Serious David Cameron came in for some serious mockery on Twitter last night:
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Responding to criticism from top clergy, David Cameron defends his ”social and moral mission” of benefits cuts in the Telegraph today:
“For me the moral case for welfare reform is every bit as important as making the numbers add up”
Let’s see what all that morality means in practice. With the government on the back foot over their harsh benefits sanctions regime, Scrapbook can reveal that one unemployed man had his Jobseekers’ Allowance cut by the DWP for attending his father’s funeral.
The man from Greater Manchester was forced to miss his regular appointment at the Jobcentre in order to attend the family service — but was subject to financial sanction even though he informed DWP staff in advance.
Ministers have insisted that the penalties are “proportionate”.
Jobcentre staff are under pressure to meet sanctions quotas regardless of the actual behaviour of claimants — stay tuned for more detail on that later today.
SEE ALSO: Dad had benefits cut while caring for cancer-stricken baby
After a ‘men only’ front bench led to a mauling last week, the Tory whips’ office aren’t making the same mistake again.
The wide shot has 12 women in: that’s 25% all Tory female MPs!
UPDATE: Tory spinners have been in touch to clarify: “The Votewatch listing that you cite refers to a recorded vote on Paragraph 2, part 3 of the resolution only. Therefore, the part of the resolution that Conservative MEPs voted against was this particular element”. However the Tories still abstained in the final vote — refusing to back the the measures outlined below.
While David Cameron and Nigel Farage were falling over themselves (almost literally) for a good photo op in the south west this week, perhaps they should have told the good people of the Somerset Levels that both their parties refused to back flood prevention in a European Parliament vote. Farage didn’t even bother turning up.
Tory and UKIP groups abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation designed to tackle the “rise in the frequency and intensity of floods” with “adaptation and mitigation policies”. The vote emphasised “the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena”.
As if the relevance to flood-hit parts of the UK wasn’t clear enough it continues:
“some countries do not suffer from shortages of water but are having difficulty in managing the excess of water resulting from regular or heavy rainfall, flooding, river erosion and pollution affecting river basins and coastal areas, as well as the effects of these phenomena on the local population”
“Calls on the Commission to conduct a relevant analysis of the ways to prevent the effects of flooding, given the noticeable increase in the flood risk in Member States in recent years”
This could be particularly awkward for their sitting south west MEPs.
Anne McIntosh bites the dust as she is deselected by her own members in Thirsk and Malton.
Did someone say “woman problem”?
Everyone had a good laugh when Conservative Councillor Asif Ayub told the Daily Politics that David Cameron was “the messiah”. Following the prime minister’s speech to Tory conference in 2012 the Spelthorne councillor gushed:
Cllr Ayub: “I honestly think that it’s the Messiah that the Britain needed [sic]”
BBC: “David Cameron’s the Messiah?”
Cllr Ayb: “The Messiah that Britain needed and we’ve got it in David Cameron”
Scrapbook wonders whether whether Ayub prayed to ‘the messiah’ after being charged with six counts of assault by beating yesterday.
It’s 2014 — but apparently Iain Duncan Smith thinks it’s okay to refer to a gay colleague as a “pantomime dame”. The cabinet member made the homophobic jibe to out Labour shadow minister Chris Bryant during work and pensions questions earlier this afternoon:
It is sadly poignant that a senior member of the government would make this sick comment on the same day that Stonewall launch a campaign on homophobic workplace bullying:
The jibe compounds sexist gaffes from David Cameron and William Hague, in which they dismissed female MPs with the jibes “calm down, dear” and “stupid woman”.