Tag Archives: notice

The wind turns against Boris Johnson as Tories call for him to go

Boris Johnson: we all think it’s time for him to go so perhaps he should stop sulking about it and clear off under his cloud of disgrace.

Boris Johnson’s call for support from Conservative MPs seems to have had a very short-lived effect.

Perhaps after seeing the results of an opinion poll in which their prime minister was described by one person as an “utter anus”, backbenchers are turning against their dishonest, criminal leader.

Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper publicly called for his resignation and submitted a letter of ‘no confidence’ in his leadership after Johnson was fined for breaking Covid-19 lockdown laws that he had announced to the nation personally:

“I regret to say that we have a prime minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow, hasn’t been straightforward about it and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible,” Mr Harper said.

“I’m very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”

Harper followed a number of other Tories who have also spoken up against Johnson.

Former Cabinet Minister Karen Bradley branded Johnson’s behaviour “unforgivable” and said:

“If I had been a minister found to have broken the laws that I passed, I would be tendering my resignation now.”

Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson said he “categorically will not defend the indefensible” and that “the situation is untenable”, urging Johnson to lay out a timetable for an “orderly transition to a leadership election as soon as the international situation permits”.

Other MPs to have openly called for the PM to quit since the fixed penalty notice landed are Nigel Mills and Craig Whittaker.

In response to Harper, Johnson said: “I bitterly regret the event in Downing Street as I have said, but I do believe that it is the job of this Government to get on with the priorities of the British people and that is what we’re going to do.”

How would Johnson even recognise “the priorities of the British people” when he’s always so busy pandering to his own most basic lusts?

Source: Boris Johnson branded ‘dishonest’ by Keir Starmer as Mark Harper submits letter of no confidence over partygate | Politics News | Sky News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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 https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

If Sunak wanted to resign over tax affairs, why stay after being named a criminal?

The face of avarice: Rishi Sunak isn’t staying on as Chancellor after being named as a criminal because he wants to “deliver” for the nation; he wants something for himself. What?

In the sphere of Tory corruption, this must be fruit from a low-hanging branch – but did it occur to you?

Rishi Sunak came under sustained pressure last week after his wife Akshata Murty was exposed as having avoided paying millions of pounds in UK tax by claiming non-domiciled status.

It was then revealed that Sunak himself had been able to avoid paying UK tax for years after becoming a UK member of Parliament because he had a United States Green Card. He only gave up the privilege after having been Chancellor of the Exchequer for a considerable amount of time.

According to the Sunday Times, Sunak considered quitting, although another source told Reuters that he didn’t. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

The weirdest part of this story is that Ms Murty, who is allegedly richer than the Queen, would agree to pay taxes to keep Sunak in a job that pays only around £150,000 per year.

People like her don’t do things like that – they harm her bank balance – unless there is something in it for them. The question is: what?

And now Sunak himself has been named as a criminal by the Metropolitan Police (the fixed penalty notice he has received for attending one of the infamous Downing Street parties is a criminal sanction, meaning in the eyes of the law he has committed a crime).

The Tory government, the UK’s Parliament, and the nation as a whole are disgraced by this man.

He decided unilaterally that he was above the law that was bringing many thousands of pounds in fines to his Treasury.

He decided he was happy to inflict misery on the families of the thousands of people who died with Covid-19 – alone, because of his government’s demands – but wouldn’t dream of putting up with those restrictions himself.

And now he has decided that he doesn’t have to accept the consequence of being a criminal.

So – again – we should ask why Sunak is deciding to continue in a role he has disgraced by his criminal behaviour.

As with his wife’s earnings, Sunak doesn’t do anything in his career that does not make him a fat profit.

So the big questions are: what’s in it for him? And what is he doing in order to achieve it?

Source: UK’s Sunak considered resigning over tax criticism – Sunday Times

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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 https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Why haven’t Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak resigned yet?

Stupidity is no excuse: Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have both broken UK law – that Johnson himself announced to the nation – and are therefore criminals. The people at the UK should not tolerate a criminal government. They must be removed if they won’t go willingly. What are you doing about it?

The rules are very simple: Boris Johnson broke the law and lied to Parliament about it. This lying criminal cannot remain in office as prime minister. If there was any justice, he would be ejected from Parliament.

