Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MP Hits Back at Former Pensions Secretary

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MP Hits Back at Former Pensions Secretary

Article excerpt

AN MP has condemned former Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke after he insisted there was no need to apologise for how Universal Credit has been rolled out.

Laura Pidcock, the Labour MP for North West Durham who has led opposition to the controversial new benefit system, said: "He should have just said sorry."

She was responding to an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live where Mr Gauke was pressed to admit mistakes had been made, in his last day in the work and pensions role.

But he insisted: "There may be changes we make in future to improve Universal Credit - that doesn't mean that those who go on to Universal Credit today are hard done by."

Mr Gauke led the Department for Work and Pensions from June last year to Monday, when he was moved to become Justice Secretary in Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle. He made the comments hours before the reshuffle, which saw Esther McVey appointed as his replacement.

Universal Credit replaces a range of older benefits and critics say the way it has been introduced forced some people into debt and rent arrears. …

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