UK

Budget 2016: Graeme Ellis, Tory Disability Campaigner, Takes Down Own Website Over Cuts

Activist says Osborne's cuts are 'robbing the vulnerable to pay the rich'.

17/03/2016 09:26 GMT | Updated 17/03/2016 10:17 GMT

A Conservative disability activist has quit and shut down a party website over cuts in the Budget that he said were "destroying lives".

Graeme Ellis, who uses a wheelchair, sabotaged the Conservative Disability Group website after George Osborne gave tax breaks to the rich but cut disability benefits by £30 a week.

A statement on the site read: "This website is temporarily closed owing to Disability Cuts".

Conservative Disability Group
The Tory group's website on Wednesday

The Mirror reported that Ellis was "disgusted" by Osborne's plans to slash personal independence payments (PIP) in the 2016 Budget, which he announced on Wednesday.

The campaigner, who runs the group's website and has voted Tory for four decades, says he will no longer manage or host the site. 

Ellis told BBC Newsnight that removing disability benefits from 200,000 people and lowering the eligibility of others was a case of "robbing the vulnerable to pay the rich".

"I would like to say to [George Osborne] - does he realise how he's destroying lives?," he told The Mirror.

"I've had distraught clients on the phone today. I've had people in tears worrying about the future.

BBC Newsnight
Mr Ellis reportedly voted Tory for 40 years but has quit the party

"How can I morally represent clients when I remain in an organisation that's doing these cuts?"

PIP payments are given to disabled people who need support from others for domestic tasks like going to the toilet.

"I'm just an ordinary citizen but I feel as though I want to lead a campaign over this," Ellis said.

"I'm a disabled person and I'm involved in politics. I decided being a disabled person comes first."

The 58-year-old has handed in his Conservative membership according to the Daily Mail.