A Tory candidate has been filmed at a hustings event being jeered after claiming those with learning difficulties shouldn’t be paid the minimum wage because “it’s about the happiness to work.”
Sally-Ann Hart, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye, was asked by an audience member to defend an article she shared on Facebook titled: ‘Why people with learning disabilities should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage.’
They should be given the opportunity to work because it’s to do with the happiness they have about working… It’s about the happiness to work.
The Tory Candidate in Hastings and Rye, Sally-Ann Hart, just tried to defend her view that some disabled people should be paid less than the minimum wage by saying they “don’t understand money”.Unsurprisingly it did not go down well. pic.twitter.com/x6hZwBEis1
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) December 5, 2019
Hart’s defense was met with ferocious jeers by much of the audience with shouts of “shameful” and “they deserve a salary.” The hostile response didn’t stop the Tory candidate doubling down, insisting that the article was about “having a therapeutic exemption” for those with disabilities.
It provoked a member of the audience to howl: “I’m autistic, and I want to get paid for the work I do,” while another yelled: “How patronizing, how dare you.”
The controversial remarks have also provoked anger on social media, with disabled people in particular lashing out. One person with autism and other learning difficulties insisted that her words were “beyond disgusting.” While others called Hart a “disgrace.”
Sally Ann Hart – As an autistic, dyspraxic, dyscalculiac and dyslexic who defined the odds and managed to work full time in a teaching position – your words at the #HastingsandRye hustings were beyond disgusting and why I will never vote tory #ToriesOuthttps://t.co/I3B8shZRkg
— Nick The Miffed Barbarian (@BarbarianNick88) December 6, 2019
The constituency of Hastings and Rye, which has been held by former government minister Amber Rudd, until she quit frontline politics earlier this year, is one of the UK’s tightest marginals up for grabs at this year’s general election. The Tories hold it by a margin of 346 with Labour the closest challengers at the 2017 snap poll.
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