From the Daily Mirror: Esther McVey – who was accused of misleading Parliament over the welfare shake-up Universal Credit – has retweeted messages calling herself “gutsy” and “dignified”. At least one of her tweets, however, appears to have backfired.
From the New Statesman: Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary who resigned over the Brexit deal, departed in true DWP style: disingenuously.
After her argument against Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement, the departing cabinet minister listed her “achievements” at the Department towards the end of her letter.
Let’s take a closer look at these boasts, shall we?
Employment did reach a record high this year. The unemployment rate is at its lowest since the Seventies. Sound good? These figures disguise the increasingly precarious nature of work for British people. Last November, the number of people who did not have enough work, who were on temporary or zero-hours contracts, or who were classed as “self-employed” but actually only working for one employer still remained higher than before the 2008 crash. The latest Office for National Statistics figures show that the number of people aged 16-64 who are not working, not seeking work and not available to work has actually increased, while the number of people in work hasn’t changed since March-May this year.
From Daily Mirror: Esther McVey today admitted some Universal Credit claimants “will be worse off” in a car crash TV interview as Tory fury against the policy mounts.
From Daily Mirror: Tory welfare chief Esther McVey suggested her own party’s benefit cuts are “fake news” in a shameless party conference speech.
From The Times: A government business that was sold off by the Tories for only £2m has delivered annual profits of £7.1m for its American owner.
[Read article on The Times website…] (paywalled, but free registration allows access to two articles per week)
From The Guardian: Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has been forced to apologise to parliament after making misleading statements about the government’s faltering welfare changes.
The MP for Tatton’s statement followed the release of a damning letter from Sir Amyas Morse, who told the minister she had misinterpreted a report by the National Audit Office on Universal Credit to make it look as if the new welfare system was working well.
McVey should not have claimed universal credit was being rolled out too slowly when the NAO had said the DWP should ensure it was working properly before transferring any more people on to it from previous benefits, she was told.
She should not have said universal credit was working when the report said this was not proven, Morse said. She should not have claimed that the report had not taken into account recent improvements in welfare, when it was signed off days earlier by her department, he added.
From the Liverpool Echo: Esther McVey’s promotion to the role of Secretary of State for Work & Pensions was met with shock and anger on Merseyside today.
The MP, who is disliked across the region after her controversial stint as Minister “for” Disabled People, was given the role after it was turned down by former Education Secretary Justine Greening.
Ms McVey, who was born in Liverpool was the last Tory MP on Merseyside, losing her Wirral West seat in 2015 to Labour’s Margaret Greenwood.
As a deputy to Iain Duncan-Smith, she took the brunt of public anger over the hated “bedroom tax” policy.