A government video intended to help claimants with employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals has been removed for the second time after being publicised by Benefits and Work members. But this time the government got there too late to prevent it from being spread across the internet

In our last newsletter we told you that a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) video aimed at encouraging claimants to attend ESA appeals in person had reappeared on YouTube three months after it was taken down due to complaints from a Chris Grayling, minister for employment at the DWP.

Grayling objected, amongst other things, to the fact that it told claimants that they are twice as likely to win their appeal if they appear in person rather than having a paper hearing.

We asked you to help publicise the video and make it the MoJ’​s most popular production ever. Within two days you had done that, with over 8,800 views, more than doubling the previous best for an MoJ video.

And then once again, the ministry took it down with no explanation.

So, a video funded by the taxpayer and produced by a government department has for the second time been removed, even though the information it gives appears to be accurate, reasonable and of benefit to claimants.

Happily, this time it hasn’​t proved so easy to prevent the public getting access. A number of people had made copies of the video and have now reposted these online.

At last count there were 13 copies on Youtube, including one allegedly posted by the Anonymous collective. In addition, a number of websites have posted copies on their own servers.

You can find a copy of the video by typing '​Making an appeal to the Social Security and Child Support tribunal’​ into the search box on Youtube. Alternatively, type the same phrase into Google and click on Videos when the search results appear

We understand that a number of Benefits and Work members have now complained to their MPs about the removal of the video and that further Freedom of Information requests to find out why it was removed again have also been made. We’​ll keep you posted.


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