Disabled in benefits cuts protest
Thousands of disabled people and their supporters marched past Parliament today to protest against the Government's spending cuts on welfare benefits.
Demonstrators including people in wheelchairs and blind people with dogs took part in the event, to oppose the coalition's welfare reforms and their impact on the disability living allowance (DLA). Many were going on to meet their MPs over the issue.
A series of protests are being held this week against the new work capability assessments which campaigners say have seen thousands of people, some with serious health conditions, denied benefits.
Protesters going past Parliament chanted slogans such as: "We need support, we need care, Don't take away our welfare", and carried placards with such messages as "Leave DLA alone, it's already hard to be ill."
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne told the marchers at a rally before they set off: "Tell people what it means to cut 20% off the benefits for disabled people and find out how to do it later, and to make disabled people prisoners in their own homes. These changes are cruel and they must change."
He added: "We have been tabling amendment after amendment that shows this Government how they can do things differently, and day after day they have joined forces to defeat us.
"With passion, conviction and determination we can change this Bill for the better, and give people in this country their rights to a full and independent life."
TV personality and actress Jane Asher, president of the Arthritis Council, National Autistic Society and Parkinson's UK, told the rally: "This is the largest rally of disabled people in living memory, and that's something to be proud of - at the same time, it is very sad that it has come to this.
"The Prime Minister said that the savings would protect the vulnerable. Far from protecting the vulnerable, these cuts are bearing down disproportionately on those with disability.
"People with disability are being hit from all sides.
"I am calling on the Government, with all of you, to put a stop to these cuts - they are cruel, they are misguided, and they are badly drafted."
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.