Osborne faces U-turn over disability cuts, and Zac Goldsmith is dropped as patron of disability charity over support for policy


Goldsmith shoots himself in the foot

George Osborne’s Budget, which cuts £1bn from disability benefits as part of his deficit reduction plan, has already hit the rocks.

One Tory MP has already said there is “zero chance” of the cuts going through the Commons, and it seems an immediate U-turn is on the cards.

Speaking to the BBC, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has already begun the painful process of turning the stricken ship around. She described Osborne’s Budget plans for disability benefits as “a suggestion”.

But the row has already claimed a high-profile casualty. The Conservative Party’s mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith has already been dropped as a patron of his local disability charity over his support for Osborne’s disability cuts.

Richmond AID provides support for disabled people living in Goldsmith’s constituency.

The charity’s chief executive Lucy Byrne said: “We are shocked and disappointed to find that both our local MPs here in the borough of Richmond voted for this cut, one of whom is patron of our organisation.

“Having voted for this brutal cut we believe that Zac Goldsmiths’ position as patron is no longer tenable.”

As it looks like the plans will now be abandoned by the government, Goldsmith may have shot himself in the foot needlessly, the end result only serving to disable his mayoral ambitions.