Furious DPAC protesters in wheelchairs block House of Commons entrance over benefit cuts

The MPs entrance to the chamber was blocked after the last PMQs before the summer break, as protesters chanted “no justice, no peace”

Furious protesters in wheelchairs blocked the MPs’ entrance to the House of Commons chamber today over cuts to benefits.

Campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts chanted “no justice, no peace” and “Tories out” as MPs tried to leave the final PMQs before the summer break.

Police formed a line at the entrance to the Members’ Lobby as some of the demonstrators demanded to talk to MPs.

The group said they wanted to stop cuts to social care and demanded the reintroduction of the independent living fund.

“This is a message to Theresa May – while we have no justice, you will have no peace,” they chanted.

“No more deaths from benefit cuts,” they added.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn greeted some of the group and was met with a chorus of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn”.

Claire Glasman, 56, from London, who is part of women’s disability group WinVisible, said: “People are suffering as a result of cuts to social care. People are dying as a result of neglect.”



Tory government rejects petition to scrap the ‘rape clause’ for women on tax credits

More than 25,000 people had signed the bid to halt changes to tax credits which make women provide evidence to show they have had a child by rape

The Tory government has rejected a petition to scrap a policy dubbed the “rape clause”.

More than 25,000 people had signed the bid to halt changes to tax credits which make women provide evidence they had a child by rape – forcing them to revisit their ordeal.

But the petition was rejected by the government in a lengthy statement today by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Despite running to nearly 500 words, the statement did not include a key word – “rape”.

Instead it stuck to using the term “non-consensual conception” and talked of claimants “not being able to make the same choices” about having children.

The rule was introduced as part of a new regime that means claimants can only be paid tax credits for their first two children.

The petition was on the government’s website

There are exceptions for twins, disabled children or children born of rape. But that means raped mums must prove their ordeal by providing “evidence” in an 8-page government form.

That prompted anger, with the SNP leading protests against the policy and raising it in Parliament.

The petition called for the entire policy to be scrapped because the rape exemption “cannot be delivered in a way that does not breach women’s rights and undermine women’s equality and safety”.

In its statement on the petition, the DWP said the policy overall “encourages” families to make the same financial decisions as those not claiming benefits.

It added: “Some claimants are not able to make the same choices about the number of children in their family as others.

“For that reason, there are a series of exceptions to the restriction.”

It said the implementation of the clause had already been consulted on with 50 organisations – and includes victims whose abuser has never been convicted in the courts.

For those claimants, the government will accept third-party evidence from a counsellor or case worker.

Female rape victim
Women who have had a child by rape are exempted – but forced to revisit their ordeal(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

“The intention is to strike the right balance between ensuring claimants in these circumstances get the support they need in a not overly intrusive manner whilst at the same time providing the right assurance that the additional support is going to those for whom it is intended,” the DWP said.

But Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “A good Government also has a duty and responsibility to care for the vulnerable and treat its citizens with respect and dignity.

“Theresa May’s government has trashed that duty with the rape clause which shame’s women and condemns their children to poverty.

“The Prime Minister seems committed to bringing the nasty party back.”


The 2 yr Job Rule for Disabled on Universal Credit is not True!

In the last few days it has been widely reported by various bloggers that those disabled claimants claiming Universal Credit are subjected to finding a job within two years or face a 1 year sanction. This is utter fabrication and feeding many claimants fears which could potentially cause harm. So today I called Welfare Rights ,who called DWP while I remained on the phone, they denied that this information was correct and was downright alarmist and dangerous. That doesnt mean I trust DWP and have submitted a FOI too given 7 years of shenanigans. So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts!

Those who will be put on Universal Credit (UC) will have to sign the claimant commitment regardless, some will be subjected to full conditionality some will have their conditionality limited depending on the circumstances, and subject to sanctions if they fail to comply with the agreed commitments they agreed with work coach via the Work Plan,My 4 steps,My Values documents.  (Document links provided at bottom of the blog.)

As promised last night, the SKWAWKBOX has been looking further into conflicting reports from DWP insiders concerning the WRAG (work-related activity group) category into which the government, more or less arbitrarily, places some disability benefit claimants and the possibility of sanctions after a fixed period of two years under the Universal Credit (UC) system if claimants have not found work.

