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The letter was sparked by a series of tweets in which Hopkins described Labour leader Ed Miliband as looking like someone “on the spectrum”.
ED STOP LOOKING AT US. You are weird. Look at people not a machine. Try and act off the spectrum #leadersdebate
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) April 2, 2015
Published on The Guardian’s website, the letter calls on Hopkins to help end disability discrimination.
“I hoped that now no disabled person would encounter this kind of behavior, and that they would be treated with respect and dignity”, Hawking writes.
Hawking is a prominent advocate for the rights of disabled people, and is driven not only by her father’s experiences, but also those of her son, who is autistic.
“I have an autistic son and yes he does stare at people from time to time, so when we are on the tube I have to occasionally tell people that my son is autistic and that they mustn’t mind his staring. So it makes me sad when your jokes about Ed Miliband mock people with disabilities,” she writes.
Hopkins April tweets were not the first to spark controversy, even among the disabled:
Obesity is not a disability. You are still able to walk to the fridge and shove half of it in your face.
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) December 18, 2014
In other tweets, Hopkins has described refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa as “cockroaches”. That incident saw Hopkins and The Sun’s editor David Dinsmore were reported to the Metropolitan Police for incitement to racial hatred.