Why disabled people will be forced to stay in burning high-rises

‘Grenfell is a story about a failed evacuation.’ These are the words of Professor Ed Galea, an internationally respected expert in fire safety and evacuations who, among other things, wrote a pivotal study into the attempted evacuation of the World Trade Centre on 9/11. But this is something the British state, and particularly the Home Office, appears utterly unable to accept. For decades, this country has relied on telling residents in burning tower blocks to ‘stay put’. This has been baked into the way we build our high rises: we require walls, floors and ceilings to effectively break the building up into a series of small, fire resisting boxes. This

Does a man have a right to pay for sex?

A case heard in the Court of Appeal today will decide whether or not carers should be expected to indulge in a spot of light pimping should their disabled client decide he requires the ‘services’ of a prostituted person. This April, Justice Hayden ruled that a care worker who assisted C, a learning-disabled man, to secure the ‘services’ of a prostitute had not committed a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The Secretary of State for Justice was granted permission to appeal, and there was also an intervention in the case from the Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ) as well as Women at the Well and the NIA

Will Northern Ireland end discriminatory abortions?

There are two contemporary preoccupations that are effectively at odds in the abortion laws of Britain and Northern Ireland. One principle is that a woman’s right to have an abortion must always be accommodated and celebrated. The other is that the diversity we are also expected to celebrate includes disability. Unfortunately, the first trumps the second when it comes to the abortion laws of Britain, which were extended to Northern Ireland behind the backs of its elected representatives in 2019, when the Northern Ireland Assembly wasn’t functioning. As a result, in Northern Ireland as in Britain, it is legal to kill a foetus right up to birth if it –