Likewise, Rishi Sunak has been caught making unsavoury tax arrangements for himself, as has his wife – and now he has been found to have broken the laws set by the government of which he was a member. He is also a criminal; he must be removed as well.

And Johnson’s wife Carrie, who attended at least one lockdown-busting party even though she is neither an elected member of the government nor a government employee, has also been fined for breaking the law.

So all the occupants of Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street are either criminals or tax cheats. Why aren’t they all packing their bags?

Instead, they are trying to jolly us along with tepid, insincere words. Johnson said he felt “an even greater sense of obligation to deliver” (but what will he deliver? More corruption?) and Sunak rambled something about being “focused on delivering for the British people” (but we know that the only thing he is capable of delivering to the majority is misery).

Sunak also said, “I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence.” How, then, can he expect the public to have any confidence in a Conservative government that allows criminals to remain in place at the very top of UK society? By his own words, he should be gone.

Possibly worse than this is the fact that almost all the Tory Cabinet ministers have supported Johnson and Sunak. This means the Tory cabinet supports criminality and by rights they should also be removed.

I’ve made this point to Liz Truss…

… and will try to do the same with other Cabinet ministers who’ve put their heads above the parapet. How many of them have also been fined – or will be in the future?

Particularly enjoyable is Grant Shapps’s attempt at justification – that Johnson was “mortified” about being fined (he would be. How dare those Met Police plebs fine him. Don’t they know he’s above the law?).

He also said Johnson had not “set out with malice to break the law” (but ignorance of the law is no excuse. And deliberately breaking the law “without malice” is no excuse either: people who steal in order to feed themselves, because Tory laws mean they can’t afford to live otherwise, still go to prison).

And Shapps told BBC Breakfast, “Everyone is human. People make mistakes” (which asserts that Johnson’s attendance at lawbreaking Downing Street parties was a mistake, and there’s no evidence whatsoever to support this. He knew what he was doing. He knew he was breaking the law – because he announced it. He decided he was above the law).

Possibly most disappointing is the response from the major Opposition parties in the House of Commons.

Leaders (and Labour’s Deputy Leader; what’s the matter, Mr Starmer? Are you so used to supporting Tories that you’ve forgotten how to oppose them?) have all demanded that Johnson and Sunak resign – but have taken no steps at all to force the issue.

Where are the demands for a recall of Parliament? Why aren’t they whipping up public outrage at this criminality and dishonesty? Are they “all in it together”?

Groups representing bereaved families who could not be with their loved ones as they died during Covid-19 lockdowns – because they were following the rules that Johnson and Sunak ignored – have demanded an end to the careers of both of these “shameless” criminals.

Don’t these people deserve some form of justice too?

Remember: this is only the first of what may be several fines for Johnson and members of his government – fixed penality notices have been issued only in relation to two out of the 12 events under police investigation. How many more will it take before these crooks finally admit that they can’t inflict themselves upon us any longer?

Oh – and one more thing: how much money were Johnson and Sunak fined? £50? £60? But ordinary members of the public, fined for chatting with each other in their back gardens (for example) faced penalties of more than £1,000. Isn’t this yet another example of the kind of privilege that means these parasites must be removed from the body politic?

Even if you are raging about this, you aren’t angry enough.

What are you doing to get rid of the criminals in the UK’s government?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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 https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Criminal Boris Johnson lied to Parliament and to all of us. He HAS to go

Before we get to the latest developments, let’s remind ourselves of what Boris Johnson told us in March 2020. The important part is between one minute and 45 seconds and three minutes and eight seconds into the clip:

Let’s reinforce that message with this clip of Tory Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden, who was Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the time:

So we know that Boris Johnson knew that nobody was allowed to meet in a social situation of any kind on – for example – his birthday, June 19, 2020.

And that means we have every right to be outraged that Boris Johnson broke the rules that he announced to us, in order to attend a birthday party laid on for him on that date.

We know that he did break the rules that he himself explained to the rest of us because the Metropolitan Police Service has told us so – issuing him a fixed penalty notice for breaking those rules.

This means that Boris Johnson has finally achieved his place in the history books – by becoming the first UK Prime Minister to become a criminal while in office.

