Duncan Smith chastised over benefit deaths lie

Debbie Abrahams: This image is from a previous occasion in which she made a Point of Order.

Debbie Abrahams: This image is from a previous occasion in which she made a Point of Order.

But will he even bother to acknowledge his mistake and make reparations?

Readers of Vox Political will be aware that the DWP has admitted not only that it has figures on the number of people who have died while claiming sickness and disability benefits, but also that this information could be published without breaching the £600 cost limit for Freedom of Information requests.

It was therefore a considerable surprise when Iain Duncan Smith contradicted this statement during Work and Pensions questions in the House of Commons on Monday. Responding to a question from Debbie Abrahams, he whinged: “I find it unbelievable that she, the hon. Lady and others have spent all their time trying to make allegations about people going about their work. She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance.”

Not true.

This Writer had a word with Ms Abrahams on Twitter about this, and discovered that she would be making a point of order on this issue after Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday). Here’s what she had to say:

“On Monday I asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions why he was refusing to publish information on the number of people who have died within six weeks of claiming IB or ESA, including those that have been found fit for work, after having been compelled to do so by the Information Commissioner on 30 April.

“In his response to me, the Secretary of State stated, ‘She knows very well the Department does not collate numbers of people in that circumstance. The Secretary of State’s statement is in direct contradiction to his own department’s submission to the Information Commissioner, which states that it does collect these data and published them last in November 2011.

“I would be grateful for your guidance on how to correct the record and seek an explanation for this error. Frankly, Mr Speaker, this happens too much and puts this House into disrepute.” [bolding mine]

The response from John Bercow, the Speaker, was circumspect: “If there is an inconsistency between what she has been told in the Chamber and what has been said elsewhere by the government, and that is a matter of fact [it is], then it will be apparent to ministers who are responsible for the accuracy of what they say, and in the event of inaccuracy, for ensuring correction.

“I cannot say more than that today but she has made the point with crystal clarity; it’s on the record and it will have been heard by ministers. I think she should, at this stage, await events.”

Iain Duncan Smith would have been aware that his statement was not true when he said it. But will he have the courage to admit his (intentional) error?

Experience suggests not.

Debbie Abrahams has said she’ll keep pushing.

When can we expect a response from the DWP?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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56 thoughts on “Duncan Smith chastised over benefit deaths lie

  1. Claire Smith

    I hope you aren’t holding your breath Mike because consistent obfuscation and delay are IDS’ one and only true skill.

  2. Nick

    IDS says the DWP don’t collect the data of those that die in going through welfare reform ? why not ? I do not believe that for a minute if that were the case IDS could stop welfare payments at will to millions of people and kill them all if needed and not to be accountable

    Absolute nonsense that man talks. He knows how many have died and it’s about time a judge asks him when is it all going to stop ?

    And that my friends is all we need to hear when is it all going to stop

    1. Terence Meadows

      so true nick am a 62 year old disabled man, I have damage to my spine it two places only can stand for a few mins when the pain starts also i have damge to my left hip and right hip the right one is worse and very painfull, also am a dibetic i take insulin twice a day also i got angyner after i had a heart attack few years ago and now my eye sight is not good now all these stem from an accident at work but whats worring me now is all this the torys trying to stop mobility and my care allows you would think at my age and concern i could do with out all this and am sure i could land up been one more to the torys death list but worried also for my wife who as look after me for 42 years of marriage both 19 when we got married am also scared what will happen if those in power find out i told you this then it will turn in to a witch hunt but if anyways you can help me to put mine and my wifes mind at rest i would be mostly greatfull
      yours truly
      Mr Terence Meados

      1. clouty

        Hi Terence, I help people like yourself every day to claim the benefits they are entitled to.
        From what you say, so long as you take the forms seriously when they come and make sure to fill them in properly, you should keep the benefits that help you live your life. Should you need help, there’s lots of people on the internet and at the end of the phone who can help you. As you are over 50, the AgeUK helpline would be the one to call – they’ll be able to put you in touch with someone who can make sure you get what you need in your local area. Save this number in your address book: Age Concern Helpline: 0800 169 6565

  3. crazytrucker1951

    Anybody catch that imitation journalist, alleged journo Quentin Letts little piece in the Wail the other day? “IDS Gives Labour A Right Tonking”?
    Strange that because all I saw was AMF (Arbeit Mach Frei) Bunkum Smiff backed into a corner and resorted to the old Tory standby of name calling, smirking and downright arrogance at being caught out, and guess what he didn’t answer the questions either! So Mr. Letts version of a “Right Tonking” differs somewhat from mine.

  4. stuart smith

    Is there anyone people can contact to bring ministers to book if the LIE or mislead parliament, it cannot be right that they get away with this?

