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Why I heckled Boris Johnson in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:12 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 27 November 2019

Prime minister Boris Johnson was heckled by Marilyn Heath on his visit to the Aviation Academy on Tuesday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY/Marilyn Heath

Prime minister Boris Johnson was heckled by Marilyn Heath on his visit to the Aviation Academy on Tuesday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY/Marilyn Heath

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A mother who heckled Boris Johnson on his visit to Norwich's aviation academy said she felt she had no choice because of the way disabled people have been treated by the council.

Prime minister Boris Johnson visits the Aviation Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrime minister Boris Johnson visits the Aviation Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Marilyn Heath, from Horstead, shouted "what about disabled people?" at the prime minister as he entered the building on Tuesday afternoon.

"When I saw him I felt cross that nobody has addressed working age disabled people in their manifestos," she said afterwards.

"I have been trying to speak to our MPs for months about this."

As Mr Johnson walked away from her she shouted: "They never talk to us", but as she was leaving the academy one of Mr Johnson's aides asked her to a meeting with the prime minister, Norwich North Conservative candidate Chloe Smith and county council leader Andrew Proctor.

Prime minister Boris Johnson visits the Aviation Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPrime minister Boris Johnson visits the Aviation Academy in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I told him (Mr Johnson) about the effects on disabled people and their carers," she said.

"He said he could understand why I did what I did and that he'd be talking to the council to try to get the minimum income guarantee decision reversed."

The 67-year old said she had been waiting two hours to see him and wanted to raise the case of her daughter and hundreds of other disabled people in the county who had seen their care charges increase.

Earlier this year the county council reduced the minimum income guarantee, which means disabled people aged between 18 and 64 have to pay more money for their care.

In response campaigners, including Mrs Heath, formed the Disability Network Norfolk Group.

They said the changes would mean disabled people could lose their homes and become far more isolated.

Mrs Heath's daughter Sara, 23, who has severe learning difficulties, has seen her care contributions go from nothing to £31 a week and next year they will double.

The reform saves the council £4m and the council has said it brings it into line with other local authorities.

In October council leader Andrew Proctor said: "We held the minimum income guarantee above the Government's rate for as long as we could but, faced with continued pressures on adult social care budgets, we've had to move to the Government level used by most other county councils."

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