A Tory candidate in a marginal seat just gave everyone a massive reason not to vote for her

Sally-Ann Hart
Tracy Keeling

Sally-Ann Hart is the Conservative candidate for Amber Rudd’s former seat of Hastings and Rye. During a recent hustings, however, the candidate gave people a massive reason not to vote for her. Given she’s vying for a seat the Conservatives won by just 346 votes in 2017, it’s the last thing the party needs.

Less money, be happy

An attendee asked Hart about an article she shared on Facebook:

The article concerned pay for disabled people, seemingly arguing that they could work for less than the minimum wage. The attendee asked Hart whether she “would care to defend that?”. She replied:

Did you read the article?. … It was about people with learning difficulties, about them being given the opportunity to work because it’s to do with the happiness they have about working.

But the idea that the “happiness” disabled people get from work could allow for financial discrimination against them provoked ire from the crowd. Nonetheless, she doubled down, saying:

Some people with learning disabilities, they don’t understand about money.

This idea met with the same dismay from the people listening. They clearly thought it wasn’t okay to exploit any lack of ‘understanding’ some disabled people may have of money by paying them less.

Hart went on to argue that “it is about having a therapeutic exemption”. This led the Metro to conclude she was referring to a 2017 article from the Spectator where a mother of a girl with Down’s Syndrome made a similar case. In contrast, during the hustings, one man shouted out:

I’m autistic, I want to get fucking paid for what I do.

Keeping company

Hart is by no means the only Tory candidate to face criticism for their opinions during this campaign. Lee Anderson, who is the Conservative hopeful in the marginal seat of Ashfield, came under fire in November after calling for forced labour camps.

Meanwhile, a number of candidates are effectively ignoring their constituents by not turning up to hustings. In fact, Hart didn’t show up for an earlier hustings on the climate crisis. Boris Johnson is among the others who’ve failed to let people confront them on their proposals:

No wonder Johnson is now worried his party could lose this election. That’s what happens when parties treat voters with total contempt.

Featured image via Hastings and Rye Labour Party/Facebook

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