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Comedian makes personal attack on Tory austerity

COMEDIAN Rhod Gilbert accused the government yesterday of “a deliberate hacking away at almost all public and social services until there is nothing left.”

The star, whose mother died in 2016 after developing Alzheimer’s disease in her eighties, has called for improved funding for dementia care.

He said too much responsibility falls on charities to help ease the pressure on families.

Mr Gilbert said: “My message to the government would be to  change tack completely and go down a completely different route where we fund things properly and don’t cut, cut, cut until everything is in crisis and then panic.

“It feels to me like it’s a deliberate hacking away at almost all public and social services until there is nothing left and it’s privatised. It’s hard not to see it any other way.”

The stand-up comedian is joining actors Vicky McClure and Sir Tony Robinson in supporting the Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walks to raise funds for dementia research and support after his family received help from the charity when his mother was diagnosed.

“Just generally everything is falling on charities really and I, as somebody in the public eye, am just bombarded every single day with requests to patronise a charity or to raise funds,” he said.

“I’m doing charity stuff left right and centre, whether it’s to raise money for books for a school or a new playground for a nursery school.

“It just feels like with austerity or whatever, everything is in crisis and it’s being left to volunteers with buckets outside Sainsbury’s or outside my gigs or wherever they might be and charities and people like me, I guess, to try and help where you can and it’s very sad really.”

The Memory Walks will take place all over Britain during September and October. Register to take part at www.memorywalk.org.uk.

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