A Q&A was held on July 4th at Southwark Independent Living Centre with ConDem MP Simon Hughes and Labour Councillor Neil Coyle.
Although Hughes tried to talk the time out (spoke for over 20 mins of the hours set aside for the session!) and he and the Labour councillors played political football, THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH IT.
There was a furious response from the people who attended – about 70 disabled people, carers and support workers. Excellent questions were asked and Disabled People’s Organisation Southwark Disablement Association who had organised the event made sure those of us with prepared questions were able to speak.
Several people came up to SDPAC members after and said they were really pleased to hear confident and clear political challenges on what are, for many, life and death issues and we collected quite a few signatures on the bedroom tax petition.
Hughes actually showed himself up as hopelessly ignorant and actually tried to defend the bedroom tax. He left looking very uncomfortable indeed. Neil Coyle was passed one of the leaflets to announce the bedroom tax protest when he was summing up. He said ‘I don’t want my photo being taken with this leaflet’! We laughed like drains. He talked left and played to the gallery but we challenged him to stop the bedroom tax and turn words into action.