Chris Kamara makes passionate plea for terminally ill to get state pensions early



Terminally ill workers should get early access to state pensions so they do not die in poverty, football pundit Chris Kamara said as he took his plea to Downing Street.

Chris, 65, handed in a petition with 165,000 signatures alongside representatives of the Marie Curie charity, whose nurses cared for his mum Irene as she died from breast cancer in 2003.

Earlier, he told ITV ’s Good Morning Britain that 90,000 people die in poverty every year.

The Ninja Warrior presenter said: “People shouldn’t be allowed to die in poverty.

“I’m going to Downing Street with two ladies who have been diagnosed with terminal illness and their partners have had to give up work to look after them.

Chris Kamara hands in a petition to Downing Street alongside fellow campaigners
Chris Kamara hands in a petition to Downing Street alongside fellow campaigners ( PA)

“They just haven’t got any money. Their life has changed completely out of all proportion.”

He added: “Once you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness you have to stop your job, your circumstances change, so social ­security money isn’t enough.”

Changing the pension rules for terminally ill patients would cost the Government £114.4million per year, according to University of Loughborough study published last month.

TV host Chris has previously told of his difficulties with the speech disorder apraxia, and was asked about his condition on GMB.

Chris wants the terminally ill to get early access to their pensions ( PA)
Chris Kamara
He took his plea to Downing Street ( Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

He said: “I’m OK. I’ve got inflammation on my brain... I have good days and bad days.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said yesterday: “Those nearing the end of their lives can get fast-track access to a range of benefits without a face-to-face assessment or waiting period, with most receiving the highest rate of benefits.

“In 2022, we extended that support so that thousands more people nearing end of life would be able to access these benefits earlier through special benefit rules.”

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