The fixed penalty notice he received is described as a criminal sanction, rather than being for a criminal offence, but the legal situation remains that Johnson is to be consider a criminal from now on.

But it’s worse than that.

The reason it is worse is that Johnson lied to Parliament – and to the nation.

He denied that any lawbreaking took place – on multiple occasions. This Site has audio of it, obligingly provided by the BBC’s PM:

Here’s a more complete video of the December 8 apology:

And here’s his apology from January 12:

As you can see, he has gone from absolute denial that any wrongdoing happened, to denial that he took part in any wrongdoing. And now we know that he did indeed take part in the wrongdoing.

He can no longer claim that he didn’t know he was breaking the rules; he announced them, he broke them, and then he lied about breaking them.

In the circumstances, if he really didn’t know he was doing wrong, then he is not mentally competent to occupy the office of prime minister.

The Ministerial Code, which governs the behaviour of government members, is very clear on the subject of intentional dishonesty to Parliament: anybody committing such an act must be removed from office immediately.

Yet Johnson seems to think he can deliver an insincere apology and carry on. And because, as prime minister, he is the ultimate arbiter of whether the Ministerial Code has been broken, you can bet that he thinks he’ll get away with it:

What do you think of that?

It’s not acceptable.

He committed a crime.

He lied about it in order to cover it up.

He has only apologised after the police forced him to admit it.

This is not prime ministerial behaviour.

And if he won’t go voluntarily, then it is up to us to force him out. If you haven’t contacted your MP already, do so. This Site will inform you of national petitions to force Parliament to adhere to its own rules.

Dick put ‘on notice’ – but why because of her officers and not because of herself?

Cressida Dick: she regularly appears in the media, trying to mitigate the shocking offences committed by Metropolitan Police officers – and their commissioner.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has been put “on notice” by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, that she must reverse the culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny discovered in her service’s ranks since she took over.

Khan is said to have referred to it as “a return to the bad days of the Met of his childhood in the 1970s and 80s”.

Certainly there is reason to find fault with the Met Police under Dick’s direction.

The latest revelations show officers, mainly at Charing Cross, had joked about rape, domestic violence and killing black children.

A report by the Independent Office of Police Conduct stated, “We believe these incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few ‘bad apples’.”

Recent history bears this out.

Look at Wayne Couzens, who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard, and burned the body to evade detection. Did Charing Cross officers make a joke about that? One Met officer certainly did – he shared memes showing a police officer kidnapping a woman, but has been allowed to keep his job.

Three more officers were charged with sex offences in October alone. One – David Carrick – now faces charges relating to 29 offences including many rapes between 2009 and 2020. Francois Olwage faces child sex charges. Adam Zaman has been charged with rape.

And what about the officers assigned to guard the bodies of murdered women, who took photographs of them and shared the images on a WhatsApp group because they thought it was funny? The mother of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry demanded that Dick clear the rot from the Met but that clearly hasn’t happened.

Incidents in which Met officers have stopped and searched people who happen to have been “driving while black” abound.

But Cressida Dick herself is not above suspicion either. Both she and the service she heads were found to have been “institutionally corrupt” in their handling of the Daniel Morgan murder inquiry.

And now it seems she is busily covering up the misdeeds of Boris Johnson in the Partygate scandal. Initially the Met refused to investigate allegations of more than a dozen lockdown-busting Downing Street parties, claiming there was no evidence, even though officers from that service were guarding the doors of Number 10 at the time and it seems unlikely that they could have failed to notice civil servants carrying suitcases full of wine bottles into the building.

After Sue Gray uncovered a huge mass of evidence, Dick stepped in and announced that the Met had decided to investigate after all – and this meant the senior civil servant must edit details relating to the 12 parties under police investigation out of her report.

It seems, even after being labelled “corrupt” in the Morgan report, Dick just can’t stop interfering.

So now Sadiq Khan has put her “on notice”. If she does not clean up her act, and that of her officers, then according to a source close to Khan, “the mayor will have to consider whether she is the right person to lead the change needed at the Met”.

He means he’ll have her removed.

As far as some of us are concerned, such a move can’t come soon enough. He should have done it already.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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 https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Treachery in the Labour Party? Vested interests try to stymie new General Secretary

Controversial: Jennie Formby.

