Disabled girl's mum takes on British PM

20th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron came under fire Thursday from a mother who said on an Internet forum that she had to put her severely disabled daughter into care because of government cuts.

Riven Vincent, whose daughter Celyn is blind, quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, accused Cameron of reneging on a pledge he made before May's elections when he visited her family near Bristol, southwest England.

She wrote Wednesday on Mumsnet, a popular Internet forum for parents, that she has asked social services to take her daughter into care because they had refused extra respite assistance, adding: "I can't cope."

In a statement quoted by the BBC, Vincent said that putting her daughter into social care was the "last thing we want for her but we just can't see any other option."

"Caring for my daughter is relentless. She needs someone 24 hours a day. Caring takes over your whole life," she added.

"I had hoped that after David Cameron came to visit me earlier this year following our exchange on Mumsnet, he would have done more to protect families like ours."

A spokesman for Cameron -- whose eldest son Ivan had cerebral palsy and died in 2009 at the age of six -- said he was "very concerned" and had written to the Vincent family.

"The prime minister is very concerned at what he's heard. He's writing to Riven Vincent and in conjunction he's also asked her local MP (member of parliament) for all the details of the case urgently," the spokesman said.

"He's also asking the MP to speak to the local council to make sure that she's receiving all that she's entitled to."

Cameron made a private visit to the family after Celyn's mother spoke to the prime minister during an online Mumsnet discussion.

The governing coalition led by Cameron's centre-right Conservative party has introduced harsh austerity measures, including cuts to local authorities and social services, in a bid to cut Britain's huge deficit.

© 2011 AFP

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