Teen's letter about cruel effects of Atos
hand-delivered by Record to Iain
Duncan Smith's Whitehall office
2 Nov 2012 00:01
KIERAN MCARDLE accuses Atos of killing his dad after the
French firm claimed he was "fit to work", despite suffereing a
stroke that left him paralysed down one side and blind in one eye.
A TEENAGE boy’s harrowing letter about the cruel effects of Atos’s fit-for-work
tests has been passed on to Iain Duncan Smith.
Kieran McArdle wrote to the Record to tell how his dad Brian died the day after his
disability benefits were stopped.
The 13-year-old accuses Atos of killing his dad after the French firm deemed him
“fit for work” – despite a stroke that left him paralysed down his left side, unable
to speak properly, blind in one eye and barely able to eat.
Kieran said he wrote his letter to “maybe save some other family the loss of their
Yesterday, we hand-delivered his anguished appeal to end the hated assessments
to Duncan Smith’s Whitehall office.
The Work and Pensions Secretary has been at the centre of the storm over Atos
and their hounding of disabled Scots.
Last week, the former Tory leader was blasted for “disrespecting” Scotland after
he refused to appear before MSPs to defend his brutal welfare cuts.
His Atos axemen also snubbed Holyrood’s welfare reform committee.
Kieran wrote that his father constantly worried about how he would survive
without the cash he needed.
The day after his benefits were stopped in September, 57-year-old Brian collapsed
and died in the street near his home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire. He had suffered a
There have been thousands of complaints and appeals against the fitness-to-work
tests being carried out by Atos.
And Kieran gave voice to the anger of many disabled people and their families in
He wrote: “Those Atos people should hang their heads in shame for what they are
doing to these poor disabled people.
“They are supposed to be targeting the fraudsters, not killing off the genuine folk
with their disgusting tactics.”
Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who has campaigned against Atos, said: “This awful case
shows exactly why the assessment isn’t fit for purpose and needs urgent reform.
“For people to die whilst either waiting for their appeal or after they have been
kicked off benefit is a scandal.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said: “Our sympathy goes out to Mr
McArdle’s family during what is obviously a difficult time.
“The letter will be brought to the attention of the Secretary of State at the