The mother of a disabled woman who died as a result of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failings stood outside its headquarters in Whitehall this week to remind civil servants and ministers how their actions caused her daughter’s death.Joy Dove, whose daughter Jodey Whiting died in 2017, was taking part in an action being staged by disabled artist-activist Dolly Sen in front of Caxton House.She and others held up heart-shaped boards, on which Sen had written the names of four disabled men and women who had lost their lives because of DWP’s benefit assessment regimes: Jodey Whiting, Stephen Carré, Mark Wood and Susan Roberts.Other hearts showed the phrases “broken hearts for the DWP” and “hearts stopped by DWP policies”.The action aimed to highlight how DWP policies have caused thousands of “broken hearts”.Sen (pictured, left) said: “Joy is here to mourn that her daughter has passed because of this building behind us.“We want these hearts to be still beating. The more hearts that are stopped by the building behind us, the stronger our hearts will get.“We will fight for every person who is let down by the building behind us.”As DWP staff entered and left the building, Sen asked each of them if they would personally sign off the next death to be caused by DWP.Every DWP civil servant she asked ignored her question.Sen said: “The workers who are going in and out may not have physically killed somebody, but they are the cogs in a system that is churning out coffin after coffin after coffin.”She added, addressing staff in the building behind her: “Do you understand that hearts have stopped because of what you’re doing? Shame on you.”This week’s action is one of several being devised by Sen that will be edited into a film, to be shown at film and art festivals, schools and universities, while there will also be “guerrilla projections” of the film onto bus stops and the walls of buildings, including – possibly –Caxton House itself.Sen said afterwards: “We want more people to know what’s going on.”She added: “It was a symbolic protest: a heart that goes de-dum, de-dum, de-dum, and it just stops because of this building.“To me it is just a horrific and really painful thought. If you took this building out of the chain of decisions, people would still be alive.”She said she had not expected DWP staff to engage with the protest.She said: “How could they really justify what they are doing? The machine can’t work without the cogs and these people are the cogs.”Joy Dove (pictured, second from left), who travelled from her home in the north-east to take part in the action, said afterwards that she had wanted DWP to know that she was there.Dove, who was supported by her son Jamie, Jodey’s brother, thanked Sen and her producer, disabled artist Caroline Cardus, for asking her to take part.She said: “When I saw the heart I wanted to cry, but I had to be strong for Jodey.”She said it had been her first visit to London since 1983. “It was a big step but I’m glad I have done it. I will carry on as long as I can.“I knew from the start that what they did to Jodey was wrong. The day they said she was fit for work I knew it wasn’t right.”Her daughter died in February 2017, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment.The Independent Case Examiner concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case.Dove said she was still pursuing legal action through her solicitor, with the hope of a second inquest into her daughter’s death, while she continued to support the Justice for Jodey Whiting parliamentary petition* and its call for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP.She said: “I want justice for Jodey. I won’t give up.”Dove was joined at the protest by Gill Thompson, whose brother, David Clapson, died in July 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance sanctioned.Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.His sister told the protest: “I just want all the suffering to stop. No more deaths and no more benefit cuts.”Another disabled artist-activist, Julie McNamara, said the action and other protests were “gentle steps… towards having our voices heard. Remember there is still hope.”She said: “People in a room together created this system. We intend to dismantle this system.“It was people who created the system and it will be people who dismantle it.”Paula Peters, a member of the national steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “We are here to mourn every human being affected by welfare reform.“We mourn every name. [Each of them] is a person with a story.”Peters asked supporters of the protest and passers-by to sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, which calls for an inquiry into deaths linked to DWP’s failings, and for any evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants and ministers to be passed to police.It also calls on MPs to brand DWP institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for the department to take urgent steps to make the safety of benefit claimants a priority.Peters said that all disabled people should see what was happening at the action and “live in hope” because the “resistance” to the welfare reforms of successive Conservative-led governments was “very much still here”.And she promised those who have lost loved ones that “the quest for justice will never stop”.*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee
Tags:Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Antisemitism / Labour has launched new antisemitism education material developed by the party itself, and Jeremy Corbyn has sent the first resources on anti-racism to all members this afternoon.“Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry,” the email reads. “Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.”The email includes links to an ‘antisemitism minisite‘ and a new five-page document that LabourList understands has been written up by party officials and particularly the leader’s office. Both are titled ‘No Place For Antisemitism’.The website page is comprised of a video from the Labour leader released in August 2018, text from the document (on “understanding” antisemitism, its history, conspiracy theories and Zionism), “helpful links and resources” that include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, an article by Corbyn in the Evening Standard and a Birkbeck university course, plus videos by Momentum.The document specifically cites a number of examples of antisemitic claims, such as: “presenting Israel as controlling the world’s media and finances”, “Israeli responsibility for 9/11 or control of ISIS” and “holding all Jews in the UK and elsewhere responsible for what Israel does”.Earlier this month, PoliticsHome revealed that Labour general secretary Jennie Formby asked both the Jewish Labour Movement and Jewish Leadership Council to endorse the document, but they refused.JLM chair Mike Katz commented: “If they think we are going to mark their overdue homework for them then they have another thing coming.” A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party has sought to consult Jewish community organisations. Jennie Formby sent a draft leaflet to the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community and Security Trust and the Jewish Labour Movement and asked if they wished to share their views, which would have been welcome.”Below is the full text of the email sent to Labour members today.Dear member,The struggle for liberation of all people is never complete and must always be renewed. As a movement, we educate ourselves and each other to better stand in solidarity with and unite all those facing oppression and discrimination.That’s why we are launching education materials for our members and supporters to help them confront bigotry, wherever it arises. Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry. Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.Browse our new antisemitism minisiteRead our new leaflet on antisemitismHatred towards Jewish people is rising in many parts of the world. Our party is not immune from that poison – and we must drive it out from our movement.While other political parties and some of the media exaggerate and distort the scale of the problem in our party, we must face up to the unsettling truth that a small number of Labour members hold antisemitic views and a larger number don’t recognise antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.The evidence is clear enough. The worst cases of antisemitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.So please engage with the materials we are producing, which will be placed on a page on our website, along with other resources, so our movement can be the strongest anti-racist force in our country.I have learned so much, I hope you will too, so that together we can fight these evils.In solidarity,Jeremy CorbynLeader of the Labour Party
DUE to current weather conditions and the anticipated forecast, the London Broncos have had to call off the U20s fixture that was to be played at 12.45pm on Saturday as a curtain raiser to the Stobart Super League match.The fixture will be rearranged and the new date will be communicated as soon as it is confirmed.Phil Jones, Head of Youth Development at the Broncos said: “We’re really disappointed but this is beyond our control. We will reschedule the match for a later date.”This will provide the groundsmen with the appropriate time to prepare the pitch for the Stobart Super League fixture between London Broncos and St Helens.The Super League match is scheduled to go ahead as planned, but if the weather changes, the match commissioner will make a decision at 11am tomorrow morning.Gates to The Stoop will open from 12pm tomorrow.
A LAST gasp drop goal from Paul Sykes saw Saints lose 33-32 at Wakefield.Although Francis Meli grabbed a hat-trick it was the home side’s composure in the final few minutes that handed them a big two points.Two drop goal efforts went awry, but when Saints lost the ball in their own 40 in the last minute Sykes did the rest.Before that the match was not one for the feint-hearted nor the defensive coaches from either side,A pulsating start saw Tony Puletua fire Saints into a four point lead after just 27 seconds before Wakefield turned the match on its head.Lee Smith and Andy Raleigh sandwiched a sole Francis Meli try before Danny Kirmond added a brace.But Saints hit back at the death as Jonny Lomax conspired to put Paul Wellens in for his 19th of the season.Meli tagged on his second 10 minutes into the second half before Wellens did the same.But Lee Smith levelled up matters immediately to leave the game on a knife-edge with less than 16 to go.Kyle Amor nudged the game the home side’s way as the game entered its final stages, before Meli grabbed his hat-trick.But Saints let Wakefield have too much ball in their final third and it was no surprise when the drop goal went over.Saints were depleted heading into the match but as Mike Rush said, if the club is relying on injured players to turn round a performance then Saints have problems.Mark Flanagan came in for only his fifth start of the season but Sia Soliola and Jon Wilkin were both out. Lee Gaskell returned to the bench.Despite those enforced changes Saints couldn’t have asked for a better start.After just 27 seconds the ball was fed to Francis Meli and the big man went 70 yards, through a couple of tacklers