John Cryer may be a veteran Labour left-winger, but he is not doing the will of the people in leaking an email outlining vague concerns about new GenSec Jennie Formby.

It seems Ms Formby has told two party officials, who quit in response to her appointment, not to work out their notice.

Perhaps there are trust issues with acting Parliamentary Labour Party secretary Dan Simpson and compliance chief John Stolliday?

Mr Stolliday’s departure will be welcomed by many of those who have been through the Labour Party’s current disputes procedure – a kangaroo court system that offers almost no opportunity for party members accused of breaching the rules to defend themselves.

Ms Formby has dedicated herself to the creation of a fairer system – in particular, with reference to accusations of anti-Semitism. She intends to implement the long-delayed recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report, published in 2016, introducing much-needed transparency into the procedure.

As for Mr Simpson, This Writer has no information about him. But his resignation was as a result of Ms Formby’s appointment as GenSec, so it would be reasonable for her to conclude that he would not be a hindrance rather than a help.

Mr Cryer should appreciate this.

So I question the decision to write an email about it to MPs – and to leak it to the press.

A Labour row has broken out after a senior MP attacked the “deeply troubling” and “worrying” priorities of the party’s new general secretary.

John Cryer, chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party , criticised Jennie Formby in her first week in the job in an e-mail to MPs.

The leaked e-mail blasted Ms Formby, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn , after two officials were put on gardening leave.

Acting PLP secretary Dan Simpson and compliance chief John Stolliday were both told not to return while they work out their notice, PoliticsHome reported.

Mr Cryer wrote that Ms Formby had “forced” Mr Simpson into gardening leave “rather than remaining in the service of the PLP until the summer as had been previously agreed.”

Source: Labour row as senior MP attacks ‘deeply troubling’ behaviour of new general secretary – Mirror Online


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 https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

DWP confusion: Saying claimants can die twice – and denying it – at the same time

[Image: Before It's News.]

[Image: Before It’s News.]

The Department for Work and Pensions has tried to provide reassurance over the accuracy of its claimant death statistics – but has succeeded only in confirming that it has muddled the figures.

Responding to the Department’s statistical releases of August 27, I told the Information Commissioner’s lawyers: “Reference to the DWP’s other statistical release of August 27 casts doubt on the veracity of the information in table 2.1 [of the response to my own Freedom of Information request], which claims to provide the total number of individuals who died while claiming IB/SDA and ESA.

“However, the figures in the statistical release entitled “Mortality statistics: Out-of-Work Working Age benefit claimants” do not make sense.

“Death figures per year for 2009-2013 are provided for the total incapacity benefits population (IB/SDA and ESA) and also separately but if the separate totals are added together, the sum is greater – every year – than the number claimed for the incapacity benefits population as a whole – by 80 in 2009, 50 in 2010, 640 in 2011, 1,880 in 2012 and 1,330 in 2013.

“Whilst I accept that combining the separate benefit populations will produce a number greater than that of the total incapacity benefit population, because claimants were being migrated across from IB/SDA to ESA, almost as soon as ESA was set up, I do not accept that any benefit claimant can die twice. They can only die once, and they would have been claiming only one benefit when they did so.

“Therefore the total number of deaths claimed in ‘Mortality Statistics: ESA, IB, and SDA’ is questionable.”

See if you can make sense of the reply:

“We can confirm that the combined figure for incapacity benefits is lower than the separate ESA and IB/SDA figures added together. This is because duplicates are removed when the figures are combined. We refer you to the footnotes to Data Table 3 in the “Mortality Statistics: Out-of-Work Working Age benefit claimants” publication, where we explained: “In the incapacity benefits group, each person is only counted once even if they claimed both IB/SDA and ESA in the same year.”

That’s right, Data Table 3 – which refers to the DWP’s claimed total for all incapacity benefits claimants. But if you add the figures in the tables that relate to ESA and IB/SDA individually, you get the discrepancies I have mentioned.

“Therefore, for the purposes of the “Mortality Statistics: Out-of-Work Working Age benefit claimants” publication, if an individual moved from IB/SDA to ESA and then died in the same year, they would be included in both the IB/SDA figures (table 4) and the ESA figures (table 5), but would only be counted once in the Incapacity Benefits table (table 3).”

