Dear Mr David Amess MP
I am writing to ask whether you agree with the comments of Lord Freud, your government’s Minister for Welfare Reform.
Lord David Freud, talking amongst friends at Conservative Party Conference, said he thought there was “a group” of disabled people who are “not worth the full wage”.
In my view, Lord Freud’s remarks were completely unacceptable, and it is also unacceptable that someone with these views remains in charge of such an important post in your government.
This is not just my view, but also that of Ester McVey, your government’s Minister of State for Employment, who said, “those words will haunt him. I cannot justify those words, they were wrong.”
It seems, however, that David Cameron does not agree. He did not speak to Lord Freud personally and yet gave him a clean bill of health to allow him to keep his post.
It is incredible to believe that, while leading disability charities have said that Lord Freud’s comments were offensive and shocking and called on him to reflect on his position, the leader of your party is seeking to duck the issue. This is a lack of moral leadership at best. It is unclear how far a member of your government or party would have to go in offending disabled people in order to lose their job, when in many other walks of life the comments by Lord Freud would have led to a resignation.
Can I ask you whether you agree with Lord Freud’s statement that there is “a group” of disabled people who are “not worth the full wage” and that some should work for as little as £2 per hour?
If you do not, will you ensure you vote in favour of a vote of no confidence in Lord Freud on 29 October?
If you do agree that Lord Freud’s views should be government policy and that he should remain in post, you must urgently justify these views to the people of Southend West.
By supporting a vote of no confidence, you have the chance to show that compassion is not yet completely dead in David Cameron’s Conservatives.
If you cannot support this vote and in turn back such heartlessness comments, you will show that David Cameron’s Conservatives cannot stand for the majority in Britain today.
Cllr Julian Ware-Lane
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West