Andy Burnham. MP Labour Party

“It is clear to me that the spending cuts of recent years have hit disabled people the hardest. Alongside the direct impact, some politicians have actively sought to stigmatise people receiving benefits.

The combined effort of this onslaught has had a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of many disabled people. But, there are signs of hope amidst the gloom.

The strong public support that forced a U-turn on cuts to benefits earlier this year should give people hope that society has not become less caring. And, the recent climb down on Work Capability Assessment suggests things are moving back in the right direction.

There is much more we need to do to challenge the Government to ensure disabled people are supported in living a full, active and independent life, building on the progress of recent months.

But I have hope for the future, particularly when I see a younger generation who have much more positive views on disability than any which came before them.”