By a Newsnet reporter
Jeremy Hunt, recently promoted from the post of Culture Secretary to being in charge of the NHS in England, has become the fourth senior Conservative to be booed at the Paralympics. Mr Hunt was jeered and booed by the crowd as he presented medals to the winners of the women’s hand-cycling road race.
On Wednesday Home Secretary Theresa May was met with loud booing as she presented the medals for the men’s T20 1500m at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in East London. And on Monday Chancellor George Osborne encountered persistent booing and jeering as he presented the men’s T38 400m medals at the same venue.
Initially Mr Osborne attempted to laugh off the hostile reception, but as the booing continued the Chancellor grew visibly angered and embarrassed.
When David Cameron presented British swimming champion Ellie Simmonds with her gold medal for the 200m medley, some members of the crowd booed the Prime Minister, but on that occasion the boos and jeers were almost inaudible over the cheers for the popular Ms Simmonds.
Disability groups and campaigners have been angered by the Coalition Government’s proposed changes to benefits payments for disabled people. Disability campaigners claim that as many as 500,000 people, or 18.5% of those in receipt of disability benefits, may lose their entitlement to the benefit as a result of the Government’s changes.
The Government claims that the changes are necessary to clamp down on benefits fraud, but disability campaigners point out that UK Government figures estimate that just 0.7% of claims are fraudulent.