That is precisely what I said – and it’s ridiculous. They could only have been on one benefit when they died. The DWP is admitting its tables are inaccurate. But wait – it gets worse:

“We can confirm that deaths are only counted once in the “Mortality Statistics: ESA, IB and SDA” publication [the response to my FoI request]. Anyone who moved from IB/SDA to ESA and then died is only included in the ESA figures, as they would have been an ESA claimant at the time of death.”

How do we know that? The statistical release does not show anything of the sort and the fact that the DWP can’t even get its facts right in a “clarification” offers no reassurance at all.

“We trust that this has clarified the matter and answered your queries.”

That has to be a sick joke.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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!

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

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

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

This is how the DWP denies responsibility for claimant deaths

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

The Department for Work and Pensions has made a desperate attempt to deny responsibility for causing the deaths of an unknown number of former incapacity benefits claimants, in a recent email to This Writer.

The DWP has written to me in a new attempt to wriggle out of providing a full response to my Freedom of Information request about the deaths of claimants. I have already discussed one aspect of this letter in a previous article. A representative of the Department (who goes unnamed in the letter – it seems they are all terrified of telling me who they are), responding to my assertion that a recent statistical release has misrepresented the full extent of the deaths caused by DWP decisions, stated:

“You requested information in respect of ESA and IB claimants who had died, broken down into various categories. This is what the Department has provided. An individual who is no longer an ESA or IB claimant does not fall within the scope of your request.”

Oh, really?

It seems this is an attempt to trap me by sticking to the exact wording of the request. But what was my request, again? Dated May 28, 2014, it was: “Please provide the number of Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have died since November 2011.”

So I can refute the DWP’s claims with one name: Michael O’Sullivan.

That was the real name of ‘Mr A’, a disabled man whose suicide north London coroner Mary Hassall ruled in early 2014 was a direct result of being found ‘fit for work’ after a DWP work capability assessment to determine whether he should receive Employment and Support Allowance. The DWP is legally responsible for causing his death.

Mr O’Sullivan’s death took place in late 2013, six months after the work capability assessment. This means he was an Employment and Support Allowance claimant between November 2011 and May 28, 2014, and that he died between those dates.

He clearly falls “within the scope” of my request. Look at it again if you have any doubts.

Where does Mr O’Sullivan appear in the DWP’s figures, published on August 27, this year? He doesn’t.

This is how the DWP hides the meaning of its ‘fit for work’ decisions. If the DWP is able to run a claimant off-benefit, using its spurious ‘biopsychosocial’ method of assessment that attempts to claim most illnesses are only figments of the imagination (seriously!), then the Department claims anything happening to that person afterwards is none of its business.

But the coroner’s ruling makes nonsense of that claim.

Now, it could be argued that this was just one man and we have no reason to believe that anyone else died in similar circumstances; perhaps the DWP will try that one on us.

The answer is – of course – that, conversely, we have no reason to believe that nobody else died in similar circumstances either, without any evidence to prove it. Where is the evidence, one way or the other? If the DWP doesn’t have any, then we are looking at a serious case of negligence – because of the responsibility identified by the coroner. If an investigation discovers that further deaths have taken place, then corporate manslaughter charges should be laid.

In fact, we should question why corporate manslaughter charges have not already been laid, as a result of Mr O’Sullivan’s case.

For these reasons, I am sticking by the words I wrote in my email to the Information Commissioner’s Office of September 2, to which the DWP was responding (inadequately):

“The DWP provides only information on those found fit for work, or with an appeal completed against a fit for work decision, who died within an extremely limited period of time after the decision was made and their claim was ended. That is not what I requested, nor is it what the Information Commissioner’s ruling demands. In withdrawing its appeal, the DWP has agreed to provide the number of people who died between December 1, 2011 and May 28, 2014 – including all those who died between those dates after a ‘fit for work’ decision, not just those yielded up by the “regular scans” mentioned in the footnotes to the statistical release provided on August 27.

“I await those figures. I will not accept any excuses about the cost of producing them. By withdrawing its appeal, the DWP has undertaken to provide them, as demanded in the Information Commissioner’s ruling of April 30.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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!

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

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

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Has the DWP made a fatal error over the claimant deaths FoI request?

