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

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 Romford News Stories

23 minutes ago
Fay Hough is championing a petition to get more changing facilities in toilets for adults and children like her son Bowie who has autism

A mother is raising awareness of the public toilet needs of disabled children

Craig Keane, pleaded guilty to his crimes at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Pic: John Stillwell/PA

A special constable whose job was to grade indecent images of children, has admitted molesting a sleeping six-year-old.

14:24
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell has welcomed the latest figures showing employment across the UK reaching its highest rate since records began.

11:09
The Brickyard Bar and Grill

A 28-year-old man is believed to have been bottled after a fight broke out at a Romford club.

07:00
Police outside the house in Laburnum Avenue, Hornchurch, where three people died. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has urged people to check their smoke alarms after it revealed five out of seven fatal fires since the turn of the year had no working smoke alarms fitted in their homes.

Yesterday, 17:30
Stock picture of a kitten

An animal welfare campaigner has issued a warning after a cat was decapitated in Barkingside this weekend, following a similar attack on a cat in Romford last year.

Yesterday, 16:14
Cllr Rob Benham standing next to heaps of rubbish left in Upminster last year.

In a year that has seen the borough plagued with fly-tip after fly-tip, residents now get the chance to have their questions answered.

Yesterday, 15:37
Proposed location for zebra crossing in Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill. Picture: Google Maps.

Council officers have targeted a busy stretch of road in a bid to reduce the number of incidents at an accident blackspot.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now