Some activists insisted that this was part of the UC system and this was initially confirmed by long-term DWP employees. Others subsequently disputed it. The only thing all were agreed on was that the rules are ill-conceived and extremely confusing.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted a PCS union official who specialises in UC for clarification and received this response:


I’ve been looking at the regulations and I can’t find anything that refers specifically to a fixed time limit in which to find employment.

That is right, because no fixed time limit exists in the regulations


The ‘disabled’ argument, as I’m sure you are aware, is notorious because ultimately the Department through the provide contractors are essentially able to define who is fit or not for work.

For example, a claimant maybe moved from ESA to UC on the back of a WCA [Work Capability Assessment]. The claimant may disagree with the decision but they are stuck.

If they are adamant they are not fit for work, they could refuse employment in an environment they believe will affect their health.


If they have been found to have no Limited Capability for Work, they cannot refuse employment. The fact that claimants think they are unfit for work has been the main issue with the flawed WCA since 2008


This is where the sanction process comes in – a 13wk, 26wk and 156wk sanction could apply (although similar regs existed prior to UC and the 2012 Welfare Reform Act if not as harsh or severe).


In this case you’re looking at failure to apply, not accepting work or leaving on one’s own accord. Their argument is they aren’t fit, the department will still look at sanctions.

The circumstances described here apply to somebody who has not been found to have Limited Capability for Work.


The sanction regime is clearly arbitrary, deeply unfair and dangerous – but there is no rule mandating a fixed time-limit for a claimant to find work.

Again no time limit


However, another PCS/DWP source warned that while the rules don’t include such a limit, the way they are applied may not be as clear cut:

I can tell you that we have received complaints from WRAG claimants about having their ESA revoked after two years. And now they are treated as JSA claimants because they are ‘fit for work but not necessarily their precious occupation(s)’.

ESA cannot be revoked. It simply cannot be claimed after a claimant has been found fit for work. Previous occupations are not a consideration. That has always been the case.


Sanctions have been applied because the claimant has not fulfilled their requirement to find work. The purpose of the WRAG was to enable people to return to work despite being disabled, but this component has now been removed as WRAG claimants are now treated as jobseekers.


WRAG claimants under UC are described as having Limited Capability for Work.. They are not required to search for, be available for and start work, and cannot be sanctioned for not doing so, but they are required to accept work preparation requirements within their commitment and attend WFIs



Other WRAG claimants have been booted off ESA or the sickness element of UC after a period of two years because they failed their WCA – deliberate decision to bully them back to work.


Some claimants will fail their WCA after 2 years. Others after 6 months, 12 months  etc.

2 years is actually a prognosis period, meaning a number of people are reassessed at this stage. Unless there is any evidence of a pattern, this period of 2 years is meaningless


Thanks too to Anita Bellows who has worked with me on this 🙂

So you see folks, you can take the fear project and destroy it with Facts! 














Read Frank Zola Blog below;



ANOTHER DWP ATROCITY: Double amputee in constant agony faces losing disability car

Stephen Dickson fears he will lose his job and independence as he faces having his specially-adapted car taken away after his £58-a-month mobility allowance was halted

A double amputee says he is set to lose his “lifeline” of a car because he can occasionally walk unaided for 20 metres with a prosthetic limb.

Stephen Dickson, 38, fears he will lose his job and independence as he faces having his having his specially-adapted car taken away.

His situation is set to change after he passed a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) test by walking 20 metres (65ft).

But he claims he can’t always walk that far because of excruciating pain caused by his prosthetic leg.

The stepdad-of-two received Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from the age of 11 but had to re-apply for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) last month after changes to the system.

Stephen holds the personal independence payment letter reviewing his mobility (Image: Dan Rowlands/Mercury Press)

The double congenital amputee, who was born without his right arm and leg, was told he no longer qualified for the mobility aspect of the payment – despite regularly being bed-bound because of pains so severe he could soon require surgery.

Stephen, from Monton, Greater Manchester, said: “I think the decision is really short sighted of the DWP.

“Yes I can walk 20 metres with my prosthetic leg, which meets their requirements, but I can’t walk that far regularly – it causes a lot of strain on my body.

