1 INTOLERABLE BEHAVIOUR
It’s Valentine’s Day and Boris Johnson’s bid to woo Remainers looks like it has 4. DWP SEE CHANGE
The Work and Pensions Select Committee has produced a typically withering report on the Government’s reforms to disability benefits, revealing errors in assessments have destroyed trust in the system. The committee got an ‘unprecedented’ response when it asked claimants for their stories of the shift to the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
As ever, the headlines can often mask the real human story here. We report how Martin Corr, a registered blind man, was sent printed forms which had to be dictated to him by his wife. And when an assessor from private firm Capita went to his house, she noted his white stick but didn’t list it as an essential aid. Part of his claim was rejected. “She came armed with a laptop and set of tick-box questions which were very clearly designed to filter people out of the system,” Martin tells us. After help from the RNIB, he won his appeal. 11 months later.
5. TRIGGER HAPPY
Further evidence of the new mood among Labour members was provided yesterday as it emerged the party’s longest-serving mayor was facing ‘deselection’. Newham’s Sir Robin Wales, who fought Militant in the 1970s, is now facing a tough challenge after local parties demanded an open selection contest rather than automatic endorsement in a trigger ballot. Insiders tell me this is not ‘Haringey Mk II’, but it does show the grassroots want more of a say.
Meanwhile Momentum founder and new NEC member Jon Lansman was a bit trigger happy himself on Twitter last night, tweeting a quote from a wonkish economics blog that declared “neoliberal bosses have something in common with child molesters: both lack restraint in pursuit of their own self-gratification in situations where they think they can get away with it”. Lansman hit the delete button not long after.
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