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Advocacy for All, a charity group set up to help disadvantaged people, have released a statement telling Tory MP for Braintree James Cleverly to resign from his position as patron for the charity following his vote to cut disability benefits.
Advocacy for All said in their statement that they were ‘surprised and disappointed to learn that our patron, James Cleverly and other prominent MP’s have voted for £30 per week cuts to ESA benefits.”
The Charity group goes on to say that the cuts will have ‘a profound and detrimental affect [sic] on the lives of disabled people and the quality of their lives.”
“It will severely impact on all areas of their lives and could leave them isolated and disconnected from the rest of the community”
The Sidcup charity states that it has “given James Cleverly the opportunity to meet with trustees to inform them as to how he reached his decision to vote for these cuts”
Vivienne Lester, CEO of Advocacy for All ended the statement by saying that “[The trustees] have asked him to resign as patron of Advocacy For All with immediate effect and to remove any reference to Advocacy for All from his website and other platforms.”
Mr Cleverly, who was one of 311 MPs to vote through cuts of £30 to disabled people in the WRAG (Work-Related Activity Group), has since responded with a statement.
Mr Cleverly said: “I am going to speak to the charity to explain my position.
“I will respect their decision at the end of that discussion.
“When they asked me to be their patron about five years ago, I was very happy to do so.
“One of the things that hasn’t come across in the bullying tweets and media reports is that no-one who currently received ESA is going to lose a penny.
“It is only for new claimants from 2017 and the money saved is going to be spent on providing employment support and training to help disabled people back into work, which is what the majority of disabled people want and what Advocacy for All is trying to achieve.
“I hope that when I explain my position to them, they will understand.”