Labour leadership race: Liz Kendall misquoted as saying disabled people are not ordinary

A petition has been launched calling on her to apologise for the false remarks

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The Independent Online

As the Labour leadership race enters the final furlong, followers are alert for any gaffes that will mark candidates out from their rivals, so much so that Liz Kendall has been widely misquoted online as saying that disabled people are not ordinary.

In interview with BBC News, the Labour leadership hopeful said that when the party secured a landslide victory in 1997 “people thought were had a message that was, yes, for the weak and the vulnerable and for those who were suffering, but for ordinary people too.”

But as is fast-paced nature of Twitter, Kendall was misquoted and the incorrect statement quickly circulated online. Before long, a petition calling on the politician to apologise had garnered over 1,000 signatures.

Signatories demanded that Kendall withdraw her statement and apologise.

“I'm sick to the back teeth of politicians stigmatising and scapegoating people on benefits, particularly the disabled!” wrote one person on the change.org website.

Novelist and former Conservative MP Louise Mensch was among those to debunk the tweet.

The Independent has contacted the Labour party about the incident, and is awaiting a response.

 

The incident comes after former Foreign Secretary David Miliband weighed into the debate over who should take the party’s helm, by urging people to reject the “angry defiance” offered by frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn and opt for the “fresh thinking and political courage of Liz Kendall.”

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