The Daily Mail is carrying a story, last updated at 12:08 am today (11th October 2011) which states that “Iain Duncan Smith has ordered a crackdown on thousands of families with youngsters diagnosed with ‘naughty child syndrome’ who get new cars paid for by the state.” Since this article targets people with ADHD and it is inflammatory, AADD-UK has written to the Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith seeking clarification as follows:
Dear Mr Duncan Smith,
The Daily Mail, yesterday Monday 10th October 2011, reported in their article titled “Parent of a child with ADHD? Have a free car under £1.5bn taxpayer-funded scheme” that you “ordered a crackdown on thousands of families with youngsters diagnosed with ‘naughty child syndrome’ who get new cars paid for by the state” and also that you were “enraged to be told initially by [your] department that there were no precise numbers on how many people with the condition received free cars.”
The complete article can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046924/Parent-child-ADHD-Have-free-car-1-5bn-taxpayer-funded-scheme.html
Since we have not yet been able to find where you have publicly attacked people with ADHD and their families in the past, we are wondering if your position is being reported accurately by the Daily Mail. If you have not been accurately represented by the Daily Mail, then please let us know and we will report this article to the Press Complaints Commission.
If however, the Daily Mail’s account is accurate, we would like to remind you that since ADHD has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities it is therefore a real disability and a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Targeting people with a protected characteristic could potentially place yourself and your department in breach of the Equality Act, and in the event that the Daily Mail’s account is accurate, we will be seeking advice about this.
I look forward to hearing from you and to receiving clarification.
We’ll let you know what happens!