A disabled dad suffered unfair discrimination when he was made homeless because a landlord did not accept people who receive state benefits.
The ‘no benefits’ rule meant Stephen Tyler was banned from viewing properties advertised by a Birmingham estate agent, purely on the grounds of receiving housing benefit.
Mr Tyler, 29, had been involved in a road accident in 2016. He was made homeless because of the estate agent’s “no benefits” rule.
Birmingham County Court ruled that the estate agent had breached the Equality Act because the rule disproportionally affects disabled people, who are more likely to need some support with paying their rent.
Judge Mary Stacey ruled that: “There is no doubt that there was a blanket policy that no one in receipt of housing benefit would be considered for the three properties. It put the claimant and other disabled people at a particular disadvantage when compared to others.
“To be told simply, because of his benefit status, that he could not apply for three properties which were perfectly located for his children’s school, his GP and health needs, and extended family support, […] would be distressing.
But “no benefits” discrimination is still going on (sometimes it is called “no DSS”, in reference to the former government department responsible for benefits.
This case was brought with help from homelessness charity Shelter, which has vowed to keep campaigning until the discrimination is completely stamped out.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if Theresa May had been able to provide a statement on the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings that we all could believe?
Undoubtedly many people will have swallowed the prime minister’s statement, naming suspects who allegedly work as Russian secret agents – but it seems many do not.
Personally, I think the problem is that there are too many inconsistencies in a story that has changed too many times – and people know this. I was going to write an analysis of these inconsistencies myself – but why not turn it over to the public instead?
What better way to make the point?
The following is part of Hansard’s transcript of Mrs May’s statement to the Commons yesterday, with accompanying comments by members of the public (and a couple from more well-known names) debunking it. I’m only going to cover the evidence provided to support her conclusion, not what she proposes to do, having made it. Let’s begin:
With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on the investigation into the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the subsequent poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley earlier this year. This was a sickening and despicable act in which a devastatingly toxic nerve agent, known as Novichok, was used to attack our country. It left four people fighting for their lives and one innocent woman dead.
Fact – A weapons-grade nerve agent is so strong that a person dies immediately or within a few minutes. (Shaka, Twitter)
Forensic investigation has now produced sufficient evidence for the independent Director of Public Prosecutions to bring charges against two Russian nationals for the conspiracy to murder Sergei Skripal; the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey; the use and possession of Novichok; and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Yulia Skripal and Nick Bailey. This morning, the police set out how the two Russian nationals travelled under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, names the police believe to be aliases. They arrived at Gatwick airport at 3 pm on Friday 2 March, having flown from Moscow on flight SU2588.
Daniel Sandford asked a very good question at the press conference this morning. What kind of visas did the two Russian suspects travel to Britain on? The police officer said he didn’t know. But how were the men identified?’ (Neil Clark, Twitter)
[There is also the issue of the photographs that were released by the Met Police, showing the two suspects walking through the entry channel at Gatwick, being ‘doctored’. They show both men walking through the same corridor – at exactly the same time. See Craig Murray’s article for more details including his explanation of why it is unlikely they were walking through different but identical corridors at the same second.]
They travelled by train to London Victoria, then on to Waterloo before going to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, east London. They stayed there on both Friday and Saturday evenings, and traces of Novichok were found in their hotel room.
I think she blew it when she said today in PMQT that traces of Novichok were found in the hotel room that they stayed in in London! (Kristina Ramsden, Facebook)
So why don’t we have dead guests who used the room after or dead cleaners?! This stinks IMO. (Vine Hill, Facebook)
On Saturday 3 March, they visited Salisbury, arriving at approximately 2.25 pm and leaving less than two hours later, at 4.10 pm. The police are confident this was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area. On Sunday 4 March, they made the same journey, travelling by underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05 am, before continuing by train to Salisbury.
The police have today released CCTV footage of the two men
Interesting they’re here for under 3 days but wear diff shoes, hats, one has 2 jkts according to cctv. (Julia Jay, Twitter)
which clearly places them in the immediate vicinity of the Skripals’ house at 11.58 am, which the police say was moments before the attack.
If those two were poisoned at home and then went to a restaurant ate food passed money over staff would of served them and handled their cuttelry and pots and there would of been other diners and yet nothing no sickness nothing but the police man who found them on the park bench nearly died? (Janet Healy, Facebook)
This police reports implies both Skripals did get poisoned around 13:00 with their home single doorknob, and then got their first yet critical symptoms at exactly the same time 16:15 (+/- 2 min). This cannot be physiologically possible. Those are not the guys who hit Skripals. (Mat4Rou, Twitter)
They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo, arriving at approximately 4.45 pm and boarded the underground at approximately 6.30 pm to Heathrow, from where they returned to Moscow on flight SU2585, departing at 10.30 pm.
This hard evidence has enabled the independent Crown Prosecution Service to conclude it has a sufficient basis on which to bring charges against these two men for the attack in Salisbury. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, too. There is no other line of inquiry beyond this. The police have today formally linked the attack on the Skripals and the events in Amesbury such that it now forms one investigation.
If they were hit men they’d have surely killed. Its thrown up more unanswered questions. (Sharon, Twitter)
Our own analysis, together with yesterday’s report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has confirmed that the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in both cases.
