Here’s the shocking reason your Tory government is more guilty of attacking press freedom than Extinction Rebellion

So much for Boris Johnson’s (and Priti Patel’s) comments about the Extinction Rebellion blockade for Rupert Murdoch’s print works being an attack on the ‘free press’. On the day before they were making these attacks, the Council of Europe – that the UK founded – issued a formal warning that the Conservative government is a threat to the freedom of the press: The Council of Europe issued the Level 2 “media freedom alert” after Ministry of Defence press officers refused to deal with Declassified UK, a website focusing on foreign and…

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Tories STILL haven’t bothered to research the harsh impact of Universal Credit delays

This is no surprise to anyone who has been following the contribution of Universal Credit to the spread of poverty in the UK. The Conservative government has received many demands for research into the adverse impact of its new failure of a policy – you can’t call it a benefit – but has steadfastly refused to do anything about it. There is a simple reason for this: Tories don’t care if someone else is suffering. The entire aim of Universal Credit is to pay as little as possible to people in…

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NHS medical records handed to O2 to predict mental breakdowns – isn’t this against the law?

This looks like a huge data protection breach. The Tory government, which runs the NHS in England, should have sought permission from patients before handing over their records to a commercial organisation – anonymised or not. The fact that this information only became public knowledge via a Freedom of Information request makes it even worse because the Tories have been hiding what they have done. Are you a patient of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust? If so, I strongly suggest that you get together with other patients,…

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Campaigner who embarrassed DWP was forced into 15-month benefit battle – with DWP

The worst aspect of this is that there probably isn’t a connection. Gail Ward caused serious embarrassment to the Department for Work and Pensions in 2018 when in response to a Freedom of Information request, the government department had to admit 111,000 people had died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance. Then Ms Ward, 63, was told by the same organisation that she didn’t qualify for Personal Independence Payments. For clarity, she has Prinzmetal’s angina, a rare form of angina where attacks can occur even when resting. The rare heart condition means…

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What’s the REAL reason the DWP destroyed a report on Job Centre safety failings?

It isn’t often I disagree with John Pring of the Disability News Service, but I think he’s being far too charitable to the Department for Work and Pensions. A report on the DNS website has suggested that the DWP destroyed a report on failures by Job Centre staff to have proper regard for the safety of benefit claimants because the government doesn’t want the facts to get out. I have a simpler suggestion: The Conservatives simply don’t want benefit claimants to benefit from important information that could save them from…

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Disability deaths scandal: Tories admit thousands of deaths, months after PIP refusals. How do they know?

This is an oddity. Some of you may remember that, back in 2015, I managed to force the Conservative government into admitting the number of people who had died within two weeks of being refused sickness or disability benefits of one kind or another. The statistics were kept within that tiny time frame because the spokespeople for the Department for Work and Pensions said it did not monitor what happened to people after it kicked them off its books. So how does Sarah Newton know that 7,990 people died within six…

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Theresa may be deceiving us about Brexit – by covering up the facts about Arron Banks and Leave.EU

The Tories are tying themselves in knots over Brexit. Theresa May is currently set to return to the EU over the weekend in a desperate bid to save a withdrawal agreement that stands in tatters after the DUP savaged its plan for the Northern Ireland border and Spain attacked it over Gibraltar. MPs queued up to voice their opposition to it during a Parliamentary debate demonstrating that the government cannot get the amount of support it needs. And now it seems Mrs May blocked an investigation into electoral crimes by…

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Freedom of Information challenge to Israel’s effort to undermine Jeremy Corbyn

This is an interesting development that may cast light on efforts to undermine the UK Labour Party, who has been targeted and the links between those behind the attacks. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet. The Israeli government may block this, in much the same way the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK has been blocking attempts to bring reports on its behaviour – by disabled people – into public knowledge. But if the information does come out, it will be interesting to see if…

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DWP breaches Freedom of Information laws to hide reports on Job Centre failings

How many times has the Conservative government trumpeted a new policy to include ordinary people in public policy, and then quietly sidelined them when the bad reports started coming in? I don’t think this is the only example! It’s a handy smokescreen – claiming that members of a special interest group, like people with disabilities, will monitor the part of government activity that affects them. Then ignoring the contribution made by those people, and hiding it from the public. The subterfuge has served its purpose, you see – it allayed…

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Let’s find out the facts about people who have died under benefit sanction

“Dear DWP… “I am writing to request information regarding people on benefit and under sanction. If the information is available, please indicate where I may find it. If the information is not currently available to the public, please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. “Is it possible to see month-by-month details (from May 2010 onwards, where applicable) of the number of people on Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit (until it was discontinued), Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, satisfying…

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