|The Rt Hon Liam Byrne, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions|
The meeting has been arranged by Jon Cruddas (ACT NOW’s Patron) and Jonathan Rutherford. The meeting will be carried out under Chatham House rules which we have been told will allow for an open discussion and will ensure trust.
Jonathan has asked us to e-mail 3/4 key points that we would like to discuss on the day. The meeting will last for an hour and a half. It is important that we make as big an impact as possible on the Labour Shadow Team in that short space of time.
For anyone who is not familiar with Chatham House rules here is an outline of what taking part in a discussion while this rule is in place means.
"When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed".
While this may appear to be restricting it is the way that Ministers and MPs are used to holding meetings. It is possible to report what has taken place at the meeting but not possible to say who said what. ACT NOW's Campaign Manager Carole has personally attended meetings that have taken place under the Chatham House rule on a number of occasions and felt that she was still able to give comprehensive feedback to her own group Autism-in-Mind after the meeting.
We believe it is important to have someone sitting round the meeting table who has a knowledge and understanding of autism who can express their concerns about the Welfare Reform Bill and how it is directly impacting on the lives of adults with autism.
It is vitally important that the Labour Party not only voice their opposition to the Welfare Reform Bill but also rethink their own policy regarding the WCA. It was after all the Labour Party who brought in this assessment.