and offloaded to Tony Puletua who made no mistake.But Wakefield hit back almost immediately as a dropout was forced and then bettered by Lee Smith.Paul Sykes’ conversion hitting the post and then sneaking over.Then on 14 minutes the home side took the lead – and although fortuitous it was nothing more than they deserved.Tim Smith ran the ball on the last, reversed a neat chip and Andy Raleigh cleaned up after a couple of bounces. Sykes making it 12-4.Saints hit back three minutes later through Meli – his 15th of the season – as he gathered Lomax’ perfect kick.But poor discipline was once again letting the visitors down and Danny Kirmond profited on 29 minutes to extend the advantage.Less than a minute later it got worse as Kirmond popped up for his second after a massive charge down the middle.But with less than six minutes to go Lomax pulled Saints with touching distance with another inside ball to Paul Wellens on his shoulder.Tommy Makinson kicking his first of the afternoon to cut the deficit to eight at half time.That gap almost got wider early in the second half as a high ball was dropped giving the Wildcats a set right on Saints’ line. The defence held firm.Saints then got right back into the match. Jonny Lomax pushed it on the last and fed Andy Dixon who made a superb break.His looping pass found Meli and with everyone stopping expecting a forward pass the winger coolly put down.Makinson tagging on the extras from the touchline.And with 20 minutes to go Saints regained the lead. Jonny Lomax switched the ball to Lee Gaskell who produced a wonderful drop off ball for Wellens’ second of the afternoon.Makinson converted but within seconds Lee Smith had levelled it up from a superb Ali Lauitiiti pass.Kyle Amor drifted through some tired defence with 11 left but not before Meli bagged his hat-trick after an amazing passing sequence involving Lomax, Wellens and Chris Flannery.But, as has been the case over several matches this season, a penalty handed Wakefield the impetus and with great field position Sykes just screwed his drop goal effort to the right.Saints were too far out though to try an effort on their own and after losing the ball in their own 40 they were thankful for Tim Smith’s skewed effort.But the home side made no mistake with 16 seconds to go. Gaskell forced out a ball for no reason and Paul Sykes duly slotted over the one-pointer.It was heart-breaking for the Saints who gave it their all but they lost their shape in the final stages and were made to pay.Match Summary:Wildcats:Tries: Smith L (2), Raleigh, Kirmond (2), AmorGoals: Sykes (4 from 6)Drop Goal: SykesSaints:Tries: Puletua, Meli (3), Wellens (2)Goals: Makinson (4 from 6)Penalties:Wildcats: 8Saints: 5HT: 14-22FT: 32-33REF: Thierry AlibertATT: 7876Teams:Wildcats:1. Richard Mathers; 2. Peter Fox, 27. Danny Cowling, 35. Lee Smith, 5. Ben Cockayne; 34. Paul Sykes, 20. Tim Smith; 15. Kyle Amor, 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 17. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook.Subs: 7. Kyle Wood, 8. Oliver Wilkes, 16. Paul Johnson, 19. Frankie Mariano.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 13. Chris Flannery, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon, 20. Lee Gaskell.
SAINTS have options at ‘seven’ following Matty Smith’s injury with Danny Richardson, Theo Fages and Tommy Lee all likely to be considered.The trio featured on Sunday with Danny getting first taste of first team action in the second half to partner Fages at 7.And Keiron Cunningham says the youngster will get his chance again this week.“Danny did a fine job on Sunday and he will get another shot this week,” he said. “Theo will too alongside a number of different people. We will find something that works but we do have options.“On Sunday a lot of the good things we did revolved around Matty but I think James Roby and Tommy Lee did well as did the front rowers. Ryan Morgan looked like a threat every time he got the ball. We had an allocated game time for each player so he came off a couple of minutes early as a precaution. He will feature this week.“Mark Percival and Jonny Lomax showed good touches and I thought Tommy Makinson looked sharp and direct. If we had gone with our strongest side and rolled 20, 21 players it would have blown out a bit. We had lots of opportunities but now we have to polish up our execution.”Saints take on Castleford this Sunday with Cunningham reducing the size of his squad to around 22.But one player who won’t feature is Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who is continuing to recover from a hip operation.“Louie won’t be in the reckoning for a little while,” KC added. “Dominique Peyroux and Morgan Knowles have run in the second row in pre-season and he is behind those boys. I would be doing Dom and Morgan an injustice if I slotted Louie back in when he is fit.“He has to earn his stripes to come back into the starting 17. Dependant on the fitness of the side, he would be earmarked for round 2.“We will face a different side in Castleford his week. They will be stronger. Widnes weren’t that far off but Daryl (Powell) will reduce his squad and it will be a good benchmark for us. We’re looking for improvement on what we did on Sunday.”Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office, online and by calling 01744 455 052.They are priced at: Adult Adult Member Conc Conc Member Junior Junior Member Young Adult Young Adult Member West & East Terrace £12£10£10£8£6£5£10£8North & South Seats £14£12£12£10£6£5£12£10Tickets will revert to non-member pricing on Matchday – there will be no member prices available.To secure your spot you can call into the Ticket Office, telephone 01744 455 052 or log on here.