Vox Political on LBC radio to discuss DWP lies


Vox Political’s Mike Sivier (that’s me) will be appearing on LBC radio at around 1pm to talk about the revelation that a coroner ruled that a man died as a direct result of being involved in a work capability assessment organised by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Thanks to the Daily Mail, we now know that the deceased was 60-year-old Michael O’Sullivan, of Highgate, north London, who took his own life six months after being found fit for work. The Atos assessor never asked him about suicidal thoughts and the DWP decision maker never considered relevant evidence from his doctors.

The DWP said this was because its policy on further evidence was “regrettably not followed in this case” and that it would circulate a reminder. We have no evidence that this was done or that further deaths did not follow because of similar omissions – and any claims by the DWP must be treated as suspicious.

This is because the DWP, knowing that a causal link between the work capability assessment and the death of claimants had been proved by north London coroner Mary Hassall in January 2014, spent the whole summer denying any such link to campaigners and MPs who were demanding publication of up-to-date claimant death statistics.

Even after its statistics – poor as they are – were published, the DWP kept up the pretence. Clearly, we cannot trust a word that comes out of that organisation.

… and that’s what I’ll be saying at around 1pm today.

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39 thoughts on “Vox Political on LBC radio to discuss DWP lies

  1. Silvia Vousden

    Good luck later today, keep calm and don’t let them rush you to reply to questions. You have solid evidence to support your claims. This is not a ‘one off’, there are many, many more cases that have yet to come to light.

      1. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady

        I think you got your point across well particularly as Shelagh Fogarty (the presenter) had no real knowledge of the subject matter and you needed to clarify a few points. It was good that you stated that in this Mr O’Sullivans case he would not have appeared in the ad hoc statistical report as DWP had in effect chosen the period for the FoI request. Any further news on that by the way?

  2. AndyH

    Agree with what you said about Maximus – the assessments might as well be carried out by Starbucks – as it’s nothing to do with medical expertise – and is all about meeting targets (sorry expectations).

    (I hope you do radio more – you have a good voice for radio and are polite and well informed. You could always use something like soundcloud to make your own podcasts).

  3. Nick

    well done mike
    i have told Owen to read out the deaths every week at PM’Q so that IDS will be up to speed on what goes on at the DWP

      1. Nick

        it is and should have been done from day one it’s hard to believe this has not been done as if you cant get the basics Right you’ll not be able to get anything else right

      1. Nick

        indeed this country is very badly run on all levels and for the life of me i have no answer in how it will improve

        my daughter who is a political consultant in millbank Westminster fully agrees with me for what that’s worth

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I think they do – you can download podcasts of a whole show. I’ll be right at the start of this one.

  4. Robert Fillies

    Keep up the good work Mike, it’s good to know there’s someone out there looking out for us. Thank you for all you do.

  5. AndyH

    There have been two articles on the Independent today about people killing themselves after declared ‘fit for work’. The wall of silence is crumbling!

Comments are closed.