“My prosthetic leg is there to help me walk but they make me develop sores on my groin and the bottom of my legs and I can get ingrown hair follicles which are really painful.

Stephen, 38, says the DWP’s decision is “really short sighted” (Image: Dan Rowlands/Mercury Press)

“A few days a year I am left bed bound because my limbs hurt that much and I need to rest up so that I don’t do too much damage to my body.”

Although the changes will see Stephen’s standard living payments remain the same – which he said he is ‘more than grateful’ for – his biggest concern is the removal of the mobility allowance.

The £58 monthly benefit was paid directly from the DWP to the Motability Scheme where he hired a Skoda Superb with a left accelerator adaption.

Customer service adviser Stephen said: “I presumed because I always had it I would receive similar payments under PIP, so when I was told I wouldn’t be receiving the same payments I was shocked.”

Stephen is planning to lodge an appeal but when he hands over his car keys on Tuesday, he will have no form of private transport to get to and from work.

Stephen, a double congenital amputee, was born without his right arm and leg (Image: Dan Rowlands/Mercury Press)

Stephen said: “I don’t mind using public transport but the bus stop is quite a walk from my house and if there are no empty seats it will cause a strain on my limbs if I have to stand.

“When I have my prosthetic leg attached and my trousers on it becomes an invisible disability, so no one would even know I was disabled and needed to sit down.

“It would be fine doing it for a few days but after a few weeks the sores around my groin and knees would inevitably get worse resulting in me having to call in sick at work.”

Stephen said his wife Gaynor, 55, who doesn’t drive, is worried that by losing his car it will make simple everyday tasks such as the food shop even more difficult.

Stephen said: “I’ve not lived off the state and claimed any other benefits and this is because I was receiving my mobility payments which helped me to get a car and to drive to work every day.

Stephen and his wife Gaynor, 55, say everyday tasks will be difficult without a car(Image: Mercury Press and Media Ltd)

“I feel sorry for the DWP really they’ve been forced into this by a decision made by the government. It’s very sad that the change has made such a huge difference.

“I think most people just expected the introduction of PIP to be a name change, not a change of what money we will receive.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions for PIP are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.

“Most people leaving the Motability scheme are eligible for a one-off payment of up to £2,000 to help meet their needs.”

What is a PIP assessment?

Personal Independence Payment assessments are carried out by qualified health professionals who combine their clinical knowledge with an understanding of the fact that not everyone with the same disability is impacted in the same way.

The PIP assessment criteria was designed in consultation with healthcare professionals and disability organisations.

Under PIP 26 per cent of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Disabled people moving from DLA to PIP who are no longer entitled to a Motability car, scooter or powered wheelchair will now be able to retain the vehicle for up to eight weeks after their DLA payments end – more than double the current allowance.

There will also be a further option for people to retain their car for up to six months, for example if they are awaiting the results of an appeal.


Government’s UN response ‘exposes failings on disability convention’

The government has ignored key evidence that demonstrates widespread breaches of the UN disability convention, according to disabled people’s grassroots groups and organisations that are working together to expose its failings.

They spoke out after the government submitted its response to concerns raised earlier this year by a UN committee, which described where it had questions about whether the UK may have failed in its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The UK government’s 168-paragraph response to the “list of issues” produced by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) is the latest step in a process that will see it examined in public in Geneva next month on how it has implemented the convention.

But disabled activists and campaigners who have been working to highlight the UK’s breaches of the convention said this week that the government’s defence of its position was “poor quality” and lacking in evidence.

Ellen Clifford, a spokeswoman for the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) – a national anti-cuts network of user-led organisations – said the government had claimed in its response that its policies were having a positive impact on disabled people, without providing any evidence for those claims.

She said the government had claimed that the Care Act 2014 was “helping to overturn traditional approaches to disability in health and social care by placing greater power in the hands of service users, including disabled people”, when there was substantial evidence to show that the act was not being implemented.

There is no mention in the government’s response of the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) own evaluation of the closure of the Independent Living Fund, in which it had found that some former recipients had experienced a loss of support, a greater reliance on unpaid care and a negative impact on their physical and mental health after it closed.

Only last week, Disability News Service reported how leading figures in the disability movement had described how the concept of disabled people using personal assistants had been severely damaged by years of austerity and government policies that have “degraded” the support mechanisms designed to enable independent living.

