Today I have received news that this letter has been accepted by the Inquiry and has been added to their collection of evidence.
This should send out a strong message to the media that the way they are portraying benefit claimants and disabled people is totally unacceptable and that they must move to change the way they report stories related to benefits and disability.
The irresponsible use of defamatory language and inaccurate figures – we believe – is at least partly responsible for fueling the ever-increasing hatred shown toward benefit claimants and disabled people. Add this to the devastating impact welfare reform is having on some of the most vulnerable people in society and you have recipe for disaster.
We are already seeing stories of those who have been abused or assaulted by cruel individuals who think that disabled people and benefit claimants are ‘fair game’. Irresponsible reporting by newspapers and the wider media has the very real probability of increasing the frequency and number of these unacceptable attacks even further.
This is why the acceptance of our Open Letter as evidence by the Leveson Inquiry is so significant and why we urge the inquiry to recognize its importance in tackling this growing problem of the negative media portrayal of disabled people and benefit claimants.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who signed and supported the Open Letter as well as sending out a special thank you to our union partners for making this possible.
What we have all achieved is truly remarkable!
The Fight Continues…..