A campaigning disability organisation has asked parties to be more “respectful” in their use of pictures of disabled people during the final days of the general election campaign.
RADAR spoke out after Labour withdrew a poster featuring the Little Britain characters Lou and Andy – one of whom is a wheelchair-user – with the superimposed faces of David Cameron and William Hague.
RADAR said the use of the image had “caused some concern” among disabled people.
RADAR said it wanted all the parties to “bear in mind the effect that negative images of disability can have, and to avoid using negative imagery in their campaigning materials”.
And it warned: “There are millions of disabled voters, friends and relatives, and political parties alienate us at their peril.”
RADAR said it would be “wonderful” if the parties used positive images of disabled people in their campaigning materials.
Liz Sayce, chief executive of RADAR, said: “Political parties need to avoid the negative association of disability with inability, impairment with incompetence and difference with weakness.
“Labour made a mistake which we accept they swiftly rectified.
“In the final week of an incredibly close and sometimes negative campaign, we ask all parties to use images of disability, by all means, in their campaigning materials, but only in ways which are positive, respectful, and do not reinforce inaccurate stereotypes which the rest of society long ago abandoned.”
29 April 2010