESA :
Sign and share the petition to reverse the cut to ESA