Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, has offered a “full and unreserved apology” after Ed Miliband revealed that he told a fringe meeting at the recent Tory conference that some disabled people were “not worth” the minimum wage.
In a statement issued by the Department for Work and Pensions, Freud said: “I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else.
“I care passionately about disabled people. I am proud to have played a full part in a government that is fully committed to helping disabled people overcome the many barriers they face in finding employment. I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.”
Freud issued his statement after Mencap called on him to consider his position and Downing Street distanced itself from the minister by saying there could be no exceptions to the minimum wage.
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