The DWP boss is no longer responsible for disabled people’s welfare

Mel Stride and the DWP logo
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The new boss at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is no longer responsible for disabled people or policies affecting them. That’s the latest update on the official UK government website.

DWP boss: no longer responsible for disabled people?

The new DWP secretary of state is Mel Stride. His predecessor was Chloe Smith. Previously, the UK government website stated that as DWP secretary of state, Smith had:

strategic oversight of disability policy and cross-government responsibility for disabled people.

Now, the website has been updated – and this sentence has been completely removed:

The new DWP boss's role which has removed reference to responsibility to disabled people

So, who is responsible for the willful negligence and human-rights-violating policies that the DWP has enacted over the years? It’s now a minister.

Chaos at the department

As the Canary previously reported, Rishi Sunak’s government dragged its heels on appointing a new minister for disabled people. However, the previous Liz Truss government also downgraded the role – from parliamentary under-secretary of state to its “junior” equivalent. Then the government U-turned, and the new minister is Tory MP Tom Pursglove. He was previously immigration minister under Suella Braverman, at a time when the chaos at the Manston detention centre was worsening. So, when it comes to government policy, he hardly has a track record of compassion.

Read on...

The Canary asked the DWP for comment. We specifically wanted to know why it had removed responsibility for disabled people from Stride. It had not responded at the time of publication. A DWP spokesperson told the Canary:

The secretary of state has strategic oversight of all areas of DWP work, including disability policy. We also have a dedicated minister for disabled people, with minister of state status.

The DWP has treated disabled people like second-class citizens for decades. As the Canary previously stated:

It’s hardly news that the Tories don’t give a shit about disabled people. After all, in 2016 the UN accused successive Tory-led governments of “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights. More recently, on Boris Johnson’s watch 60% of coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths were disabled people. And the DWP’s assessment process for health-related social security is not, and has never been, fit for purpose – all while delivering real-terms cuts to people’s money at the same time.

Now, the DWP can’t even be bothered to make disabled people a priority.

Get a grip

Meanwhile, the government has delayed the publication of an important disability policy document. As Disability News Service (DNS) reported, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, Vicky Foxcroft, said that in doing this the DWP has left an “illegal” disability strategy in place. Foxcroft also told DNS:

The government needs to get a grip and deal with the challenges disabled people face. If they can’t, we should hold a general election now.

Clearly, the DWP is not getting a grip – it has downgraded who is responsible for disabled people in its own department. Yet again, its insulting behaviour towards disabled people has shown that the department really doesn’t give a shit.

Featured image via Chris McAndrew – Wikimedia, resized to 770×403 under licence CC BY 3.0, and Wikimedia 

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  • Show Comments
    1. The DWP boss is no longer responsible for disabled people’s welfare
      WELL -WELL disabled people your getting screwed again by Tory Minister
      I will ask this question of Tory D.W.P. Minister Mel Stride.
      Q—If No one is in charge of disabled people help cash can they claim everything going in benefit help system from D.W.P. now Y-N???
      Q—WILL record BE KEPT of disabled people death from Not get help
      from any Tory D.W.P. Minister now Y-N??
      Tory leader Sunak/Hunt the disabled people also vote next G.E.
      This perfetic D.W.P. Minister not being held fully to account will
      not go down well with voters.
      what will be coved up by your Tory Govt now Sunak /Hunt on the
      benefits help not being given the disabled people you are betraying.

    2. It has been crystal clear throughout the previous 12 Tory government years and indeed before when Yvette Cooper of Labour introduced work assessment processes, that blue and red Tories don’t care about vulnerable people. COVID has been a gift to them and Spaffer took things to a whole new brazen and blatant level in his intent to cull disabled folk. He’s wiped out many of us and the establishment will continue unabated in this endeavour. If this shower of psychopaths are replaced by red Tory psychopaths, it’ll be business as usual and nothing will change.

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