Comedian Rosie Jones praised for powerful speech on Question Time: ‘Stop ignoring disabled people’

Jones, who has cerebral palsy, said that she had lost benefit money under new changes brought in by Conservative government

Isobel Lewis
Friday 13 November 2020 12:45
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Rosie Jones tells Matt Hancock to 'stop ignoring disabled people'

Comedian Rosie Jones has been praised for criticising the government’s treatment of people with disabilities while appearing on Question Time with Matt Hancock.

The stand-up comic, who has cerebral palsy, discussed the positive impact that the “ground-breaking” 1995 Disability Discrimination Act has had on her life, but said that she has been prevented from applying for jobs in the past because of her disability.

“I have tried to apply for jobs and I have been hung up on because of how I speak and I am not alone because right now a quarter of a million disabled people are unemployed and because of Covid, that is rising,” she told the panel.

“I was going to say that disabled people are overlooked, but they are not, they are deliberately ignored because disabled people need more care and more money and I don’t feel like as a disabled person, I am getting the care and support I need right now.”

Jones also discussed the replacement of the Disability Living Allowance benefit with the Personal Independence Payment, saying that she was one of 650,000 people who had had their benefits reduced in the move.

Adding that she would “kick myself” if she didn’t mention it while sat next to Hancock, Jones said: “This makes me insanely angry that I thought when I was assessed in 2008 that money that kept me going, that gave me support, it was taken off me.

“Luckily I can work harder, I can push myself, but a lot of disabled people are now on the poverty line because they were assessed by a stranger for 10 minutes who would look at them and go, ‘Hmmm, what do you need?’ That just makes my blood boil.”

She ended her speech with a closing statement, saying: “Stop ignoring disabled people, we make up 22 per cent of the population. We’re here and we’re worth listening to.”

The clip of Jones was widely shared on social media, with fans praising her for discussing her experiences in front of the Health Secretary.

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“Beyond nauseating to see Matt Hancock ‘nodding’ to Rosie Jones’s blistering denunciation of the immiseration of hundreds of thousands of disabled people by Tory cuts to benefits,” one viewer tweeted.

“Wow! Rosie Jones on @bbcquestiontime – pulling no punches on treatment of people with a disability – didn’t miss @MattHancock,” another tweeted

“Rosie Jones on BBC Question Time bringing me to tears, such powerful words,” another commented, while one viewer wrote that Jones was “the best panelist I have seen on QT”.

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