Zac Goldsmith has been removed as patron of a Richmond disability charity after he voted to cut benefits for disabled people by £1,500 a year.

Richmond Advice and Information on Disability asked the MP to resign after he voted to cut disability benefits and the mayoral candidate stepped down from the role on Thursday, March 17.

In a statement, Richmond AID's chief executive Lucy Byrne criticised Mr Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston as well as Dr Tania Mathias, MP for Twickenham, for voting in Parliament to make the cuts, which she said would have a "severe and detrimental impact on the lives of disabled people".

The chief executive said: "It must be recognised that being a disabled person means higher general living expenses, for example to keep warm, to travel to get to activities and to participate in the community and travel to medical appointments.

"For people who are close to getting back to the workplace add to that the cost of taxis to interviews, smart clothes for work and internet access.

"We believe this cut moves disabled people further away from the workplace and increases the social isolation of people who are already vulnerable and already experience barriers in getting employment.

"We are shocked and disappointed to find that both our local MPs here in the borough of Richmond voted for this cut, one of whom is patron of our organisation.

"Having voted for this brutal cut we believe that Zac Goldsmith’s position as patron is no longer tenable."

A Richmond AID spokesman said the cuts were in "direct conflict" with the ethos of the charity and that it was "inappropriate" for Mr Goldsmith to remain a patron.

Ms Byrne confirmed that the MP had yet to set a date to meet with them to explain the reasons for his vote but that Dr Mathias had agreed with the charity to visit them.

Ms Byrne also said Richmond AID would still work with Mr Goldsmith as the local MP to help clients receive the correct benefits.

In a written response to the charity after agreeing to step down, Mr Goldsmith said: "I was pleased to hear from you how much I and my office have helped your clients over the years and of course I will continue to help in any way I can for as long as I am in office."

The vote for cuts to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was carried despite two rebellions in the House of Lords and warnings from charities that it would become more difficult for disabled people to get back into work.