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Local Lib Dem George Potter wins victory on disability issues at Conference

October 9, 2012

George is second from left

Liberal Democrats from Hastings & Rye won a significant victory at their Conference in Brighton after party members overwhelmingly passed a policy to improve the lives of sick and disabled people.

On Sunday 23 September, Lib Dem members voted through 21 year old George Potter from Brede’s motion with only one vote against. The policy demands no more cuts to disability benefits in this Parliament, changes to assessments for disability benefits to make them fairer and less intimidating, a national campaign to tackle disability hate crime and for more money for schemes to help disabled people get jobs.

Now that the motion is passed it becomes official Lib Dem policy and the Lib Dems have committed to opposing Tory calls from an extra £10 billion of cuts to benefits.

After the debate George said:

“I’m really pleased with what is a major victory. Disabled people have been unfairly hit by benefit cuts so far and, with two thirds of disabled people having experienced disability hate crimes against them, I’m proud that Lib Dems are standing up for them.

“It’s great that we’ve made it clear that we won’t allow the Tories to cut another £10 billion from benefits – it would mean much greater hardship for sick and disabled people both up and down the country and in Hastings & Rye. But this is just the beginning and I hope we can use this as a stepping stone to get a much better deal for sick and disabled people across the board.

Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Hastings & Rye, said:

“I am delighted that George has once again had a significant success at Party Conference making sure that the rights and equal citizenship of people with long-term sickness and disability stay at the top of our policy agenda. Hastings & Rye is plagued by health inequalities. Our vulnerable people need the protection and support of the state in order that they can play a full and equal part in our society. I am proud of the fact that local Lib Dems were at the heart of this move over the weekend.”


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One Comment
  1. Caroline Gibbins permalink

    Well done! Disabled people and those who, like me, have chronic health problems need help not derision. Thank you for speaking out on our behalf. The media and, dare I say, Tory driven hatred of anyone on benefits is deplorable and reminds me a little of the Nazi regime in Germany when the Jews were persecuted. That hate regime was started by propaganda and escalated, as we know, into something which was just so awful that it is really hard to come to terms with. People do not choose to be disabled or to become ill and I would gladly have my health back if I had a choice. As it is, like so many other people in a similar, or even worse position than me, I struggle from day to day. I am very fortunate in that I have the support of my husband but I had to take early retirement from the NHS, when I was 50 years old, and this was not the way I wanted my career to end and it was very hard to come to terms with. I am now 58 (59 in March 2013) and, like so many others I am sure, I am anxious about the assessment process and about changes to DLA. Your determination and success, George, has come as a breath of fresh air and many people will be very grateful to you for speaking out on behalf of all those who are already in a very vulnerable position. It is well known that anxiety and stress can exacerbate existing health problems and it seems that Mr Cameron is not at all concerned about our plight. Thank you so much and good luck for the future. Caroline Gibbins O n 9 Oct 2012,

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