THE UK Government has shown “blatant disregard” by axing the dedicated ministerial role for disabled people, the SNP have said.

It comes after Downing Street publicly confirmed that the minister for disabled people role would be scrapped, one week after The National reported that it had been quietly ditched.

James Taylor, the director of strategy with disability charity Scope, told this paper it was “the longest gap without a minister for disabled people in the last 30 years”.

The position within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had been filled by Tory MP Tom Pursglove since Rishi Sunak took power.

However, Pursglove was moved over to the Home Office to be the “minister for legal migration” after Robert Jenrick’s resignation forced a mini-reshuffle on December 7.

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No replacement for the DWP role was announced, and on December 14 the UK Government said that an “existing minister [will be] taking on the brief”.

Later on December 14, the UK Government U-turned and announced that Mims Davies would become the next Minister for Disabled People.

Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray took aim at the UK Government over the move, highlighting that they have appointed a “minister for common sense” in Esther McVey, who was handed that position in November.

In recent days, the UK Government has also appointed Conservative MPs to roles including trade envoys to Pakistan, Morocco, and Mexico, and a new “anti-fraud champion”.

SNP MP Marion Fellows (below) said the scrapping of Pursglove’s former role showed that disabled people were “clearly no priority” for the UK Government.

The National:

“Whether they’ve been punished by the austerity agenda, sanctions regime, cruel work capability assessments, or through the lack of any meaningful cost of living support, disabled people are clearly no priority for this UK Government,” she said. “Scrapping the role of minister for disabled people shows that.

"To scrap the role after thirteen years of austerity shows a blatant disregard to those who have struggled the most under this UK Government, and a complete abdication of responsibility in assisting disabled people to live better lives.

“Worse, it shows the Tories are satisfied with the horrifying way they have treated disabled people.”

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Labour MP Neil Coyle also called out the Tory government’s priorities. He said: “[The Prime Minister] has spent £300 million sending no one to Rwanda but can’t find a single person to be minister for disabled people.

“What a shabby mess Sunak is overseeing.”

Last week, a report from Westminster’s Home Affairs Committee concluded that the UK Government had also been prioritising issues like small boat crossings “at the expense of tackling human trafficking”.

Lyn Pornaro, the chief executive officer of Disability Equality Scotland, told The National: “Disabled people have been discriminated against by the UK Government for too long, and with their focus now being on migration – against some of the world’s most vulnerable and traumatised individuals – we are wondering where is the UK Government’s duty to all disabled people in the UK?

“Do disabled people deserve some compassion and who – specifically – in the government is fighting to hear our voices and then share them? Right now, it doesn’t appear that the UK Government cares.”

Stephen Kingdom, campaign manager for the Disabled Children’s Partnership, said: “The decision not to appoint a minister shows the attitude of Government to disabled people, including disabled children, who are amongst the most vulnerable in society and who need a voice in Government and in the heart of policy making.”