The disabled activist who yesterday won a ground-breaking legal victory that protects the rights of wheelchair-users to travel on buses has said he does not regret the five years he has spent fighting the case through the courts.Doug Paulley (pictured), from Wetherby, near Leeds, said he hoped the victory over the public transport giant FirstGroup would be a “morale-booster” for disabled people across the country, who he said were living through “very dark and worrying” times.But he warned that the barriers facing wheelchair-users travelling on buses were “not going to change overnight”.He said the legal case had been “about achieving cultural change, which is never easy or quick, and it’s a struggle to make that happen, and hopefully what lots of people have achieved today is one step towards something approaching cultural change.“I think it’s worth it in terms of the pressure for change and the potential for change; it has got a lot of people thinking and taking about it, which can only improve awareness.”The Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday (Wednesday) that First Bus had breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces.It was the first case of disability discrimination in service provision to be heard by the country’s highest court.Paulley had been planning to travel to Leeds to visit his parents in February 2012, but was prevented from entering a bus because the driver refused to insist that a mother with a sleeping child in a pushchair should move from the only wheelchair space.After he launched a legal case for discrimination, the county court ruled that wheelchair-users should have priority in the use of dedicated wheelchair spaces, and that First Bus’s policy breached the Equality Act.The court of appeal then over-turned that ruling and said instead that a bus driver needed only to request – and not demand – that a non-disabled passenger should vacate the space if it was needed by a wheelchair-user.But the Supreme Court yesterday ruled unanimously that disabled passengers have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus – although failing to award any damages to Paulley – and that a driver must do more than simply ask a non-disabled passenger to move.The ruling should mean that bus drivers are now “required” to ask passengers blocking the space to move, said Paulley, and are then “required to ask them if they have a genuine reason for not doing so if they refuse”, and “required” to take measures to pressure them into doing so if they will still not move.These measures should probably include refusing to drive off for several minutes, in order to shame the passenger blocking the space into moving, although the driver will not have the legal power to throw them off the bus.Paulley said: “I think the bus industry, the public transport industry and possibly other industries too will be going away and studying this in quite some detail.“I don’t think a lot of it is going to be overnight. I don’t think this is going to be a universal panacea.“It would be nice if it was, but it’s a step towards it. We must keep banging the drum.”He said he hoped the government would now make changes to clarify and strengthen the rights of wheelchair-users through the government’s bus services bill, which has just started its progress through the Commons.Penny Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, said on Twitter immediately after the ruling that she would now be speaking to the Department for Transport “re clarity, good practice & powers a transport operator has to ensure this ruling become a reality”.Alan Benson, chair of London’s user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA), welcomed the judgment, although he said TfA “would have liked to see it go further and make it a requirement of the driver to get people to move or a requirement that people move when asked”.He said he was frustrated at the lack of clarity in the judgment – which had different judgments delivered by six of the seven justices – but he said it was still “a day for celebration”.He said: “Today it’s about the victory; tomorrow we need to look at what the next steps are.“I think there are a lot of conversations going on this afternoon about just what it means.”He added: “It is an incredibly difficult climate, where disabled people’s rights and freedoms are being chipped away at every day, where disabled people in society are increasingly the victims of hate crime, verbal and physical abuse.“I think they are looking for every morale boost they can find and I think this has got to be one of them.”Chris Fry, from Unity Law, who has represented Paulley throughout his legal battle, said the decision establishes what he called the “Paulley Principle”: that bus companies have to give priority use of the wheelchair space to disabled customers.He said immediate changes needed to be made by First Group and other transport companies.