Clifford pointed also to the second paragraph of the response, where the government claimed that it “embraces the social model of disability”.

She said there was substantial evidence to show the government was instead influenced by the discredited biopsychosocial model of disability in its welfare reforms, by the psychiatric model in mental health services, and by the medical model in the use of assessment and treatment units for people with learning difficulties, all of which had caused harm to disabled people and led to breaches of the convention.

Clifford said the government’s response overall was “just a list of policies” and “doesn’t deal with any of the substantive issues” raised by the UN in its list of issues.

She said: “It just doesn’t present a picture of the experiences of Deaf and disabled people in the UK in 2017.”

Dr Rosalind Tyler-Greig, human rights policy and engagement officer for Inclusion Scotland, said the government’s response “once again demonstrates its refusal to engage with many of the most important issues affecting the lives of disabled people”.

She pointed to “telling” omissions, including the government stating that it spent nearly £17 billion on personal independence payment (PIP) and disability living allowance (DLA) in 2015-16, compared to £11 billion in 2006-07, but ignoring new figures – reported last week by Disability News Service – that showed more than half of those previously eligible for the higher mobility rate of DLA had lost that eligibility after being reassessed for PIP.

And where the government states that legal aid “continues to provide access to justice for people in the most serious cases”, Tyler-Greig said that many disabled people with housing, employment or social security concerns “now find themselves priced out of justice” because of the UK government’s legal aid reforms.

She added: “The government claims to have embraced the social model of disability.

“However, this statement is merely a case of lip service and there is little evidence to support it.”

In Scotland, she said, there had been progress in dealing with the impact of austerity, with the Scottish government promising “a different and non-discriminatory approach to social security”.

But she said the delivery of social care “remains a significant concern in Scotland, and there is little in the state response to address this.

“Inclusion Scotland is working with a range of partners to ensure that this UN process provides the appropriate levers to drive progress for disabled people in Scotland as well as in the UK.”

There is also anger about the government’s continued failure – repeated in its response to the list of issues – to address the recommendations made by the UN committee following a separate inquiry into breaches of the convention.

That inquiry – taken under article six of the convention’s optional protocol – found last year that the UK government was guilty of “grave” and “systematic” breaches of three specific articles of the human rights treaty.

Most of those breaches – under articles 19 (independent living), article 27 (work and employment) and article 28 (adequate standard of living and social protection) of the convention – were caused by policies introduced by Conservative DWP ministers between 2010 and 2015.

The government said last November that the inquiry report presented an “inaccurate” picture of life for disabled people in the UK, and dismissed all 11 of its recommendations.

And in this month’s response to the list of issues, it says only that it “maintains the position of its response” to the article six inquiry and planned to “further showcase [its]commitment to progressing the rights and lived experience of disabled people” through the examination of its overall record on implementing the convention.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which played a key part in persuading the UN to carry out the article six investigation, is to meet with the UN committee next month in Geneva to discuss progress in following up the results of the inquiry, which is a separate but parallel process to the routine examination.

DPAC has already told the committee that it believes “rights are regressing even further” since the publication of the inquiry report, including through further cuts to social care, concerns about DWP’s new health and work conversation, and the “utter disaster of universal credit”.

Linda Burnip, a DPAC co-founder, said: “The message is very much that this isn’t over yet, and I will be speaking about the UN inquiry in the European parliament in September to MEPs and hammering home how shamefully the Tories have behaved.”

ROFA and other organisations that visited Geneva in March to give evidence to the committee about the UK’s breaches of the convention – including Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales and Disability Rights UK – are now working on a joint response to the government’s response, and have until the end of this month to submit it to the committee.

Picture by Natasha Hirst: Representatives of ROFA and DPOs including Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland in Geneva in March


The Violence of Austerity

Disabled people ‘forced into dangerous workfare that breaches health and safety laws’

Disabled people are being subjected to dangerous violations of health and safety laws after being forced to take part in government workfare programmes, according to new research published this week.

The analysis of first-hand accounts of benefit claimants forced into unpaid work by the Department for Work and Pensions is one of 24 short essays collected in The Violence of Austerity*, a new book that details the “devastatingly violent consequences” of the government’s austerity policies.

