Iain Duncan-Smith should not receive a Knighthood

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Mona Kamal
Mona Kamal signed this petition

This petition objects to the Knighthood of Iain Duncan Smith.

During his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith was responsible for some of the cruellest most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen. Under his stewardship of the Department of Work and Pensions the UK became the first country to face a United Nations enquiry into human rights abuses against disabled people – an investigation which later confirmed that our government had been guilty of “grave and systemic violations of the rights of disabled people”.

The suffering and impoverishment which are a direct result of the welfare reforms he has implemented are now undeniable. The callous and humiliating Work Capability Assessments where people with chronic disability are required to continuously prove they are deserving of their welfare payments or else be stripped of their entitlements have caused needless stress and misery. They have also been directly associated with relapses of depression and anxiety in patients with chronic mental illness. They have even been linked to excess deaths through suicide.

As a NHS psychiatrist I have had the experience of being sat in A&E departments with people diagnosed with chronic mental illness who have been driven to panic attacks, acute relapses of their depressive illness and to suicidal ideation as a result of the anxiety caused by these tests and over the prospect of losing the welfare payments they and caters rely on. This has only intensified with the chaos and uncertainty of Universal Credit a system known to be causing hardship to millions and for which Iain Duncan-Smith is again culpable.

Over the past decade of austerity, very little has demonstrated the callousness and incompetence of this Tory government than their treatment of people with disabilities and mental illness. There is no place for these cruel dehumanising measures in any civilised compassionate society, and the fact that Iain Duncan Smith the individual responsible and the architect of such misery, is to receive the honour of a knighthood is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals across this country who are suffering as a result of his policies and to those who have tragically lost loved ones as a direct result. He must not be knighted.