McVey begs think tank for ideas to rescue Universal Credit and ‘bars’ BBC from speech
Work and Pensions Secretary lies through her teeth at a speech to Reform think tank whilst begging for their ideas. In a shock twist, a BBC Journalist was barred from attending. He has called out the DWP for their substandard roll-out of Universal Credit before and now McVey has gone full Trump.
Yesterday Esther McVey made a speech to think tank Reform. Along with the usual self praise she asked them for ideas. Just weeks after being caught lying to parliament for trying to cover up the awful National Audit Office report on Universal Credit, she has the cheek to say;
“And where we need to put our hands up, admit things might not be going right, we will do so. We will be a culture of mea culpa, hands up, and then we need to change.
“A lot of people don’t like apologising. A lot of people might not put their hand up and say where it’s not working, we need to change it.
For someone who was called out in an unprecedented open letter by the NAO boss and even then only apologized for one of her three lies, it’s a smack in the face for her to say this.
In a clear sign that the Department for Work and Pensions are running out of ideas she went on to say;
“We need to reach out to, learn from organisations such as yourselves, and yes, that includes the National Audit Office, about how to design and implement Universal Credit to support claimants.
“We want to work with you to understand where we can improve on this important reform.
The roll-out of Universal Credit has been a disaster. What should have finished last October, still only has 10% of the eight million claimants transferred over. With the National Audit Office calling for an immediate halt it doesn’t look like anything will change soon.
I think her pleas for ideas is little more than lip service as there have been countless very respectable sources given advice and the DWP and McVey have always claimed it won’t work or you’re wrong.
BBC denied entry to McVey’s speech
In a strange and Trumpian twist, BBC Social Affairs Correspondent Michael Buchanan was denied entry to Ms McVey’s speech.
He first put a tweet out saying “.@EstherMcVey1 is making her first major speech on
#UniversalCredit this morning @reformthinktank. And media is not allowed in.”
Three hours later he tweeted the correction; “I need to clarify this. Turns out other journalists were allowed in. I was not.”
Reform, who were hosting the event, replied claiming cramped conditions and logistical issues were the cause. Michael however was quick to hit back as you can see below.
That’s not what I was told. Exact sequence:
1 – Invited to event
2- told no space
3 – told DWP didn’t want journalists
4 – told no journalists from any org would be attending
5 – never asked for a camera to come in
6 – found out after speech that some journalists were allowed
— Michael Buchanan (@BBCMBuchanan) July 19, 2018
After Michael interviewed my regarding the National Audit Office report on Universal Credit, he appeared on the BBC News at 10 as the NAO report was the main story.
He had challenged the DWP on the report and been hit with denials and what abouts. He finished by saying “talking to the DWP is like talking to some sort of flat earthers convention.”
He has been consistent in calling them out over their failures and now it looks as like Esther McVey has decided censorship of media is a good route to go down.
More McVey Hypocrisy
Ms McVey wasn’t finished with her stand up set. In a line that will draw a lot of laughs from across the UK she attempted to say that she’s “caring.” She told the gathered charities and campaigners;
“I think I have proved since January multiple times – some papers might call it ‘U-turns’, I call it pragmatic, sensible and actually caring for the people you’re meant to be supporting.
It’s not even funny. People are dying and she is trying to frame herself and the Tories ascaring.
The United Nations are so concerned that a special rapporteur is visiting the UK in November to investigate Tory austerity measures. One branch of that investigation is Universal Credit.
I myself submitted a response on the UNHCR website and it will be published in due course.
With the world of the Tories looking as if it is coming crashing down, I’m not even sure if it will be a Tory Work and Pensions Secretary in position when the UN visit. Who knows?
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