Tory Deputy Chairman James Cleverly MP has told Radio 5 that the currently vacant post of Disabilities Minister is unlikely to be filled until the Brexit debacle is finally sorted out.
Sarah Newton MP resigned the position last month over differences in the ongoing Brexit debate and the role has remained vacant ever since, much to the anger of charities and disabled people’s organisations.
There are currently over a dozen vacant senior and minor ministerial positions, with Radio 5’s Emma Barnett saying this is evidence of a non-functioning Government.
The Disabilitity Benefits Consortium, a national coalition of over 80 different charities and other organisations committed to working towards a fair benefits system, said there is “growing concern” that the Disabilities Minister role has yet to be filled.
“Conservative Vice-Chair James Cleverly has stated that former Disability Minister Sarah Newton will not be replaced until the “very difficult and turbulent” Brexit process has been resolved”, a spoesperson said.
“There has been growing concern at the delay (now almost three weeks) in filling this important Ministerial vacancy.
“With the Universal Credit roll-out constantly generating problems and ongoing issues around various disability benefit assessments and decision-making, now is not the time for a missing Minister.
“The Disability Benefits Consortium fully supports the growing number of disability organisations that are calling for this crucial position to be filled as soon as possible.”