As soon as Esther McVey was work and pensions secretary, one of her junior minister told lies to MPs. Not that parliamentarians call it telling lies. In their terms, disabilities minister Sarah Newton misled the house of commons.
Now, Department of Work and Pensions officials are making excuses. A DWP spokeswoman told Disability News Service the minister had not intended to discuss the proceedings in any depth, and: “The preparation for the ILF debate was carried out well before the reshuffle, and the minister had no prior knowledge of its outcome.”
The problem is, what Ms Newton told the house although McVey’s 2012 decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) was challenged with a judicial review, “throughout the process the DWP won on all points.”
That’s simply not true. That’s telling lies.
Journalist John Pring wrote on Disability News Service website: “The three judges unanimously overturned an earlier ruling by the high court and found that her (McVey) decision to close the fund was unlawful, and that she had breached the Equality Act’s public sector equality duty.
Lies, damn lies, and statistics
“She was heavily criticised by the judges, with one saying there was no evidence that she had “directed her mind to the need to advance equality of opportunity”.
As far as I am concerned, that means the DWP did not win on all points.
What actually happened was that, in 2012 when Esther McVey was disabilities minister, she closed the Independent Living Fund. The decision was challenged and, finally, three appeal court judges firmly rejected her decision.
Full details can be found here.
Ms McVey’s appointment to work and pensions secretary has been met with criticism.
Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, spoke out. She said: “People see this as a deliberately provocative appointment.”
She added that they feel it will lead to further abuse and denial of rights for disabled people.
John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “We can now expect an intensification of the government’s campaign of violations against the fundamental human rights of the UK’s disabled population.”
Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, was more cautious. She said McVey had “a very full in-tray when it comes to disabled people.
“We hope she’ll work with us to come up with practical responses to some of the critical issues around disabled people’s ability to live as full and equal citizens in the UK.”
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
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