Jonathan Fletcher, a north-west disability campaigner, has started a petition to ask Jeremy Corbyn to appoint a Shadow Secretary of State for Disabled Affairs. The text he sent me is below, along with a link to the petition.
The position of Shadow Minister for the Disabled already exists as part of the Shadow DWP (Dept of Work and Pensions) team, but it is not a Cabinet position as a Secretary of State position would be.
As of now, it only has 300 or so signatures. The SKWAWKBOX encourages every reader to sign it – but also hopes that it won’t be necessary, as it’s such a self-evidently fantastic and necessary idea that if word of it reaches Jeremy Corbyn’s ears, this blog hopes he will immediately create the position.
Disabled people have been hideously victimised, demonised and abused by this government and the coalition that preceded it. Appointing a Cabinet-level front-bencher with specific responsibility for fighting and righting those wrongs just makes sense.
But it would also be a smart political move and a clear differentiator between Labour and the Indubitably-Nasty Party and a reflection of Corbyn’s authentic empathy and sense of justice. Win-win, with no downside – and the right thing to do.
So please spread the word so it reaches the Labour leader’s ears – and sign the petition so it reaches the attention of the media, too.
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I have a petition that is asking Jeremy Corbyn to create a Shadow cabinet post, a Shadow Secretary of State for Disability Affairs.
As you may or may not be aware currently our issues are dealt with by Marie Rimmer, a shadow junior minister in the Work and Pensions team. Marie is a fantastic advocate for our community, however she has no seat at the Shadow cabinet table, so for our issues to reach the Shadow Cabinet Table and receive discussion, they are put by Marie to Debbie Abrahams, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
So our issues have to compete alongside the many other issues that team is responsible for and Debbie has to prioritise which issues to take forward.
Having a Shadow Secretary of State for Disability Affairs would benefit our community in the following ways.
1. Our voices and issues would be heard directly and on an equal footing with other communities at the Shadow Cabinet Table.
2. Instead of having a single junior minister dealing with our issues we would have a full a Shadow ministerial team that would be able to deal with a wider range of issues such as social care, equality, discrimination, educational access etc. A team that will be able to work with other teams around the shadow cabinet table and ensure our voices are heard on an equal footing.
3. Having a Shadow Secretary of State for Disability Affairs would give our existing front bench team added support in debates that affect the disabled community.
I hope you will feel you can support me on this proposal. Please sign The petition and share it with your friends and groups.
Petition link here