A new Labour party “campaigning bible” is likely to concern disabled activists after the 24-page document failed to mention disability, social care or accessible transport and housing, but mentioned “working people” 18 times.
Let’s Get Britain’s Future Back suggests that issues of crucial importance to disabled people are unlikely to feature as priorities in Labour’s election campaigning.
Although this does not mean there will be no disability policies in the party’s election manifesto, it does suggest that disabled activists will have to fight hard for their concerns to be heard during the general election campaign.
The failure to reference disabled people, disability or social care was first highlighted by a disabled campaigner yesterday (Wednesday) on social media.
Although there is a section on repairing the NHS, there is no mention of repairing the social care system.
There is also no mention of addressing the harm caused by social care charging, which research by disabled campaigners has shown leads to tens of thousands of people across the country every year having debt collection action taken against them by their local authorities over unpaid charges.
Disability News Service (DNS) reported in October that Labour had dodged a promise made in 2022 that it would produce a policy on whether it would reduce or scrap care charges if it won power at the next general election.
Although Let’s Get Britain’s Future Back fails to mention disabled people, there are 18 mentions of “working people”.
The party, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured), have been continually criticised for their focus on working people, and their failure to highlight the many concerns faced by disabled people and those who cannot work.
Both Labour and the Conservatives almost completely sidelined disabled people at their party conferences, DNS research revealed in October.
In Manchester, only three of 21 Conservative ministers mentioned disabled people or disability in their main conference speeches, with just nine mentions of the words “disabled” or “disability” out of 44,000 words.
In Liverpool, only three of 24 conference speeches by Labour shadow ministers mentioned disability or disabled people, with 10 mentions in a total of 36,000 words, although there were commitments made by one shadow minister to the social model of disability, co-production and independent living.
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