Theresa May stung by shock encounter with real person

Written by David Singleton on 15 May 2017 in Diary
Diary

Watch: The PM was told that 'the fat cats keep the money and us lot get nothing!'

After almost a month of general election campaigning, Theresa May has come face-to-face with her first angry voter.

The prime minister stands accused of doing her best avoid to ‘real people’ in the campaign so far.  But in Oxfordshire today there was no avoiding a voter called Cathy who spotted the prime minister walking around her local market.

Cathy wanted to know if prime minister was going to help people learning difficulties. But May responded by trying to talk about mental health.

The prime minister was then interrupted and told to her face: "The fat cats keep the money and us lot get nothing!"

 

 

 

 

Cathy said she was angry about the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

She said: "Do you know what I want? I want my Disability Living Allowance to come back. Not have PIPs and get nothing.

"I can’t live on £100 a month. They took it all away from me."

In response to that, May tried again to say that she was giving mental health more priority – prompting another tongue-lashing.

The DLA benefit was abolished by the Tories and replaced by PIPs, leading to a wave of criticism from campaigners who say they are less generous.

With today’s encounter, May becomes the second party leader to encounter an angry voter in the 2017 general election.

Earlier this month, Tim Farron had to deal with an aggressive Brexit voter who claimed the Lib Dem leader was “running Britain down”.

In recent years, general election campaigns have become increasingly tightly controlled, with party bosses keen to avoid episodes such as Gordon Brown’s encounter with Gillian Duffy in 2010 and Tony Blair’s haranguing by Sharron Storer in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images.

 

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