Academics, journalists and campaigners show in the book how austerity policies have led to destitution, eviction, power supplies being cut off, the seizure of possessions, homelessness, deportation and hunger.

In one chapter, Jon Burnett and Professor David Whyte, one of the book’s editors, analyse more than 500 individual accounts written by benefit claimants who took part in workfare schemes between 2011 and 2015 and left descriptions of their experiences on the Boycott Workfare website.

Whyte, who is professor of socio-legal studies at the University of Liverpool, and Burnett, who works at the Institute of Race Relations, found that 97 of those accounts raised concerns about health and safety issues.

Many clearly involved illegal activity, with 36 of the 97 health and safety concerns taking place in retail stores or warehouses run by charities or social enterprises, and others in hospitals, recycling or waste disposal plants, and profit-making retailers.

As part of their exploitation, welfare claimants were often forced to complete physical labour at an intense pace, and were discouraged from taking rest or lunch breaks, with some even refused access to food or water.

All of them faced the threat of having their benefits sanctioned if they refused to follow orders.

One wrote: “Hard labour on feet all day heavy lifting despite my medical conditions.

“Out of eight that started, only three remain after working all day in the heavy rain and getting soaked and chilled to the bone.”

Another claimant who challenged the unsafe working conditions was “sacked” and given a six-month benefit sanction.

The authors analysed the accounts and found 64 “concrete allegations of breaches of health and safety law at 43 different workplaces”.

Often this related to the failure to provide protective safety equipment, for example from chemicals and dust, or carrying out heavy lifting and manual handling tasks without proper risk or health assessments, sometimes despite health conditions that had been brought to the attention of the supervisor.

One claimant described the “hard labour” he carried out from 9am to 5pm, and added: “I told them of my backpack pain and they just ignored it, they didn’t care.”

Another said: “I can’t stand or walk for more than 10 minutes and have severe stomach illness that means when I eat I’m in agony half an hour until 4 hrs after. They may as well have sent me a death sentence.”

Whyte and Burnett conclude: “The testimonies analysed in this chapter reveal how workfare, as a form of forced labour, effectively permits employers to breach health and safety laws with impunity.”

It is not clear how many of the claimants whose comments they analysed were disabled people, but Whyte has told Disability News Service (DNS) that he believes “a large number have ongoing health problems and have disability issues”.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: “Any specific allegations of unsafe working practices need to be reported to HSE through the proper channels** so we can look into them.

“HSE does not hold any specific guidance relating to work by, or workplaces employing, benefit recipients who are required to work as a condition of their status as claimants.

“Such persons or workplaces would be treated no differently to any other category. HSE would expect the approach to health and safety to be the same in all cases.”

He added: “Any allegations of this sort are taken very seriously and would be considered on a case by case basis.”

John Pring, editor of DNS, has also written an essay for the book, on the impact of welfare reforms on disabled people, and describes how the current and previous governments have refused to conduct basic research on the impact of their “reckless and ill-evidenced” policies.

He says that for every policy “there is testimony from friends or family of the harm caused to individual disabled people who have been powerless to protect themselves, have had their freedom catastrophically affected, and have seen their dignity, health, choices and ability to control their own lives restricted in a way that can only be described as damaging and violent”.

But he also describes how disabled people have fought back, through protests and campaigns, petitions, legal actions, their own high-quality research, and through Disabled People Against Cuts’ complaint to the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Another of the essays is by the award-winning social affairs journalist and author Mary O’Hara, who writes about the links between austerity and a rise in mental distress and suicides.

She describes how, after 2010, jobcentre workers began speaking out about “an increasingly punitive regime that was adding to the mental stress of both claimants and workers”, with one telling her: “It was very distressing to have customers literally without food, without heat, without resources – and these are unwell [and]disabled customers.”

Other chapters also describe the violence imposed on disabled people by austerity policies, including David Ellis’s essay on The Violence of the Debtfare State, which tells how the UK has seen “the normalisation of pervasive debt as a means of replacing the living wage and sufficient welfare provisions”.

He discusses the relationship between debt and mental health problems, and points out that estimates suggest that “half of British adults with problem debt also have mental health problems, including stress, anxiety, depression and even suicide attempts”.

