A Tory candidate has been filmed telling a hustings event that people with learning disabilities should be paid less than minimum wage as ‘they don’t understand money’.
Sally-Ann Hart, the Conservative candidate for Hastings and Rye, was met with jeers and boos by a horrified audience as she defended sharing an article that suggested paying disabled people less.
She was asked by a member of the audience to defend sharing the article on her Facebook page.
Ms Hart, who is also a councillor for Rother District Council, said: ‘They should be given the opportunity to work because it’s to do with the happiness they have about working.’
As the audience shouted ‘shameful’ and ‘they deserve a salary’, she responded: ‘Some people with learning disabilities, they don’t understand about money.’
During her response she repeated: ‘It’s about the happiness to work.’
She added: ‘It’s about having a therapeutic exemption and the article was in support of employing people with learning disabilities, that is what it was.’
A member of the audience was heard shouting: ‘I’m autistic, and I want to get paid for the work I do’ while another man shouted ‘how patronising, how dare you’.
It is understood the article being referred to was published by The Spectator in 2017 and written by Rosa Monckton, whose daughter has Downs Syndrome.
She founded a charity, Team Domenica, calling for a ‘therapeutic exemption’ to the minimum wage, to help people with learning disabilities find and maintain work.
A video of the hustings has been shared widely on Twitter by people criticising Ms Hart’s comments.
Ms Hart and the Conservative Party are yet to comment.
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