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The biggest cock-up committed by Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday has to have been over Universal Credit – and the cost of phoning in a claim.

First, let’s have a quick summary of the problem, courtesy of the Labour Party:

Mrs May doesn’t see it that way, of course – and defended the benefit when Jeremy Corbyn challenged her about it.

So Mr Corbyn made the following point:

See, to Mrs May and her fellow Tories, 55p per minute is hardly worth considering. But £5.50 for a 10-minute call is a fortune if you’re unemployed and need to claim a benefit.

Tories avoid thinking about these things because they show up the flaws in Conservative thinking.

The rest of us don’t avoid thinking about these things, and Mrs May’s stuttered response (always a sign that they’re lying or don’t have anything good to say) provided plenty of opportunity for criticism:

The situation was worsened – if that’s possible – by Tory minister for Cheese, Liz Truss, who was sent to the BBC’s Daily Politics and The World at One programmes to justify her boss’s gaffe:

Yes it was. You can see the moment she realised she was in trouble – her face drops around 40 seconds into the clip.

But she went on to make matters worse:

There was only one conclusion to reach, and here it is:

And here’s the clincher – it was left to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg (possibly after a phone call from her friends in the Tory government) to point out that people can ask the DWP to call them back:

Knowing the DWP, though, is there any guarantee that the call would be returned?


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