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, the disabled Liberal Democrat peer and party president, and herself a wheelchair-user, said: “I am delighted that Doug Paulley has won this important Supreme Court case.“The Paulley Principle is vital to make sure that disabled travellers are not treated as second-class citizens.“In the detail of the judgement, the Supreme Court judges say that there need to be legislative changes to make this happen, not least to give bus drivers the power to require a passenger to move. “Following the minister’s comments on my amendments in the bus service bill, saying he was waiting for the outcome of this case, I will now be asking him to ensure that the legislation is enacted as swiftly as possible.”David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which funded Paulley’s appeal, said: “Public transport is essential for disabled people to live independently, yet bus companies have not made it easy for this to happen.“This is a victory for disabled people’s rights. The success of this case means bus companies will have to end ‘first come, first served’ polices, increasing peace of mind for disabled people.”Paulley paid tribute to the years of support he has received that have made the victory possible from disabled people’s organisations and individual disabled people and their allies, including Unity Law, Transport for All and the website Mumsnet, all of which had “gone out of their way to support this and make this change”.Paulley said he did not know when he would attempt his next bus journey, following the Supreme Court ruling.He said the incident with First Bus in 2012 had seriously knocked his confidence about travelling on buses as a wheelchair-user, and the incident still affected him.He said: “I have various mental health issues… and that fear of confrontation does genuinely cause an issue for me, so I don’t know.”Pictured: Doug Paulley (left) and Chris Fry in front of the Supreme Court yesterday after the ruling, surrounded by supporters from Transport for All
Momentum, the network of activists that grew out of Jeremy Corbyn’s first leadership campaign, has launched a drive for open parliamentary selections to take place across the country, which would enable Labour members to oust their local sitting MP.The campaign will encourage party members to initiate a full selection process in their local parties through the ‘trigger ballot’ mechanism. This is the tool that allows members to have a say over whether their MP faces a full selection contest or is automatically reselected as the Labour candidate for the constituency they already represent.Following a rule change at Labour conference last year, the threshold has been lowered so that: “If either one third or more of party branches, or one third or more of affiliated branches, indicate that they wish a selection to take place, a selection shall proceed.” Sitting MPs must secure the support of more than two thirds of both party and affiliated branches in order to avoid the risk of deselection.Pointing to its endorsement of already-selected parliamentary candidates such as Ali Milani and Faiza Shaheen, Momentum explains that it welcomes Labour’s initiation of an early reselection process because the party needs its “rising stars” to “look and sound very different” to the “privately educated millionaires” running for the Tory leadership.“People feel deeply alienated by our broken political system, and campaigning for open selections across the country will help surface a new generation of young, BAME, working class leaders who will take on the political establishment and provide a genuine alternative,” the Momentum statement released today reads.Corbynites are hoping to make Labour’s parliamentary party more representative of party supporters, but also to reshape the political outlook of MPs. The PLP is currently considered to be overwhelmingly Corbynsceptic, which makes deselecting sitting MPs an opportunity for the Labour left.However, if a snap election is called in the autumn as a result of the next Prime Minister not being able to implement his Brexit plan, sitting MPs will likely be automatically reselected. In seats where no candidate has been selected already, the ruling body may impose candidates, as happened in 2017.There has been some controversy over the process for pregnant Labour MPs. LabourList exclusively revealed that the national executive committee (NEC) addressed such concerns at its last meeting and decided that trigger ballots will only be held at least one year after a sitting MP’s return from maternity leave.Tags:Labour /Parliamentary Selections /Open selections /Momentum /Trigger ballot /Full selections /
