BBC News’ Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith, gets told to STOP broadcasting live during disability protest at the House Of Commons | 23rd March 2016 DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)
Dozens of people protesting against disability benefit cuts have occupied the central lobby in parliament, chanting “Cameron killer” and “no more deaths from benefit cuts”.
Black Rod, the official with responsibility for the parliamentary estates and security, ordered reporters not to take or tweet photos of the protests. Under parliamentary rules, only authorised photography is allowed.
The BBC’s Norman Smith, who has permission to broadcast from the central lobby, was ordered by the authorities to stop filming mid-broadcast.
The protesters from WinVisible, Disabled People Against the Cuts and other groups said they were lobbying MPs to scrap cuts to the employment and support allowance and to ensure the proposed budget changes to the personal independence payment would not be introduced.
Holding a banner reading “Is this really how to treat disabled people?”, they shouted slogans at passing MPs, while a line of police blocked the entrance to the House of Commons chamber.
The Green MP, Caroline Lucas, disobeyed the rules to tweet pictures of the protest, including a selfie with one of the organisers.
“Congrats to disability campaigners for protest currently taking place in central lobby – their voices must be heard,” she wrote.
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Claire Glasman, of WinVisible, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, said: “We are lobbying MPs to make sure the budget cuts to PIP do not go ahead and ask them to reverse the cuts to other ones. People are suicidal.”
Paula Peters, of Disabled People Against the Cuts, said the group wanted “an apology from George Osborne for the deaths of disabled people” and accused the government of having “blood on its hands”.
“We want our full rights restored, we can’t take any more,” she said.
The protest ended peacefully just after 1pm, with the campaigners singing “Osborne out” and “we’ll be back”, accompanied by someone on a harmonica.