Well it was surpose to be a gel on the front door but it’s a perfume bottle spray for the other 2 you can’t spray gel out of a perfume bottle. (Tiddles Denise Mclean, Facebook)
How can two samples of a toxin taken a couple of months apart be 100% identified as being the one and same used in both incidents? I ask this as the Government themselves claimed at the time that whilst being a very dangerous toxin its rate of degrading would pose no threat within hours to others. Stinks of a security services cover up again to give credence to the original attack claims. (Mark Bennett, Facebook)
With such purported evidence-based certainty, it does make you wonder why Boris Johnson deemed it necessary to make inaccurate statements about Porton Down scientists’ reports which destroyed his government’s credibility in the first instance. (Samson, Twitter)
There is no evidence to suggest that Dawn and Charlie may have been deliberately targeted, but rather they were victims of the reckless disposal of this agent.
Polis combed that park at the time, then after everyone had given up roasting their bullshit a couple a patsy junkies turn up with a bottle of Novichock they happened upon in the park. Totally legit sounding! (Botty McBotface, Twitter)
Yep, we have to believe the bottle carrying the chemical lay for several months in a street bin that was never emptied. (GerryBoyce, Twitter)
The police have today released further details of the small glass counterfeit perfume bottle and box discovered in Charlie Rowley’s house which was found to contain this nerve agent.
They say they found the bottle on a kitchen table, yet Charlie told his brother the bottle splintered in his hand. (Norma Ballingall, Facebook)
How can the police search the house on 10th July – and then find a bottle on a kitchen worktop on 11th July… “Well, I didn’t see that…” (Liam Hennesce, Twitter)
Particularly when what they were searching for was a small bottle of liquid. (Craig Murray, Twitter)
The manner in which the bottle was modified leaves no doubt it was a cover for smuggling the weapon into the country and for the delivery method for the attack against the Skripals’ front door.
Were they in full protective gear when the smeared the front door and if not why are they not dead? (Patrick Mahony, Facebook)
The police investigation into the poisoning of Dawn and Charlie is ongoing, and the police are today appealing for further information. But were these two suspects within our jurisdiction there would be a clear basis in law for their arrest for murder.
I can today tell the House that, based on a body of intelligence, the Government have concluded that the two individuals named by the police and CPS are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.
Having read the official release stating doubt that the names used were their real names, then the belief they are linked to the GRU seems to be lacking evidence. (John Beilby, Facebook)
I did a search of their names, apart from a Russian Actor and a sportsman, nothing, that is after I scrolled past a million me too news articles, but…. I did find several links to Gay Porn actors with said names en route. (Mark Savai, Facebook)
What conclusion does the public draw? This:
Two TOP Russian operatives whose faces we know, but not their names, Failed to kill the target, contaminated their hotel room, and disposed of the bottle casually. My sources say they had a hand in planning 9/11. (SpoilPartyGames, Twitter)
Aaand these highly trained TOP “Russian agents” go about losing “novichok” everywhere, from door handles to bushes in a bottle and hotel rooms. That they’re alive at all is supposedly testimony to their expert handling. (Entelekheia, Twitter)
Now you know what other members of the public think.
Contaminated: Investigators examine the park bench in Salisbury where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found after they were poisoned.
Without further information to corroborate this, it is just a wild claim – but still enough to create another doubt about the UK government’s story.
If a Swiss laboratory really did find that BZ was used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal, I would like to know how it got hold of the samples, how it knew they were authentic, and what authority it had to test them.
The claim is still hugely damaging for the UK government’s position because – unlike that of Theresa May and her ministers – it does not contradict anything else the Russians have suggested; they have always denied having any part in the poisoning and this is their first theory about the nature of the toxin.
Of course the UK government and the media will try to rubbish the claim.
But with no credible story of their own, who are we to believe?
Russia claims the substance used to poison double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was an agent called BZ that has been used by Nato states including the UK and US.
It was the Kremlin’s latest denial that the pair were targeted with a Novichok nerve agent developed by the Soviet military and latest attempt to discredit the findings of independent chemical weapons experts.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claims a Swiss lab found that a BZ agent was used against the Skripals.
He said the toxin was never produced in Russia, but was “in service” in the UK, US and other Nato states, state media reported.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found that “high purity” Novichok was used in the attempted murder.
Boris Johnson: Nothing to say. Is that better than talking nonsense?
The mainstream news is reporting that the UK government is denying access to Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, even to members of their family – and also that Boris Johnson is refusing requests for a meeting with the Russian ambassador.
Some may be angered by the denial of access to Skripal family members. I am not one of those people.
This is a highly-charged moment between the UK and Russia. It would be unreasonable to believe the Russian government is not putting pressure on Skripal family members within its influence – such as cousin Viktoria – to exert similar pressure on Sergei and Yulia to act in the interests of that country. Pressure of a sinister nature, that is.
Rather than allow this to happen, possibly endangering more members of the Skripal family, it would be better to deny them access, thereby making it impossible for the Russian government to blame them for failing to persuade (coerce) their family members into doing and saying what Russia wants.
Boris Johnson’s reason for refusing to meet the Russian ambassador is obvious, of course: He has nothing to say.
All the UK’s claims about Russian involvement in the Salisbury poisonings have collapsed as evidence has mounted up against them.
If Mr Johnson were to meet the Russian ambassador, he would have nothing to say but “sorry”.
And Boris Johnson is far too arrogant ever to say that to Johnny Foreigner. He’s a racist, remember?
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