The premium-rate MP: Sir Greg Knight charged 55p a minute for constituents to call him

Sir Greg Knight [Image: Twitter].

So much for Theresa May and a Britain that works “for everyone”. One of her own MPs charged constituents a premium phone rate to consult him.

One would have thought Sir Greg Knight would have got the message last autumn, when the DWP accepted the use of 55p/minute 0845 lines is not acceptable and agreed to replace them with free numbers.

Sir Greg has claimed it isn’t a money-making exercise – and far be it from This Site to suggest that isn’t true.

But it does stop poorer constituents from getting in touch. They simply can’t afford it.

It seems unlikely this will make Sir Greg unpopular enough to lose his seat; his majority at the last election was more than 15,000.

But it does suggest he only represents the more well-off residents of his constituency. What a charmer.

I wonder how many more MPs are running similar schemes?

Constituents of a Tory MP have been charged 55p a minute to phone him for help.

Sir Greg Knight hastily scrubbed an 0845 number he’s used for more than six years from his website this week after it was criticised by activists.

The Fair Telecoms Campaign branded him “foolish” for using the ‘non-geographic’ number, for which mobile phone firms charge users an “access charge” of up to 55p a minute.

When the Mirror called the number today it was still connected.

We sat through a 15-second recording of Sir Greg and the chimes of Big Ben before being put through, then no one picked up.

Source: Tory MP’s constituents charged 55p a minute when they phone him for help – Mirror Online

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7 thoughts on “The premium-rate MP: Sir Greg Knight charged 55p a minute for constituents to call him

  1. Terminator

    So why does a recent letter from the DWP still have a 0845 number? Someone demanded their PIP stuff and if they had, or have to call them then it costs him as the number is not 0800 it is 0845/3

    1. Ian

      In 2009/2010 DWP introduced 0800 numbers for new claims for benefits. They paid a huge sum of money to the five main mobile providers to make these numbers free of charge when called from mobiles. This was in addition to them.already being free calls when called from landlines.

      For other enquiries, DWP used 0845 numbers. These were cheap to call from some BT landlines, but cost a fortune when called from elsewhere. DWP declined to receive the 2p per minute revenue share that was available, but that did not lessen the charges laid by callers. The was a strong campaign to end usage of these 0845 numbers.

      On 17 March 2014, DWP changed their premium.rate 0845 lines over to inclusive 0345 numbers. Most callers incur no per-minute charge to call these numbers. For those without inclusive calls, call charges were the same as calling an 01 or 02 number.

      The 0800 numbers for new claims remained in operation as before. Ofcom reforms effective 1 July 2015 made all 0800 and 0808 numbers free-to-caller from mobiles and this freed up DWP from having to pay those massive fees to the mobile providers. The fees were very much reduced.

      In December 2017, DWP changed all of their 0345 helplines over to free-to-caller 0800 numbers. All DWP numbers are now free-to-caller 0800 numbers.

      If you call any of the old DWP 0845 or 0345 numbers you will hear an announcement telling callers to hang up and re-dial the new 0800 number.

      A small number of letters continue to mention the old numbers. In updating thousands of documents and document templates some were missed.

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