Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames has been branded ‘extremely unprofessional’ by a chronically ill woman after he blocked her on Twitter.
Kerryn Groves, from Lindfield, sent a tweet to the MP criticising the government’s decision to cut disabled people’s benefits earlier this month.
In response, Sir Nicholas blocked her from contacting or following him on the social media platform.
She said: “After seeing my local MP, Nicholas Soames, had voted for these cuts, I tweeted him that I was ‘disgusted but not surprised that he had voted in favour and that they were targeting the most vulnerable in society’.
“It was then that he blocked me from his twitter feed, as he does to anyone who disagrees with his political viewpoint.
“Being a representative of us in government, he and other MPs should be answerable to their constituents and I felt this was an extremely unprofessional reaction.”
Ms Groves, 38, has suffered from ME and Fibromyalgia - conditions which cause muscle pain with intense physical and mental exhaustion - for 14 years.
MPs voted to cut Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 a week, reducing the weekly benefit from £103 to £73.
The decision has proved controversial, with Conservative Mayor of London candidate Zac Goldsmith dropped as patron of disability charity Richmond AID for supporting the cuts.
Ms Groves said: “These current cuts to disability benefits are inhumane and cruel and feel like discrimination for being unintentionally ill, injured or disabled.
“The majority of people having no choice but to live on these benefits don’t expect to be living a life of luxury at the taxpayer’s expense, but they should be enough to allow people to afford bills and normal living costs.”
Sir Nicholas has invited constituents to write to him or book an appointment to meet with him, but described his Twitter account as ‘a matter for me’.
He said: “Who I have on my Twitter account is not a matter for anyone else, it is a matter for me. “If she is serious about wanting to engage with me, she needs to write to me at the House of Commons.
“The serious ones have all written to me and asked to come and see me, and they are welcome to do so.”
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