[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

To cut a long story short: It looks as though the DWP has blown it, big-time.

Dedicated VP readers who read the article earlier this week will know that the Department for Work and Pensions had until yesterday (October 16) to provide a full response to my Freedom of Information request on the deaths of incapacity benefits claimants.

I received a response by email at around 7.15pm on Thursday – and it’s another attempt at evasion…

… a very poor attempt.

Let’s remind ourselves of the request. On May 28, 2014, I asked:

“Please provide the number of Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have died since November 2011. Please break that figure down into the following categories:

  • Those who are in the assessment phase
  • Those who were found fit for work
  • Those who were placed in the work-related activity group
  • Those who were placed in the support group
  • Those who have had an appeal completed against a Fit for Work (FFW) decision.”

On April 30 this year (2015), after I appealed against the DWP’s refusal, the Information Commissioner ordered the department to disclose all the information I had requested.

Here’s the start of the DWP’s response of October 15:

“In its Grounds of Appeal, the Department noted that it did not in fact hold information to the 28 May 2014 at the time of the request… Accordingly, the Department did not hold all the necessary data to respond to your request in full as at 28 May 2014.

“At the time of your request, the Department only held processed data, which could be analysed within the FOI cost limit, in relation to all five parts of your (amended) request up to 31 December 2013… Accordingly, the Department maintains that it has provided all the information which could have been provided to you, within the FOI cost limit, at the time of your request had it not intended to publish the information in the future.

“We can confirm, however, that the Department would now be able to provide the information you requested for the period 1 March 2014 to 28 May 2014 within the FOI cost limit on receipt of a new request under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Oh, really?

What a shame, then that this excuse doesn’t carry any weight at all or make the slightest bit of difference to the DWP’s obligations. In fact, this seems to be an admission of even worse skulduggery than we had discovered previously.

Firstly, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states that, when a request has been made in accordance with the Act, the requester is entitled to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds the information, and to have that information communicated to him or her. Paragraph 4 states that the information “is the information in question held at the time when the request is received, except that account may be taken of any amendment or deletion made between that time and the time when the information is to be communicated … being an amendment or deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of the request.”

In the letter, the DWP states it now has the information, so it is data that the DWP would have collected regardless of my request, so it is data that the DWP must communicate to me immediately, in accordance with the law, as it has not yet communicated the information I requested back in May 2014. Publishing part of the information does not mean the request has been honoured.

But wait – there’s more.

In the original refusal notice of August 12, 2014, the DWP stated: “We can confirm that we do intend to publish further statistics on this topic and these will answer a majority of your questions. As the statistics are intended for future publication this information is exempt from disclosure under the terms of Section 22 (Information intended for future publication) of the FOIA.”

The only part of my request that the DWP specifically stated would not be answered was the line that originally referred to “those who have an appeal pending”; the Department claimed compliance would cost more than the £600 cost limit. But the letter admitted that, under section 16 of the Act, the Department had a duty “to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information to it”. Therefore the letter suggested I change that part of my request to one referring to “those who had an appeal completed” under a ‘fit for work’ decision. Ever willing to be reasonable, I agreed to the change.

The letter does not state that any of the information was not held by the DWP. If it had, then the Department would have been duty-bound to provide advice to me – at the time – to help me get the facts I wanted. So, not only was I misinformed about the availability of the information, but I was also deprived of the opportunity to revise my request – perhaps to have the missing information when it became available.

Either this was negligence on the part of the DWP, or it was a conscious and malicious decision to hide that important information from me. Either way, it seems the DWP is guilty of maladministration because its action was incorrect and has led to an injustice.

It is also a form of false argument known as ‘moving the goal posts’. Failing to address the points I make in my demand for the information, the DWP has instead raised a further point which had not been an issue previously. I call “foul”.

Considered in this way, the assertion that I should submit a new FoI request is risible. It is not up to me to submit a new request; it is the DWP’s responsibility to correct the omissions it made in its handling of the original – and to explain why my request was handled so poorly.

I shall be consulting with the Information Commissioner’s lawyers regarding the implication of maladministration.

And that’s not all!

