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Grieving relative confronts DWP minister Esther McVey after benefit sanctions inquiry

The sister of a diabetic who died after having his benefits cut wept after hearing the minister say there is state support for vulnerable people.

Esther McVey, the Employment Minister, was handed an image of David Clapson – the man found dead in his flat from diabetic ketoacidosis, two weeks after his benefits were suspended – following a select committee inquiry into benefits sanctions this afternoon.

In the emotional confrontation, Clapson’s younger sister, Gill Thomspon, presented the image to McVey and said: “A diabetic cannot wait two weeks.” A reference to the amount of time a Jobseeker's Allowance claimant, when sanctioned, has to wait to receive a hardship payment.

When Thompson discovered her brother’s body in July 2013, she found his electricity had been cut off, meaning the fridge where he stored his insulin was no longer working. Speaking to the Guardian in 2014, Thompson said: “I don’t think anyone should die like that in this country, alone, hungry and penniless . . . They must know that sanctioning people with diabetes is very dangerous. I am upset with the system; they are treating everyone as statistics and numbers.”

During the committee hearing today, McVey and Chris Hayes, Labour Market and International Affairs director, were subjected to an intense grilling from the Labour MPs on the cross-party committee surrounding the adverse effects of sanctioning, targets by Job Centres and deaths related to cuts in benefits. The committee chair, Dame Anne Begg, said that in some circumstances sanctioning was leaving people “destitute”.

Read the full story in the New Statesman

Comments  

#8 tintack 2015-02-16 19:49
Meanwhile, if anyone has any doubt about the pro-Tory media bias, just look at the coverage of today's opinion polls. One shows a surge in Tory support and a 4% lead over Labour. The other two show Labour ahead. The likes of Sky and the Telegraph are now talking about "the Tories' surge in the polls".
#7 ASHWORTHIAN 2015-02-14 22:40
Yes we need the Tories out at ANY cost. McVey is awful, just plain awful; always has been. She was back in the day a breakfast TV 'presenter', and she was plain awful at that as well.
#6 tintack 2015-02-12 23:48
Quote:
however we must make sure the votes are not divided and they get back in because we vote for two party's instead of just one?
It's not a case of all of us voting for the same party. What we need to do is vote for whichever party has the best chance of beating the Tories in whichever constituencies we live. In many seats that will mean voting Labour, but if you live in a seat in which the Greens (for example) have the best chance of beating the Tories, then it makes sense to vote Green. True, there won't be many seats in which the Greens have the best chance, but you get the idea.
#5 Oshb5 2015-02-12 12:28
however we must make sure the votes are not divided and they get back in because we vote for two party's instead of just one?
+1 #4 Bill 2015-02-07 07:49
Being more upset about a distressed MP than the family of this poor person certainly sums up the Tories that we all know does it not?!

Quoting tintack


Quote:
Does anyone still have any lingering doubt that getting the Tories out, even if it means voting for parties we don't particularly like, has to be the most important consideration in May?
tintack says it all, can any of us disagree with that point of view? Seriously, can we?

Mr & Mrs Bill
+1 #3 Blackcat 2015-02-06 21:13
I am a type 2 Diabetic, and they had me filling in a Hardship form. I told them I was a Diabetic.
What is a 'Reasonable' sample of food which could be found at a food bank, and for how long would a 'Reasonable' Sanction last? How much sugar would be in the food? As for storage of Insulin, if I was broke I would go to A&E and ask them to put my Insulin in the fridge,and sit in the waiting area.If they tried to throw me out, I would ask for the duty social worker,Police Stations are a 'Place of Safety' so I would go to a Police station and ask them to put the Insulin in a fridge, and they can call duty social worker. Looks like there would be complaints being sent in to just about everybody.
+3 #2 Paul Richards 2015-02-06 21:02
Hi all,
tintack - yes indeed you are right - this sanctemonius and self-righteous woman really needs to be tackled head-on. I could just imagine the reaction of Paul Maynard also - worrying that his Tory MP woman friend was being (rightfully) lampooned.
As you have said - it would have been better if he had taken the side of the poor man who had died tragically alone due to their cruel sanctioning regime. (and also the side of his family)
When is this total lunacy going to be curtailed and even better, stopped altogether?
Also, when is the DWP going to be sued over the results of their sanctioning regimes?
And finally - yes - these Tories are hell bent upon destroying the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and the disabled.
The sooner that they are finally kicked out of office, the better.
+7 #1 tintack 2015-02-06 16:34
From the NS article:

Quote:
Tensions escalated during the hearing, and at one point the committee member Paul Maynard, a Tory MP, appeared distressed by the opposition’s questioning of McVey and threatened to leave the committee hearing.
And there you have it, the Tory party summed up perfectly: you might think Maynard would have been distressed over a tragic death caused by disgraceful treatment of an ill and vulnerable person, but no - he's only distressed by a minister being robustly questioned about it. I think this is the prat who described disability campaigners as "extremists", so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised.

Does anyone still have any lingering doubt that getting the Tories out, even if it means voting for parties we don't particularly like, has to be the most important consideration in May?

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