Search

Harold Hill Down’s syndrome campaigner joins TV debate over Richard Dawkins tweet

11:07 29 August 2014

James Hamilton

James Hamilton

Archant

A young campaigner for Down’s syndrome appeared on a popular comedy chat show last week following a twitter storm ignited by Richard Dawkins.

James Hamilton, of Widecombe Close, Harold Hill, has Down syndrome’s and featured on Channel 4’s The Last Leg as part of a discussion of the atheist professor’s controversial views on the abortion of Down’s syndrome babies.

Last week Richard Dawkins tweeted that pregnant women carrying a foetus which has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome should “abort it and try again” as it would be “immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice”.

James’ father, Philip Hamilton, said: “When I saw that Richard Dawkins had said children with Down’s syndrome should be terminated I wondered how many people he knew that had the disorder and knew the quality of life, the fun and great pleasure they bring to others.”

Richard Dawkins has since apologised for the offence caused by his words, although stands by his reasoning.

As a young ambassador for Mencap, co-chair of the Havering Learning Disability Team and a performer in the 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony, 25-year-old James is very active raising awareness of Down syndrome and other disabilities.

He has also helped Mencap launch their Look Beyond the Label campaign which challenges the negative perceptions society can have of people with a learning disability and celebrates their achievements.

However he is struggling to find paid work.

Mr Hamilton, said: “James has been looking for a job in an office but that is hard for someone without a disability and so much harder for someone who has one.

“He is such an outgoing individual that it seems incredible that no one wants to give him a small part time job.

“He went to a main stream school and moved out of our house six years ago and now lives independently.”

Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder which affects around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK and has a life expectancy of 50 to 60 years.

Read more:

James Hamilton, 24, from Harold Hill, made a splash at Paralympic Opening Ceremony

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

39 minutes ago
Jean Maile, 68, has to travel about a mile from her house to find signal (Picture: PA/Chris Radburn)

Frustrated phone users in Collier Row have been cut off from the 21st century after the area became a signal blackspot.

50 minutes ago
Best mates Keane Richardson and Joe Quirk, 11, are running a Santathon (marathon dressed as Santa) for Saint Francis Hospice after Keane's grandad was cared for by them and Joe received support after his grandma died. Penny, and Keanr Richardson with Joe, and Keely Quirk.

Two best friends will dress in red hats and coats to take part in a Santathon fun run to thank a hospice that provided support after the deaths of their grandparents.

'I wasnt fooled  but my wife did say she would have been' (Picture: Shutterstock)

The 81-year-old victim of a “horrible” crime targeting Havering’s elderly population has urged others not to fall into the same trap.

The westbound A13 is closed at the junction with Ferry Lane [Photograph from Google StreetView]

Lane 1 of the westbound A13 is closed at Ferry Lane, and police say the second lane will soon be closed too.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

New responsibilities over income tax and welfare could be heading to Holyrood.

A man and woman in their 50s died in Fetcham, Surray.

1,000 people were asked to finish the sentence: “Jeremy Clarkson is…” and the results were somewhat hilarious.

Winds of 88mph (141kph) and mutant hailstones meant it certainly wasn’t barbecue weather.