  5. Michael Broadhurst

    its time this lying,fascist,murdering scum of a govt were held to account,
    mark my words there will be civil unrest on Britain’s streets worse than in Thatcher’s
    are the police going to carry on doing this govt’s dirty work for them when they
    themselves are being stabbed in the back by this two faced,lying,bunch of nazi’s.

    1. Anthony Tattersall

      Exactly my thoughts, the Tories are walking a VERY thin line wrt civil obedience. I can well remember the unrest caused by Thatcher and the poll tax – that was the end of her (thank God!) – maybe, with a bit of luck, this will be the end of the Eton Rifles….

    2. Ian Buchan

      The UK’s armed forces have now become so depleted, that, .. All the services combined could not possibly prevent a rise of the People against Parliament even if the said rise /organised march moved on Westminster itself. It is a possibility which looks more likely as the weeks pass, such is the unpopularity of Politicians at this time.

  6. Neilth

    Tragically the deaths do appear in the government figures they are part of the number of people who are coming off benefits which IDS and Cameron are delighted to boast about. Those figures include those who have found work those who have reached retirement age and those who have died among others (those who have simply disappeared). Surely the courts should intervene as this governments policies are actively killing people.

  7. D. F. King (Mr.)

    It spent three whole years in 2011-14 for me to finally convince DWP that I have had clinical depression & anxiety since 1997. Among other things, this caused my collapsing into tears in a doctor’s surgery in front of other patients, having a prolonged panic attack in front of an appeals tribunal, and breaking into tears again in front of a job centre employee. In September 2014 I had a brain haemorrhage, partially caused by the stress upon my mental health of DWP policies. I am a carer for a friend & neighbour of mine who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. I am 54 years old. I am looking with great pleasure to see what IDS will do to me in the next five years…

  8. David Roberts

    It seems to me that this despicable minister will do anything to become more than the tiny footnote in history that his miserable failure as a past leader of the Tory party warranted. I think he desperately wants to be remembered as the man who led the abolition of the Welfare State.

  9. James

    I like the way IDS said he could easily live on job seekers allowance when he lives in a 6 million pounds mansion.He is now proving himself even more a hypocrite with this latest scandal on the effects of the people who die due to his underhand tactics!!

  10. Paul Delve

    This government should remember that only 24% of the electorate voted for it, I suggest that they look up the true meaning of the word democracy, for we certainly do not have anything approaching a democracy here.

  11. scotsfjohn

    The campaign water the death figures released, but IDS used the word “suicide” in his response of his own accord as I understand it.

    Does that mean he not only knows the death figures, but also specifically the suicide figures?

  12. Helen Hill

    No we do not have a democracy. I for one would certainly make a vote of no confidence in the government to force a new election or find some way of controling them. They must be breaking the law or at least they have no compassion. Makes one wonder how many oth lies they have made in the last five years.

  13. Helen Hill

    They are happy to kill us off one by one to make their figures look good. Who do they think they are fooling. We need to have another vote to get them out.

    1. Phil Lee

      They might not be able to say it directly, but there are ways around that.
      A statement along the lines of:
      “If I were to state the true facts concerning his deliberate misleading of this house, I would be accused of using unparliamentary language, however the honourable members of this house are, I’m sure, quite capable of recognising what is truthful and what is not, and making their own judgement – a judgement which a large number of those they claim to represent have made clear in correspondence with each other, in on-line fora, and in communication with the members of this house, I therefore call for his immediate resignation, as he is clearly, as has been shown repeatedly (on his qualifications, work experience and history, and now in the running of his department) a stranger to the truth”

      That would be calling him a pathological liar, to his face and in the house, in language that the house will allow and is quite clear, if you know the peculiar version of English which is spoken there. And it gives him nowhere to retreat to.

  14. David Woods

    Politicians are proven liars and thieves. The only times there has been political ‘solidarity’ was when they all banded together to try and prevent us finding out about their fat fingers dipping into the public purse with their expense fraud – This money has yet to be returned to us!
    Their inaction on those lovely bankers who destroyed so many jobs/savings and lives – the inaction of the FSA set up to ‘oversee’ the banks!
    Their selling at a loss to the taxpayer who were forced to bail them out – even after they were caught fiddling global interest rates which affected the prices we pay – NOTHING! They fined the banks (our money); NOT the CEO’s responsible – they lost NOTHING! In fact they continued to get their million pound bonuses for a JOB WELL DONE!

    Let us also not forget the little children who were abused and continued to be abused by their protection of Cyril Smith paedophile MP (How many more of them are there in there)!

  15. Geoffrey Pike.

    Iain Duncan Smith – ‘a nasty piece of work’ not Minister of Work and Pensions. Probably the worst and nastiest “politician” EVER, certainly in my lifetime. He will however in time be responsible for the demise of this current Tory Government, like I have said before he and Cameron don’t have a clue about how ordinary people exist. You can’t say live because many don’t they just exist, literally. There will certainly be no sympathy or allowances from either as they live in their ‘glass bubbles’, ruddy snobs.
    Geoff Pike, a former Tory supporter, not any more.