And in his second essay, Jon Burnett describes how “two forms of institutionally produced hatred – hatred targeted at migrants and hatred targeted at welfare claimants – have become closely interlinked by ‘austerity politics’”.

He says this has “become apparent in a relentless barrage of headlines about migrant hordes, supposedly exploiting public services and undercutting wages, and the British benefit ‘cheats’ supposedly too idle to work and abusing the welfare state”.

He points to a survey published by the Disability Hate Crime Network in 2015, which found that “scrounger rhetoric” was highlighted by “around one in six of 61 disabled people who described being verbally or physically assaulted in disability hate crimes”.

Whyte and his co-editor Vickie Cooper, a lecturer in criminology at the Open University, conclude in their introduction to the book: “Where the state once acted as a buffer against social practices that put people at risk of harm and violence and provided essential protection for vulnerable groups, the contributions to this book show how the withdrawal of state support has the most devastating of consequences for vulnerable people.”

They add: “The violence of austerity is not delivered by ‘street gangs’ or by the individuals that are typically the focus of public anxieties and tabloid moral panics.

“The violence of austerity is delivered by smartly dressed people sitting behind desks.”

*The Violence of Austerity is priced £16.99 and published by Pluto Press

New disabled MP accuses Conservatives of ‘eugenics’ policies to make disabled people ‘suffer and die’

Jared O’Mara says Tory ministers have ‘completely torn up the welfare system’

The Conservatives have dismantled the welfare system and introduced a system of “eugenics” in an effort to make disabled people “suffer and die”, according to a newly-elected Labour MP.

Jared O’Mara, who has cerebral palsy, said the Government has “completely torn up the welfare system” by shutting down the Independent Living Fund and making cuts to disability and social care benefits.

Mr O’Mara, who ousted former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg from his Sheffield Hallam seat, also declared his support for efforts to bring a criminal prosecution against Tory ministers over claims that the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) “fitness to work” tests have led to the deaths of benefit claimants.

The former school governor insisted the policies were making disabled people have suicidal thoughts.

He told Disability News Service (DNS): “A lot of people say you can’t use that word, but I will do: it’s eugenics. They want disabled people to suffer and die. That’s literally what’s happening.

“Disabled people are out there suffering and dying because they have not got the financial means and financial support and nor have they got the legal means to lead an equal life, or even to lead a satisfactory life.”

Conservative MP accuses mother of disabled child of lying

He added that reports that mentally ill people have been asked why they haven’t committed suicide by independence payment assessors support his claims.

“How is that not eugenics? Putting thoughts of suicide into a disabled person’s head. It’s literally eugenics,” he said.

“I’m not going to shy away from it, people might say I am taking it too far, but as far as I am concerned, what I have seen and what has happened across the board, it’s been eugenics.

“There are people just like me and people who have got conditions that make things even worse for them than mine does, and they are dying and they are suffering.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We have a proud record in supporting disabled people, including through the landmark Disability Discrimination Act.

“In the last three years, over 500,000 have moved into work and we continue to spend around £50bn a year on benefits to support disabled people and those with health conditions – more than ever before.”

In the wide-ranging interview with DNS, Mr O’Mara also said he “absolutely” supported efforts by anti-austerity groups to bring criminal proceedings against former DWP ministers Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith relating to the fitness to work tests.

A disabled activist from the Black Triangle campaign lodged a complaint with Scottish police claiming the pair might be guilty of “willful neglect of duty by a public official”, but Scottish criminal justice agencies refused to investigate the matter in December.

A DWP spokesperson said at the time: “It is important we make sure that people are receiving the right support, and they are not simply written off to a life on benefits.

“The Work Capability Assessment has been improved dramatically since 2008 following a number of reviews, including five independent ones.”

After a month in his role as Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, Mr O’Mara said he has not been able to attend debates in the Commons chamber as he cannot stand for longer than 10 minutes.

35-year-old MP was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six months old. The condition leaves him with severe fatigue and the right-hand side of his body is semi-paralysed. Mobility and standing for too long are issues and he needs bannisters on both sides of stairs.

The disability rights campaigner, who compares himself to Forrest Gump, previously said: “I’m this slightly eccentric, little bit weird disabled guy who keeps stumbling into large achievements.”