Paralympian urges next government to halt disability benefit cuts

Harlow Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike has added her name to an open letter calling on the next government to halt cuts to disability benefits.

The wheelchair racer and campaigner is one of more than 1,6000 people to sign the note.

It will be delivered to party leaders ahead of the general election on 8 June.

Anne Wafula Strike is a wheelchair racer for Paralympic GB. Credit: PA

Earlier this year she revealed she had been forced to wet herself on a three-hour train journey because there was no working disabled toilet.

The Department for Transport said it would steps to ensure her experience is not repeated.

Rail firms been since been ordered to improve toilet access for all disabled rail passengers.

Anne Wafula Strike is one of 1,6000 signatories. Credit: PA

We write to urge you to protect disability benefits from further cuts in the next Parliament. There are more than 13 million disabled people in the UK, who spend an average of £550 a month on costs related to their impairment or condition. Many are already finding it difficult to manage these additional costs of living with a disability. As well as the costs to the individual, there are huge costs to the UK economy as disabled people are not supported adequately when out of work, and often need to rely more heavily on health and social care services as a result. Financial support is vital for disabled people and their families. It allows people to get out of the house, enter and stay in work for longer, pay their bills, spend time with friends and family and fulfil life goals. We are asking for your commitment that you will protect disability benefits should you form the Government after this election. Removing the threat of further cuts to financial support is crucial. It will give disabled people the security and stability they need to live independent lives and take part in society.

Letter to party leaders
The letter urges party leaders to protect disability benefits from further cuts. Credit: ITV News Anglia