  16. aiden mcmahon

    when people say that govts would never harm their people, thinking in regard to the twin towers in particular,compare to the amount of innocent people in comparison to the figures that are not being released and then you will see, they dont care!

  17. Mr.Angry

    I am no psychic but I can see this whole issue combined with the proposed cuts are going to cause mass protests like never seen before in the UK, I feel it in my blood.

    I read numerous accounts of forced poverty, deaths, inhumane treatment of the sick and disabled, sanctions regime, mandatory reconsideration, zero hours, legal aid gone, NHS in meltdown.reduction in the armed forces, police and fire brigade cuts, council cuts, public sector cuts, libraries, museums, schools in disarray, ILF fund closing, prison service decimated.

    They have not just attacked one group in society, they have attacked the whole of society and people are becoming very very angry and the bubble will soon burst, I know it. We saw the mass demo in London recently 250K supposedly marched, there is definitely more to come.

    Cameron is running scared and IDS well you could see the fear in his face, it’s getting closer by the day.

  18. Robert Farrier

    I think Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) I think he should be held more accountable by the house as he as usual has side stepped questions in the house. We ask questions through our MP and he should be made to answer that is the way parliament works, I visited the house as a public member in January and the system was explained when I visited or is it that IDS is above the law and in contempt of the house. We need to keep on pushing IDS for accountability and not be fobbed off by the minister otherwise he will be allowed to do whatever he wants. With the voting system in turmoil, is it regarded as a democratic society, I am a UKIP man myself 3.8 million votes got us one seat in the house and yet a conservative member got elected with 26000 votes, is that we call democracy these days. I note the CONservatives are not in favour of proportional representation, that will be no surprise. As all my DLA has been stopped and not even been awarded the lowest level of PIP I now intend to challenge everything to do with DWP. I have made a number of requests under the Freedom of Information act FOI 2000 and unless top secret they are obliged to give up this information tithing 20 working days. I should know has worked well with the local police authority and can be used in the media without a breach of the law, although the information owner they hold the copyright.If you want advice by all means,even the courts can make the government provide the information unless a security risk,regards

    1. Ian Buchan

      Robert I campaigned for electoral reform and more accountability for nigh on 3 decades from the 1970’s. When the opportunity was finally given to the People they.. Turned it Down emphatically. Perhaps it was through general ignorance however the opportunity was given and spoken against by most in the large Parties. Other countries use a different method including Scotland however the UK remains locked in the dark ages and therefore reap problems such as we have. I trust that the younger generation will awake in time and prevent further catastrophes.

  19. Danny

    This sort of deception is shameless and uncaring.. this could lead to us having to turn to stealing or digging in bins to find FOOD.

  20. linda

    Why do you think Borris ordered the water cannons when the British people realise our Representatives in Parliament are no longer representing us the people , we will rise up and then they will need the dreaded Water Cannons.

  21. concernedkev

    these figures which if extrapolated from the 2011 figures would give us something like a further 30,000 deaths if not more with a total of near 50,000 since then. Why has the MSM not been pushing this for the truth to come out. This along with the child sex abuse scandal in Westminster would bring the whole pack of cards come falling down when the wind of truth blows through the nation

  22. Nic Berg

    In light of the terrific demonstration by people with disabilities at the House of Commons yesterday, and in advance of the so called ‘summer statement’ being prepared for us by George O and his cohort, all power to Debbie Abrahams’ harrying of the Minister of Work and Pensions, IDS. He needs to be exposed for the charlatan he is and those that support him and the government in continuing to target the weakest and most vulnerable in Society as the key part of their ‘deficit strategy’. Keep going Debbie, you’ve got a lot of support out here…

  23. Timothy Charlton (True name withheld for fear of retribution).

    Surely there must be a lawyer out there somewhere who would relish the thought of taking on Duncan Smith, maybe for involuntary Manslaughter. Together we can take him on can we not? I’d like to think that we, as a whole, (the disabled community and their carers & friends could maybe pay £5 each towards this cause, & in doing so would make said Lawyer a welcomed ‘hero’ and probably rich too.

    One definition of Manslaughter is below. I think it fits perfectly in Duncan Smith’s Nazzi regime. (From the Free-Legal directory)



    The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.

    Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of murder. The essential distinction between the two offenses is that malice aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no punishment is imposed.

    At Common Law, as well as under current statutes, the offense can be either voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter. The main difference between the two is that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. Premeditation or deliberation, however, are elements of murder and not of manslaughter.


