7/7 bombing survivor calls for clampdown on disability hate crime after experiencing discrimination

The entrepreneur explained how important it is to report disability hate crimes. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Daniel Biddle is an entrepreneur, an adviser to governments, police and prosecutors and a campaigner who has made a success of his life in Wales after narrowly surviving the 7/7 terrorist attacks in 2005.

But even he faces discrimination.

In tonight’s Face to Face programme, he reveals what happened to him on a recent visit to the local tip.

“Obviously I can't get the rubbish out of the car to put it in the tip, my wife was doing it, and I was called all the names under the sun for being lazy and typical bloke and all the rest of.

“And it got to the point where my wife has had to get my wheelchair out the car and show the woman and the response I got was, ‘Well, anyone can have one of them.’”

Daniel explains why he reported that incident.

“I do a lot of work around disability hate crime so if I'm going to advocate for it then when it happens I should be one of the ones to report it, because it's an escalation.

“If somebody is allowed to get away with, with that, where does it stop? If they can then be abusive to somebody verbally, then, would they then be physically abusive?

“And if there's no recompense for that, where do we draw the line? How far does it have to go before we take action on it?”

Daniel stood next to the bomber who blew up the London underground train they were both on the back on that terrible day in 2005.

Daniel said the first few seconds was just a 'complete state of shock'.

He tells how he was conscious of everything that happened to him, from being thrown from the train, to realising that he was on fire and had lost one leg and badly damaged another which he’d later lose.

He thought he was dying there on the underground line and continued to think he could die during 12 weeks in intensive care.

Looking back at what sometimes it feels like happened to someone else, Daniel says that he thinks it’s important to keep talking about it.

“I’m not saying that it should be a kind of at the forefront of everybody's mind but I certainly don't think it should ever be forgotten.”

Daniel Biddle and his wife, who he says helps him to accept his disability.

This week’s Face to Face is one of those moments where what happened that day isn’t forgotten. But there’s much more to talk about with Daniel Biddle.

He speaks about his upbringing as a shy boy in the East End of London, the traditional cockney upbringing that shaped him, moving to Wales when he met his wife and building a new life which has taken him to advising governments and other public services.

A big part of that new life involves campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities, particularly in work.

Working from home during the pandemic, he says, has helped level the playing field for many disabled people. But he says “there's a long, long way to go before we got proper equity and employment for disabled people.”

You can see the full interview with Daniel Biddle in Face to Face tonight at 10:45 pm, ITV Cymru Wales.