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Paralympics and politics clash in Britain

Sep. 04, 2012 13:54
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A street cleaner sweeps outside No 10 Downing Street in central London as British Prime Minister David Cameron puts the final touches to his first major reshuffle of the coalition Government Tuesday Sept. 4, 2012. Britain's prime minister says he has begun making major changes to his government team, in the hope it will sharpen focus on kick-starting the country's stalled economy.
Photo by AP

LONDON — Paralympics and politics are proving an uneasy mix. 

George Osborne, the official charged with putting the faltering British economy back on track, was roundly booed Monday night when he presented medals at the Paralympic Games. Prime Minister David Cameron heard boos and cheers when he presented swimming medals.

The reaction gives a hint to why Cameron is reshuffling his Cabinet on Tuesday. His government is unpopular, and Treasury chief Osborne is the least popular member of it.

Some British athletes in the Paralympics have spoken out against government plans to removed disability benefits for half a million people. There have also been complaints about the French company Atos being a sponsor of the Paralympics, because it has been hired to review individual eligibility for benefits. 

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