    1. Phil Lee

      I don’t see any absence of either pre-meditation or deliberation in IDSs actions, which makes it murder.
      However, a trial for murder can decide to convict only for manslaughter, so there is no reason not to go for the more serious offence.

  24. martin steels

    this person (ids) is a disgrace why don’t we have a petition to have him relieved of his corrupt position every word that comes from his mouth is a blatant lie

  25. malcolm

    All of them (Tory’s) tell lies and cheat and have no moral courage to say i/we were wrong the only feckless one in this country are the Tory’s

  26. calum

    What all these replies show is that there is a huge strength of feeling and outrage against the behaviour and uncaring attitudes being shown by IDS. However, what won’t be apparent from this forum is that there will no doubt be a significant level of support from the Tory supporting Home Counties and Shires of England. It’s all very well for people to express their ire at IDS, but he’s just the figurehead for this morally impoverished government. IDS is the pantomime villain and he seems to be quite relishing his role, but this maybe distracts from the fact that there is something scary and sinister going on in this country and that we’re moving rapidly towards a totally privatised country in which corporate business and the banks call the shots. This is a world in which words like ‘care’ and ‘compassion’ are seen as soft and not conducive to the main prerogative which is the pursuit of profit and even more profit. If you’re left by the wayside then the attitude appears to be “tough luck, but we’re OK”.
    The Tory government obviously feel that they have a clear mandate to carry out their gradual demolition of the welfare state, but I’m afraid that the Labour Party (in it’s state of disarray) have to take a large portion of the blame for not being able to appeal to the electorate at the last election and for not being able to stand up to the bully boys in the Tory party. Good luck to Debbie Abrahams in her pursuit of IDS, but this needs a much bigger and concerted effort by all opposition parties and all decent people to protect and rebuild a caring society.

  27. Robert Caruso

    Iain Duncan Smith MUST be put in a jail, no if or but. Publish the stastistics and take responsibility for what you’ve done, if you’re a man. But Iain Duncan Smith is not a man, he’s a deranged, incompetent, arrogant madman on a power-trip and a mass-murderer. You’ll never be able to walk the streets of Britain again because YOU ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS OF VULNERABLE, VERY POOR AND SICK PEOPLE AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA GET IT, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, YOU’RE GOING TO BE SQUIRMING LIKE THE WORM YOU ARE. YOU ARE JUST DIRT

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Any allegations of criminal behaviour are Mr Caruso’s opinion, based on his experience of Iain Duncan Smith and his work.

  28. Marc

    Hope Debbie and others like her keep IDS and the Tories under pressure and sweat profusely and make them tell the truth!

  29. Marc

    They are ignorant, out of touch, arrogant, pompous, privileged posh boys and girls who don’t care about anyone and anything except themselves, what else would you expect from aristocratic filth, a heart, compassion, common sense, honesty, integrity, honourable, it’s not in their genetic make up and nature!
    Hope Debbie and others like her keep IDS and the Tories under pressure and sweating profusely and make them tell the truth, we have the right to know!


    I e-mailed D. Cameron with the following question, – “Did I make a mistake by giving my vote to Conservatives, but ended up voting for Fascism ?” – No reply ! – What is so annoying, is that having had two years at the same centre of education as Duncan Smith and having enjoyed that centres discipline and moral compass, he seems to have split from that excellence. Some years ago, during the Coalition, I e-mailed I.D.S. with the following; – Cuts are necessary, but be careful not to make the poorest shoulder too heavy a burden. There are many other ways of bringing in tax money – No reply ! ……. I now see that deaths have happened due to his policy at D.W.P., and it is reasonable to expect the P.M. to take action, with even the possibility of legal action. The attempt to keep this data from the public, is, to my mind, an acknowledgement of guilt. The P.M. should change the policy within the D.W.P. and put I.D.S. onto back benches, pending a full inquiry. If he does not, he is directly connected with this crime. Action this day is the only thing to do, or this will be on his head in the same way as Blair has Iraq.
    Labour’s attitude to their deficit, interpreted as ‘Let the next generation pay it off.’ and they are no longer a party for Socialists, without their clause four. (Well done Blair !). As a one time Managing Director, and then a Shop Steward, I am of course a floating voter, not seeing the Devil in any party, but this action by I.D.S., and his guilt, gives me time to equate 1930s Germany, and their direct murder of the sick and lame, to this Government action today, and as one who voted them in, I will have none of it.


    The entire, collective Opposition should pull together in this matter. – First duty of any Government is to the safety of the people. This has not been the case. – Correction to Labour’s deficit must be by taxation or duty charge changes, and not as in this case, the starving or killing hope in the minds of the sick. – THE LOYAL OPPOSITION is now required to take action, and if necessary to bring Government to a halt until this matter is resolved. Full enquiry please, with all to possible Court action ! ……. THANK YOU.

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