Girl, 8, ‘on verge of destitution’ in plea to East Ham MP Stephen Timms
PUBLISHED: 19:35 22 October 2013 | UPDATED: 21:02 22 October 2013
An MP has tweeted a letter he received from an eight-year-old girl in his east London constituency pleading for help whose family he says is “on the verge of destitution.”
The child’s family are having to sleep in one room because of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ on their council flat.
The hand-written letter was given to MP Stephen Timms by the girl’s parents when they called at his weekly surgery in East Ham.
Mr Timms has now posted the letter on Twitter to draw attention to growing poverty facing many families in his constituency.
“I am writing this letter because I am unable to attend this meeting with my parents due to my school,” the girl wrote.
“Things are becoming more and more difficult. Initially, we were living in a two-bedroom flat, but now we have to give a room out because of the house rent. We are now all sleeping in one room.”
She explains how they find it difficult to feed because her parents tell her they don’t have money.
“Sir, I am a hard-working girl that wants to keep learning more and more,” she adds.
“But due to the financial situation of my parents, I am unable to attend teaching lessons and swimming lessons on Saturdays because my parents don’t have enough money.
“I would like you to please interfere on our behalf.”
She enclosed some of her school results for good measure, which showed all As.
Labour’s Mr Timms said “the extraordinary letter” from the child was a warning of growing numbers “on the verge of destitution” owing to welfare reforms that reduce housing benefits where tenants in council and housing association properties have an unused bedroom.
She was “a remarkable little girl” facing a very tough time, the MP said. The family was only surviving because of help from friends and handouts from the church.
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