The political future of DWP minister Lord Freud hangs in the balance this afternoon — after Labour ambushed the Tories with a recording in which he suggests that disabled people are “not worth the full [minimum] wage”.
The details were released just before PMQs — with Miliband duly challenging David Cameron to sack the millionaire minister.
Scrapbook doesn’t expect to win any popularity contests for pointing this out, but in response David Cameron clearly referenced his disabled son Ivan, who tragically died in 2009 at just six years of age:
“I don’t need lectures from anyone about looking after disabled people. So I don’t want to hear any more of that.”
This comes exactly two weeks after the prime minister invoked his son’s memory as a backstop against criticism of his NHS policies during conference season.
New Statesman and Guardian writer Alex Andreou in 2012:
“Last week David Cameron referred to baby Ivan during Prime Minister’s Questions again. It was the sixth or seventh time he has done so, either obliquely or directly, in response to difficult questions about the NHS or welfare or disability benefits.
“In last week’s PMQs Cameron was asked by Dame Joan Ruddock about cutting the benefits to one of her constituents – a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. In his response he denied that the benefits available to disabled children were being cut (a distinct untruth with regard to new claimants as explained in this factcheck) and continued: “As someone who has actually filled out the form for disability allowance and had a child with cerebral palsy, I know how long it takes to fill in that form.”
“No reference to the girl about whom the question was; no offer to look into her case; no attempt to answer the question. Only an out-of-context reference to Cameron’s dead child, offered as irrefutable proof that his reforms must be right and implied rebuke for daring to question them.
‘My son was disabled. This means your criticism of my government is improper.’