It seems whoever wrote Thursday’s letter failed to realise that the DWP is not responding to my original FoI request any more. It is responding to the Information Commissioners decision of April 30, ordering the Department to release all the information relevant to my request. The Department was allowed to delay the release while it had an appeal pending – but it dropped the appeal after releasing the limited and unhelpful figures that were published on August 27. The Information Commissioner’s legal team had contacted the DWP after I pointed out that my request, and the Commissioner’s decision notice, had still not been honoured in full.

So it doesn’t matter what information the DWP had on May 28, 2015. Taken from any angle you like, the DWP has a duty to provide all the information it currently holds, relating to my request. That’s the law.

Those of you who read the previous articles on this subject will know that the Information Commissioner’s lawyers were seeking further information from the DWP, to aid an investigation into whether the Department had contumeliously (I now love that word; it means scornfully and insultingly; insolently) disregarded the Commissioner’s decision.

Considering the content of the DWP’s letter, it seems very clear the answer to that question is: Yes.

This lays the DWP, its officers and ministers, open to legal action for contempt of court. Oh, and I still want my information.

Watch this space.

Afterword: This article takes us only partway down page three of a six-page DWP letter. Expect further points to be addressed in future articles.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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!

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

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

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

DWP has delayed long enough. WHERE IS MY INFORMATION?

[Image: www.eastgippsland.net.au]

[Image: www.eastgippsland.net.au]

When the government wants information from a citizen, you have to provide it within a certain time limit under threat of sanction. Why is it, then, that the government is allowed all the time in the world when the roles are reversed?

The story so far: A long time ago (May 28, 2014, in fact), This Writer submitted a Freedom of Information request, asking for the the number of incapacity benefits claimants who had died between the end of November 2011 and May 28, 2014.

The DWP claimed to have answered with a ‘statistical release’ on August 27 this year, but I proved that this answered only those parts of the request that suited the DWP’s own purposes and called on the Information Commissioner to demand that the DWP provide the information in a timely manner – or be convicted of Contempt of Court.

On September 25 I had an email from the Information Commissioner’s Office, saying the DWP had pleaded for more time to make a “substantive” response, but may be able to answer the ICO’s queries about the matter – let alone my FoI request! – by October 2.

Having heard nothing by the end of last week – seven days after the deadline – I got back in touch with the ICO. Today I had a reply, to the effect that the DWP “has not been able to provide a final and substantive response at the time of writing.  It has therefore asked for a further short extension in which to reply”.

The solicitor handling the case believes the Commissioner’s position on any future action needs to be more fully informed by way of further explanation from the DWP, and has therefore granted the extension – but added: “In the event that the DWP does not provide a substantive response by the end of this week, I will seek instructions … as to how to proceed.”

Let’s bear in mind that to prove contempt of court, it must be shown that the DWP has contumeliously (it means scornfully and insultingly; insolently) disregarded the Information Commissioner’s decision that it should divulge all the information I requested. That decision was made on April 30 this year, meaning the DWP has managed to delay honouring that decision by more than five months (so far).

I would say that constitutes contumelious disregard, wouldn’t you?

In response to the email, I have written back as follows: “As far as I can see, the DWP is stringing you along with promises that it doesn’t intend to keep – or perhaps only when it suits ministers. This is not acting in good faith.

“It is many months since the full, complete and unabridged information should have been published. Look at what this organisation has done to prevent that publication – appealing against the Information Commissioner’s ruling, then withdrawing that appeal after several months in order to claim that a limited release of heavily-edited information was a full and frank disclosure, and now delaying from one week to the next.

“This is not acceptable.”

Having withdrawn its appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision, Iain Duncan Smith must provide all the information I requested – including the full number of people who died after being found fit for work, not just those dying within a two-week period of the end of their claim – or be in contempt of court.

The information should prove extremely interesting, in the light of a coroner’s finding that a DWP ‘fit for work’ decision directly contributed to the death of Michael O’Sullivan in late 2013. The coroner’s verdict was recorded in January 2014 – more than a year before the DWP started issuing – false – claims that there is no evidence to suggest a causal link between DWP benefit decisions and the deaths of claimants.

Some may say that it is impossible to draw any conclusions without this vital information from the DWP.

Some may say the fact that the DWP is failing to provide it – after almost a year and a half – tells us all we need to know.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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!

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

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

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:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook