Tory TV plant pushes ugly lie to hide the uglier truth about DWP deaths

The blurry man on the left is Chris Stevens, a Tory councillor who pretended to be a member of the public to deny the devastation that Conservative policies have done to the sick and disabled people of the UK. The woman on the left will soon be an EX-prime minister.

Some people – and I use that word mockingly – in the Conservative Party simply don’t know when to shut up.

Two cabinet ministers have lost their jobs within a week (Michael Fallon and Priti Patel), and been replaced by shambling inadequates. A third – Boris Johnson – is set to follow at any time, due to his own arrogance.

The minority Tory government is under attack for its failure to address appalling levels of tax avoidance by the very rich, for its failure to make any progress in Brexit negotiations, and for its indifference to shocking levels of sexual harassment among its own MPs.

This is the moment a ‘plant’ in the audience of the BBC’s flagship political debate show Question Time decided to revive the debate over the thousands upon thousands of sick and disabled people who have died because of Conservative policies to restrict state benefits.

In response to accurate claims by Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortti, the audience member stated that they were “inflammatory rubbish”:

His name is Chris Stevens and he is a Conservative councillor from Horley, in Surrey. He used to be a member of UKIP, which is probably the reason he was so keen to support Brexit in his comments, and he provided absolutely no evidence to support his defence of the Tories’ genocide – yes, I put it as strongly as that – against the sick and disabled. Tom Clark, the Another Angry Voice blogger, has put this infographic together about him:

The response on the social media has been overwhelmingly opposed to Cllr Stevens and his ignorant assertions. News stories detailing the deaths of the sick and disabled, dating back several years, have been brought back to light.

Like this one from 2012: Benefits appeal woman Cecilia Burns from Strabane has died

Or this, from 2014: Man too ill to attend fit-for-work interview but terrified of losing benefits dies after Atos test

Or these two from September this year: Soldier traumatised by war in Afghanistan died surrounded by benefit sanction letters from DWP and Dad-of-four’s heartbreak as wife’s benefit is finally granted – three months after her death from cancer

The Department for Work and Pensions considers these stories to be anecdotal, and therefore uninformative about the overall situation. But the DWP – the only organisation in a position to track that overall situation – deliberately refuses to do so.

It does not check the health of people who have been denied benefits after a very short period of time and, when deaths are recorded, the reasons are explained away as being “complicated”. The reasons aren’t complicated:

How can the government claim to be doing its best for the sick and disabled people when it is putting those with long-term degenerative conditions – who are never going to improve – through pointless reassessment procedures?

The claim that their benefit award would then be tailored to fit their needs is a lie; many people don’t even get enough to survive.

That is the “conscious cruelty” of the Conservative government’s policy – the claim to be doing good when in fact doing harm, and the huge effort to hide the evidence.

After Cllr Stevens’s outburst on Question Time, This Writer received multiple requests for my own perspective on these issues. I can do no better than to refer you to my previous articles.

For example: The fact that reassessments do more harm than good was demonstrated when it was revealed that Fewer claimants died after DWP suspended repeat assessments

That information was only published as a result of a Freedom of Information request by Yr Obdt Srvt – the same request that showed 2,400 people had died in a two-week period after the DWP decided to deprive them of their Employment and Support Allowance. The DWP had tried to avoid publishing the information and had to be forced to do so by the Information Commissioner.

Here’s the relevant article: Known number of deaths while claiming incapacity benefits nears 100,000

Bear in mind that at the time the information was released – August 2015 – the number of deaths per week was not 90, as has been suggested after last Thursday’s Question Time.

It was closer to 600 per week.

The DWP has been found to be directly responsible for several deaths, but no prosecutions for corporate manslaughter have taken place. Why is that? Read some of the evidence here: Deaths caused by the DWP: Will this be the fourth CONFIRMED case?

Consider this: Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems up by 600 per cent

And do you remember how the creator of “Nudge” theory won a Nobel prize a few weeks ago? What do you think of the way the Conservatives have perverted his work? The government is planning social experiments to ‘nudge’ sick and disabled people into work

How about the massive increase in mental illness caused by the Work Capability Assessment, that caused 590 suicides – that were, of course, denied by the government?

Maybe this is the most damning – work capability assessors asking suicidal claimants why they haven’t taken their own lives: The work capability assessment and suicide – a.k.a. ‘chequebook euthanasia’

Perhaps I should post links to all the other articles I’ve written on this subject over the last nearly six years? There have been hundreds.

And that’s the point.

The evidence demonstrating Tory cruelty isn’t “inflammatory rubbish” – it is thoroughly documented.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. Nick November 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    what cant speak cant lie mike. question time is fixed as there is always a tory plant in each broadcast in case the subject in question turns nasty

    this was the case this week but Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortti is well up when I speak with him and despite the stress that is causes him and the likes of us it wont be going away that’s for sure

  2. laurettalottiepearson November 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    I scored 4 points for help and 4 points for mobility. I have Ebstein’s Anomaly, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Meniere’s to name just three. I won’t bore you with how I try and cope. I received my PIP letter today and report on how the DWP Operator came to her conclusion has kicked my very soul. I will be taking this all the way to Tribunal. To say the very least I am shell shocked. On the 5th December I will have lost my £320 per four weeks DLA. After my bills I will need a further £87 to feed myself. What is unbelievable is the absolute lies and cherry picking of words from my PIP questionnaire and my face to face is mind blowing! Theyou will not kill me and I will win this because I have truth on my side!

  3. NMac November 12, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I believe this thoroughly unpleasant character is ex-UKIP turned Tory. Says it all really.

  4. Sarah November 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Life expectancy in England and Wales has flatlined since 2010, after about 150 years of it rising steadily in every decade. The ONS has had to revise its life expectancy projections downwards after only 3 years, but only admits what it has done in a footnote to the current report. There were 40,000 more deaths than predicted, in the year to June 2017.
    “Life expectancy for women in the UK is now lower than in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Men do little better.”
    On the bright side, the Financial Times points out that pension funds (and they only looked at a few of them) have had their liabilities reduced by £310 billion since 2010.

Leave A Comment