Members of Swindon People's Assembly and disability rights campaigners recently held a protest outside of the job centre in Princes Street where ATOS carries out its assessments of sick and disabled people and their eligibility for social security.

The Swindon branch of the Communist Party has been involved with the People's assembly since it was founded in November 2013.

Kate Linnegar, of Swindon People’s Assembly, said: "ATOS have been misdiagnosing the cases of Swindon residents for years, causing unnecessary misery and stress and branding ill people as liars.

"The government uses ATOS to do its dirty work by trying to force the disabled off benefits by claiming they can work and withholding money they need to cope with their disability or illness.

"The tests involve sitting in a chair and asking people if they can make a cup of tea. They do not assess if a sick person can work in a realistic way.

"The government portrays people who can’t work as lazy and scroungers which is a disgrace. These individuals should be assessed by their GP who know their medical history."

It has since been revealed that ATOS is seeking to terminate it's contract with the Government to carry out this work. The French company has cited protests against it as one reason it no longer wants to do the dirty work of the Tory-led coalition.

Parts of this article have been adapted from the Swindon Advertiser