EXCLUSIVE: Outrage as Cameron and Duncan Smith exposed as patrons of disability charity
Petition nears 15,000 signatures demanding top Tories resign honoury roles
Pressure is mounting on David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith to resign as patrons of the disability charity Motability as an online petition reached nearly 15,000 signatures.
Campaigners are calling on both Tories to step down from their honorary roles because of their involvement in the UK government’s welfare cuts agenda which has seen thousands of disabled people forced into work or have their benefits cut.
Motability, an independent charity, enables disabled people to use their government-funded mobility allowance to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair.
Since the scheme was set up in 1978, it has helped over four million people get mobile with a new vehicle.
But the introduction of the new personal independent payments (PIP) implemented by Cameron and Duncan Smith means thousands no longer qualify for the scheme with many left without access to transport.
The Change.org petition, created by Richard Eastell, calls on Declan Mahoney, the chief executive of Motability, to remove Cameron and Duncan Smith as patrons immediately.
It states: “Both David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith, in their roles as elected MPs and members of the Conservative Party have done, and are still doing, everything in their power to remove Motability vehicles from sick and disabled people who really need them to maintain their mobility and independence.
These two men have set about to systematically destroy the lives of the sick and disabled
“We consider it to be hypocritical in the extreme and in very poor taste that these two politicians should be patrons of a charity designed to give people freedom and independence while, at the same time, attempting to remove that same freedom and independence by making it harder to qualify for the benefits required to participate in the Motability scheme.”
Sara West, one of the petitioners, commented: "Conservatives are stripping the poor of dignity and much needed financial help...it is hypocrisy for them to remain as patrons of a charitable organisation when they hate the people so much they would rather see them driven to depths of despair.”
And Mikaela Wright stated: “These two men have set about to systematically destroy the lives of the sick and disabled. To continue to have them as Patrons of Motability would be obscene.”
Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister, is also listed as a patron.
Iain Duncan Smith resigned last week as minister for work and pensions over the proposal to slash £4.4bn off the PIP budget.
He has been replaced by Stephen Crabb.
Motability have yet to respond to a request to comment.