Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to step into a growing row over the potential eviction of a young man with Down’s syndrome.
James Sleight, 25, who lives in Cameron’s Witney constituency in Oxfordshire, faces eviction in the next 6 weeks after funding for his care was cut.
Sleight’s sister, Alana Inness, set up a petition on campaign platform Change.org calling for his accommodation to be saved, and by October 17 had amassed more than 115,000 supporters. The family held talks with Cameron on October 18 in the hope that he will step in to save Sleight from eviction.
“We just want to know my brother has a safe, secure place to live where he can keep a level of independence,” said Inness. “He is just settled in and upheaval affects him really badly. We’re urging the Prime Minister to step in here as James’s MP and protect him. The uncertainty has hit the family very hard.”
The meeting "seemed to go well", according to Inness in an update posted online.
The petition was set up on Friday, 11 October but went viral the following Wednesday as the story circulated on social networks via the hashtag #justiceforjames, and was boosted by retweets from celebrities including comedians Frankie Boyle and Rory Bremner.
“We can barely believe the numbers on the petition – the sense of compassion has been overwhelming,” Inness added. “It just shows how important people think it is that James’s home is saved and how much this issue has also touched other people's own lives who have family members in similar situations.”
The petition is at change.org/justiceforjames