SAINTS displayed real mettle and courage as they toughed it out to beat Castleford Tigers 18-12 at the Probiz Coliseum.Defensively they were outstanding, withstanding repeat set after set on their own line and battling the loss of three key players.Ade Gardner (knee), Tony Puletua (shoulder) and Gary Wheeler (hamstring) all left the field leaving Saints short on numbers and interchanges.But their teammates showed real pride to batten down the hatches, stave off five repeat sets in the last three minutes, and secure two points.Up until then, the conditions hardly encouraged free flowing rugby – and that was reflected in the number of knock ons and handling errors.Saints forged ahead when Ade Gardner clocked his 168th in the Red Vee and a typical bulldozing run from Sia Soliola sandwiched Brett Ferris’ reply.The second half didn’t fare much better in terms of entertainment but Saints stuck at it and Francis Meli intercepted to go 90 yards and stretch the lead.James Roby the unlikeliest ‘converter’ to take it to 18-6 before Ferris grabbed his second.Saints then produced that wonderful never say die defence to grab the win.After losing the derby on Good Friday Saints needed the experience of Paul Wellens and Anthony Laffranchi in the squad and the direction of Gary Wheeler to try and overcome a tricky Castleford.The Tigers were down on numbers but with Josh Atkinson on debut and a buoyant home crowd it was never going to be easy.Roby kicked a 40/20 on Saints first set and from the scrum Lance Hohaia was just caught right on the try-line.Castleford shored up the defence and then probed into their opponent’s 20; but Saints D was on top once again.On 12 minutes, Hohaia blasted down the field and both Sia Soliola and Ade Gardner had good chances to get Saints on the board.But as the half wore on, the first score was always going to be pretty crucial – and it came from Saints.Roby and Hohaia put their charges in great field position and when Wheeler poked his head through, Ade Gardner went over.Wheeler’s conversion off target.Tigers replied with a great line ball that was finished off by Brett Ferris – and goal by Kirk Dixon to put them two to the good.The lead was short-lived though as on Saints’ next set Sia Soliola ploughed over after great work from James Roby.Wheeler again wide with the conversion attempt.Saints then should have increased their lead further. Wheeler broke the Cas line with great footwork and found Hohaia on his inside.He then took it on, got it to Michael Shenton but the Tigers’ defence had scrambled and the chance was gone.Cas then almost turned that defence into attack. On the back of three penalties they were camped on Saints line, but once again the ‘Red Vee’ rearguard was too strong.The second half began with a Castleford knock on, a Gary Wheeler chip to the corner and a take in goal from Josh Atkinson.But Ade Gardner came off worse as he jumped for the ball and was stretchered off to join TP on the sidelines.Another error then led to Saints next try. Castleford lost the ball in their own zone, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook scooped it up, fed Shenton and he did the business.Wheeler again missing with the extras.The excellent Josh Jones produced a fine chase to stop a hacked ahead ball as the game approached the final quarter.Once again though Saints made it difficult for themselves with a number of penalties as they began to tire.And it took a herculean effort from Francis Meli to pluck a Cas pass out of mid-air and race 90 yards; Roby tagging on the extras.Straightaway Saints were on the back foot again as the Tigers forced three repeat sets on their line.The pressure told too, Brett Ferris grabbing his second – again thanks to a fine ‘line’ ball.Dixon tagging on the two.Cas forced a double drop out in the final stages as Saints tired even further and were handed another one with a penalty. The ball then went into touch and the Tigers were given another set – somewhat bizarrely after the ball came off a home player.That was their fifth set in a row but Saints defended it to come away from their line and seal the win.Match Summary:Tigers:Tries: Ferris (2)Goals: Dixon (2 from 2)Saints:Tries: Gardner, Soliola, Shenton, MeliGoals: Wheeler (0 from 3). Roby (1 from 1)Penalties:Tigers: 11Saints: 6HT: 8-6FT: 18-12REF: Richard SilverwoodATT: 6492Teams:Tigers:4. Kirk Dixon; 29. Ben Johnson, 11. Brett Ferres, 25. Jordan Thompson, 5. Josh Griffin; 23. Ryan McGoldrick, 15. Adam Milner; 12. Jonathan Walker, 16. Ryan Hudson, 24. Steve Nash, 17. Lee Mitchell, 21. Oliver Holmes, 27. John Davies.Subs: 8. Jake Emmitt, 13. Steve Snitch, 14. Stuart Jones, 28. James Grehan.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 17. Gary Wheeler, 6. Lance Hohaia; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 4. Sia Soliola, 13. Chris Flannery.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Shaun Magennis.
WITH the World Cup less than a year away, legend Darren Lockyer visited Langtree Park to host a special forum.In front of 300 Rugby League fans he spoke about the importance of the tournament and entertained with several amusing stories.Lance Hohaia, Paul Wellens, Paul Loughlin and Ade Gardner were also on the panel.Our next forum is on November 29 – click here for more details.
