The news of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s vote of no confidence in its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has come as a shock to millions of disabled people in the UK. As a group we have taken the brunt of the austerity cuts over the past six years; and will be disproportionately affected when we exit the EU.
We believe that the EU has and does give disabled people better protections in employment, services and socially through its legislation and directives. For example, the directive to treat part-time workers equally with full-time workers protects disabled people who are disproportionately represented within the workplace.
Exiting the EU coupled with a fractured Labour Party and the very real possibility of a more right-wing Conservative government does not bode well for the disabled people here in the UK.
Jeremy Corbyn, has an understanding of, and is sympathetic to, disabled people’s fears and concerns. In fact, Jeremy and John McDonnell are two MPs who fully understand the social model of disability; and who are striving to ensure disabled people are not isolated and marginalised by the effects of austerity and neoliberal policies.
While unhappy with the referendum result we accept it as the will of the majority who voted. Similarly, we expect Labour MP’s to respect the wishes so obviously demonstrated by a great majority of the Party nine months ago.
Given the result and the spread of the vote it is difficult to understand why the PLP feel that our leader is in some way to blame for the exit win. With the Conservatives lacking a credible leader; and the entire country seeking direction, now is the time to consolidate Labour’s position with the electorate.
Therefore, we call upon all progressive MPs, constituency Labour Party members, party members and supporters, as well as concerned DPOs and individual disabled people to rally behind Jeremy Corbyn’s and John McDonnell’s leadership; and push for a Labour victory in the forthcoming election.
Seàn McGovern Chair of Unite’s Disabled Members Committee and EC Disability Rep, DaWN CLP
Dave Allan Vice-chair Unite’s National Disabled Members’ Committee
Janine Booth Co-chair of the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee
Debbie Jolly DPAC Steering Group
Marsha de Cordova Vauxhall CLP. Lambeth Councilor
Rick Burgess Manchester DPAC
Bob Williams-Findlay DPAC West Mids Co-cordinator
Paula Peters DPAC Steering Group
Sophie Partridge Labour Party, DPAC & DAII member
Julian Allam Unite Executive Member for W Mids BAEM
Mandy Hudson NUT
Joseph Healy Principle Speaker Left Unity
Andy Worth Chair of Unite’s SW Disabled Members’ Committee.
Ceri Wright, Chair of Unite’s Wales Disabled Members’ Committee
Terry Mills Unite National Disabled Members’ Committee
Walter Duhalde Chair of Unite’s NW Disabled Members’ Committee
John Rowan Chair of Unite’s SE Disabled Members’ Committee
El Firman Walthamstow CLP, Branch Sec of East London Unite Community
Rhian Grant Bristol West CLP
Bruce Robinson, Manchester Withington CLP, Unite Community Manchester
Ben Towse, UCL Labour Campaigns Officer, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
Damian Milton, autism educator
Carol Eades, Sheffield Central CLP
Sez (Sarah) Thomasin, Sheffield Heeley CLP / Unison
Brendon Hope, RMT, Peterborough
Austin Harney, PCS Disabled Members Forum (personal capacity)
Monique Craine, Proprietor of The Coaching & Advocacy Services, specialising in Neurodiversity adapted strategies
Mohammad Mujahid, RMT Central Line East branch
Josh Petzoldt, Holborn and St Pancras CLP, UCL Unison
Charlie Hallam, disabled fibre artist, Hillsborough, Sheffield
Anamoli Meraki, disabled singer, Sheffield
Frank Little Disability campaigner
Liza Sylvian, disabled artist, Unite and Labour party member, Leeds
Jules Akers, autistic member of Unite the Union (Mental Health Nurses Association)
Sean Mcgeever Mid Bedfordshire CLP Disabled Members and Young Members Rep
Gail Ward Cross Border Alliance/ DPAC North East
Pete Gillard (retired Chair, Unite Standing Orders Committee)
Marina Gunn Vice Chair of Unite’s L&E Disabled Members Committee
Phil Brannan Retired Senior Steward Remploy Scotland.
Eleanor Lisney (Disabled Labour Party member)
Dave Wallworth Unite National Disabled Members’ Committee
Deborah Sowerby, Berks DPAC; Disabled Labour Party member
Penny Pepper Equity, Unite & Labour Party Member
Gabriel Pepper ILF Campaigner
John Kelly musician, ILF Campaigner
Peter Willcock Disability campaigner
Kev Towner, Hastings & Rother DPAC, UCU, Labour Party member, Momentum Disability
Steve Wynne Lambeth Pan Disability Forum IT Officer
Jenny Mitchell, Disability Rights and Labour Party activist
Melissa Chapin, Actor, Labour Party Member
Troy Davies Unite’s National Disabled Members’ Committee
Ian Lidbetter Unite’s National Disabled Members’ Committee
Anne Pridmore chair Being the Boss
Sandra Daniels -DPAC West Midlands Co-ordinator and activist
Rory Heap Chair and National Forum of Kent Unite Community Branch
David M Lownie – Labour Party, Disability Labour, Member of Unite
Ann Whitehurst Labour Party, DPAC, Unite Community, STAND
Les Woodward former National Convener Remploy National Trade Union Consortium
Keith Lakeman Unite’s National Disabled Members’ Committee
Mrerry Cross DPAC
Antoinette Morris Disability Campaigner
Taharah Azam Disability Campaigner