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Theresa May is looking a bit fed up. Perhaps it’s time she had a long rest? [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images.]

If Theresa May had made any headway with Universal Credit rebels Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Johnny Mercer at Downing Street, she would have been crowing about it already.

So let’s assume she hasn’t. Does that mean she’ll make any concessions – like actually shutting down the rollout of the Great British benefit catastrophe until it actually does what the Tories have always claimed: Make work pay? No.

We can’t bank on it because Universal Credit hammers the poor very hard indeed – and hardline Tories love that.

That being said, if a show of mercy would avert another PMQs win for Jeremy Corbyn – or defuse another controversy over the validity of Opposition Day debates – then we might see some movement.

But any such concessions are likely to be symbolic only, and unlikely to end the agony for people already consigned to the UC scrapheap. Did I mention the fact that Tories love hammering the poor?

Theresa May has met with Conservative MPs threatening to rebel over the Government’s flagship welfare reforms in a bid to avert a public showdown in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister met with Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Johnny Mercer on Tuesday afternoon to listen to their concerns over the roll-out of Universal Credit, which was meant to simplify and streamline the benefits system but has been beset with problems.

The meeting comes ahead of two events that will put the troubled roll-out into the spotlight on Wednesday.

Labour is trying to stoke Tory division with an opposition day debate on Universal Credit, while Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke is due to give evidence to a select committee inquiry.

Downing Street refused to comment on Tuesday’s meeting.

But the audience with leading rebels on the eve of the opposition day debate has stoked speculation the Prime Minister might use Wednesday’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions or the later Universal Credit debate to announce concessions.

Source: Theresa May meets Tory Universal Credit rebels to avoid showdown


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