Harlow MEP Richard Howitt fights back after UKIP argument on disability

Politics / Fri 10th Oct 2014 at 03:47pm

THE FORMER leader of Harlow Council and present East of england MEP, Richard Howitt (Labour) has set the record straight over a war of words regarding disability.

Mr Howitt’s essay can be found in full here in the on-line version on The New Statesman.

Mr Howitt details how he has been the recipient of a number of insults through social media

What has generated all this manufactured fury?

Mr Howitt said “It seems they’ve noticed a two-week-old comment in which I drew attention to a blog by the protest group Disabled People Against The Cuts (DPAC), who are by two-thirds victims of the iniquitous bedroom tax, which lambasted unsavoury and offensive statements about disabled people made by Ukip candidates or in Ukip policy.

The article showed how Ukip defended the right of one of their local candidates who they described as “excellent” to argue for forced abortion of disabled foetuses; how their 2010 manifesto contained proposals for learning disabled people to be put in segregated communities, and how Ukip’s leader personally said another local candidate could not stand for the party because of his physical disability.

Mr Howitt ends the article “To make my own position clear.

“I worked with a disability charity for nine years before being elected to the European Parliament and am unapologetically a lifelong campaigner for disability rights.

“As either chair or vice-chair of Europe’s all-party Disability Rights Group of MEPs continuously since first being elected, I have and will always hold out the hand of friendship to other parties who sincerely want to work together to improve the rights of disabled people.

“But like any other equalities campaigners, if I see or hear discriminatory actions or behaviour, then there is an obligation to challenge them”.

Richard Howitt is the Labour MEP for the East of England and vice-chair of the European Parliament All-Party Disability Rights Group of MEPs

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2 Comments for Harlow MEP Richard Howitt fights back after UKIP argument on disability:

2014-10-13 12:12:54

If this is all true - how does he explain his offensive tweet? Surely a disabilities campaigner would not make comments like that, nor draw attention to them. If the only disabled disabilites spokesperson in the Country - UKIP's Star Etheridge is appalled and disgusted by his comments, and says they are lies than as an elected MEP he should apologise or resign! Anyone who thinks he should resign - feel free to sign the petition demanding he does just that! Link on the Harlow UKIP Facebook page

2014-10-13 17:36:42

The right thing for him to do is unreservedly apologise, failing that he should resign.

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