SAINTS travel to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan Warriors tonight looking to avenge the Good Friday loss at Langtree Park.They have won 28 games in the Super League era over their nearest rivals.Last Ten Meetings:St Helens 14, Wigan 33 (SLR9, 18/4/14)St Helens 22, Wigan 16 (SLR22, 22/7/13)Wigan 28, St Helens 16 (SLR9, 29/3/13)Wigan 18, St Helens 26 (SLR27, 7/9/12)St Helens 16, Wigan 42 (SLR15, 27/5/12) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Wigan 18, St Helens 4 (CCQF, 12/5/12)St Helens 10, Wigan 28 (SLR10, 6/4/12)St Helens 26, Wigan 18 (SLQSF, 1/10/11)Wigan 18, St Helens 26 (SLQPO, 18/9/11)St Helens 12, Wigan 18 (CCSF, 6/8/11) (at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)Super League Summary:Wigan won 31 (includes win in 2010 Grand Final & wins in 2001, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)St Helens won 28 (includes win in 2000 Grand Final & wins in 2000, 2002, 2009 and 2011 play-offs)4 drawsHighs and Lows:Wigan highest score: 65-12 (A, 1997) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 57-16 (MM, 2008) (also widest margin)First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons), Tom Makinson (St Helens), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves) 154 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 136 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Michael Oldfield (Catalan Dragons), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons), Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors) 12Goals:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 742 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 663 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 614 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 595 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 576 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 557 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 488 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 469 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 4310 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 41Goals Percentage:1 Jamie Ellis (Castleford Tigers) 100.00 (10/10)2 Luke Gale (Bradford Bulls) 93.75 (15/16)3 Jordan Rankin (Hull FC) 88.88 (16/18)4 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 82.00 (41/50)5 Jacob Miller (Hull FC) 81.81 (9/11)6 Jamie Foster (Bradford Bulls) 78.78 (26/33)7 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 78.72 (74/94)8 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 78.57 (66/84)9 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 78.18 (43/55)10 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.46 (55/71)Points:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 1622 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1533 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 1444 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1345 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1256 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 1247 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 1228 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 1069 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 10010 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 97
SAINTS get their Super 8s campaign underway this Thursday when they make the short trip to Warrington Wolves.Games between the two are tied this season, with Keiron Cunningham’s men recording a 25-22 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in April.In fact, the Wolves’ patch has been a happy hunting ground for Saints over the Super League era, with 22 wins and a draw coming from 26 matches.“There’s no pressure then!” Cunningham quipped when asked about that record this week. “Why is it that way? I’m not sure but atmosphere probably goes a long way towards it. It is a good venue to play at, our fans enjoy going across there and we’ve had a fair bit of success there too.“The boot is on the other foot at Langtree Park – they have done well here. Whatever the form, I’m sure Tony (Smith) will have his team ready to go on Thursday.“They say every cloud has a silver lining and it’s true we’ve been able to freshen things up over the week off. We’ve had some good results and found a bit of form recently but we’d rather be in Tony’s position.“We can’t change what has happened but we do have players available who wouldn’t have been able to play had we had a game at the weekend.“We have been able to put some conditioning work into them and I brought them in on Sunday. I don’t think I was the most popular bloke for doing that, but that’s what you have to do with playing on Thursday.“We have belief in what we are doing and it will be a good round one for us.”He continued: “Warrington are a good side and are where they are on the league table and in the Challenge Cup because of that. Saints v Warrington matches are always feisty and good games. Tony took his halves off in the second half of the semi-final and rested other players with this game in the back of his mind.“He knows the importance of it to his troops like it does to ours.“But, we have got into the top four and the challenge now is to take each round as it comes and maintain the levels we have got to.”Saints expect Dominique Peyroux will be in contention for a return to the squad this Thursday whilst Theo Fages is a couple of weeks off.Tommy Makinson is progressing from his knee injury too but won’t be available this season.“We will be as fit as we are going to be this year in the next couple of weeks,” Cunningham added. “We have found some form, have bodies coming back, and that does help. It will give me a headache for sure.”Finally, KC once again paid tribute to the fans who have played “a large role” in the club’s recent form.“They have been fantastic. At Wigan they were in full roar and it’s probably one of the only times I have wanted to pull on a shirt again and be a part of it.“They will play a big part going forward. We are in the best spot we could be from where we were. We now have four home games and our fans will play a massive part in what we could do. Hopefully, we will reward them for that.”Tickets for Thursday’s game are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.You can also secure your spec for all our Super 8s games, with the exception of our trip to Widnes.