Pls send this letter to your coalition MP

There has been a big response from readers to the two recent posts (here and here) on the response of Tory MPs to questions from their constituents about the government’s blatant abuse of statistics (i.e. lies, since they continue to repeat them even after the UK Statistics Authority rebuked them and told them not to repeat the claims).

In particular, the fact that most MPs who bothered to respond had clearly simply cut and pasted their response from a Conservative Central template, as the wording was identical, and the fact that even this response completely failed to address the questions raised, caused much outrage.

I would therefore like to enlist your help to send a letter or email to every coalition MP that cuts out – or at least renders overtly embarrassing – the option of doing the same thing in response. Hopefully, the wording of this new missive will at the least focus the attention of the recipients on trying to actually respond to the questions asked, rather than parroting some lines that simply sidestep them.

If your MP is a Tory or LibDem, please find their details (if you don’t already have them) on http://www.theyworkforyou.com and then add their name to this text before sending it to them:

Dear XXXX,

You will be aware of the recent communications sent by the UK Statistics Authority to David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith and Grant Shapps highlighting unfounded claims on NHS spending, the effects of the benefits cap and the supposed phenomenon of almost 900,000 people abandoning their ESA claims ‘rather than face medical assessment’.

Each of these claims was shown to have no basis in the statistics used to justify them. The claims misled the electorate, have misled Parliament and the latter claim demonised disabled people as fakers and scroungers, when the facts showed nothing of the sort.

As your constituent, I require to know from you:

1. whether you condemn this gross abuse of statistics and its continuance even after the UK’s official statistics watchdog told the government that it was making false claims.

2. whether you will raise this issue with your senior parliamentary colleagues to call for it to stop.

3. whether you are prepared to raise this question in the House.

Please be aware that the contents of your reply will be made public via the SKWAWKBOX blog, and that any rote or cut-and-paste response will be highlighted, as will any failure to substantively address the actual questions raised. A repetition of wording from your party’s central office will not be acceptable. I, and many others, wish to know whether you are prepared to condemn what can only rightly be condemned, or to defend the indefensible.

A failure to respond at all will also be highlighted, and will be treated as tacit assent to the government’s dishonesty.

I look forward to your early response.

Your constituent,


Please send your responses to me at ccgwatch@gmail.com – I will collate and publish every response on the blog!

Thanks for your help!


  1. Thank you Steve I will be sending a letter out to my local coalition mp’s Steve Brine Selfservatives & Yellowbelly Martin Todd will email you both their response or non we will see what comes. In Solidarity Lizzie & Joshua 🙂

  2. 15. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves.
    16. Ye shall know them by their fruits (deeds). Do men gather grapes of thorns, or fig of thistles?
    17. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit (deed); but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit (deed).
    18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit (deeds); but corrupt tree bring forth evil fruit (deeds).
    19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit (deeds) is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20. Wherefore by their fruits (deeds) ye shall know them…
    Matthew 7ch. v15-20

  3. Reblogged this on Grannie's Last Mix and commented:
    At a time when more and MPs and Ministers seem to be involved in corrupt practices and apparently prepared to twist statistics to lie to us, even in the House of Commons I’ve become less and less confident in our political system as a means to represent the interests of ordinary folk. Accountability seems to have become a thing of the past. This post on skwawker’s blog is a ray of hope. If you want to hold your MP accountable and if your MP is a Conservative or a LibDem then please take the time to read this and follow skwawker’s advice.
    Then share this with others who might do the same.
    The more MPs we can reach the better. Its time to let them know their constituents are wide awake and watching and judging them by their actions.

  4. Private message:

    Please delete comment above (awaiting moderation) to avoid clogging. Only Con/LibDem MPs req’d.

    Made shorter version (character limit restriction) but can also be removed. Just trying out anyway, if useful.

    Should work with PC based email client like Outlook etc. May be convenient alternative method. Won’t work via web mail systems (Gmail, Hotmail etc) though – so can’t be used to spam.

    If handy (only tried London MPs so far & not sure if latest info), better version of body text could be emailed to me at rgmwork3@hotmail.com but same (or fewer) characters due to method limit.

    Separate list may work/be tested via http://mirob.net/skw

    – please delete all this stuff if not relevant, just xpt..! –

    Or raw text list of links (but not sure if will work in blog comment here):

    Public emails of Tory/LibDem MPs in London:

    BECKENHAM Jacqui Lait (Conservative) laitj@parliament.uk
    BEXLEY HEATH & CRAYFORD David Evennett (Conservative) evennetd@parliament.uk
    BRENT EAST Sarah Teather (Liberal Democats) teathers@parliament.uk
    BROMLEY & CHISLEHURST Bob Neill (Conservative) neillb@parliament.uk
    CARSHALTON & WALLINGTON Tom Brake (Liberal Democats) braket@parliament.uk
    CHINGFORD & WOODFORD GREEN Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative) ids@conservatives.com
    CHIPPING BARNET Theresa Villiers (Conservative) theresa@theresavilliers.co.uk
    CITIES OF LONDON & WESTMINSTER Mark Field (Conservative) fieldm@parliament.uk
    CROYDON CENTRAL Andrew Pelling (Conservative) pellinga@parliament.uk
    CROYDON SOUTH Richard Ottaway (Conservative) ottawayr@parliament.uk
    ENFIELD SOUTHGATE David Burrowes (Conservative) austinj@parliament.uk
    HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM Greg Hands (Conservative) mail@greghands.com
    HORNCHURCH James Brokenshire (Conservative) james.brokenshire.mp@parliament.uk
    * HORNSEY & WOOD GREEN Lynne Featherstone (Liberal Democats) http://www.lynnefeatherstone.org/contact
    ILFORD NORTH Lee Scott (Conservative) scottle@parliament.uk
    KENSINGTON & CHELSEA Malcolm Rifkind (Conservative) rifkindm@parliament.uk
    * KINGSTON & SURBITON Edward Davey (Liberal Democats) http://www.edwarddavey.co.uk/web/?q=contact
    NORTH SOUTHWARK & BERMONDSEY Simon Hughes (Liberal Democats) simon@simonhughes.org.uk
    OLD BEXLEY & SIDCUP Derek Conway (Conservative) conwayd@parliament.uk
    ORPINGTON John Horam (Conservative) horamj@parliament.uk
    RICHMOND PARK Susan Kramer (Liberal Democats) info@susankramer.org.uk
    ROMFORD Andrew Rosindell (Conservative) andrew@rosindell.com
    RUISLIP & NORTHWOOD Nick Hurd (Conservative) hurdn@parliament.uk
    SUTTON & CHEAM Paul Burstow (Liberal Democats) Email his casework assistant: rydermillsd@parliament.uk
    TWICKENHAM Vincent Cable (Liberal Democats) cablev@parliament.uk
    UPMINSTER Angela Watkinson (Conservative) watkinsona@parliament.uk
    UXBRIDGE John Randall (Conservative) randallj@parliament.uk
    WIMBLEDON Stephen Hammond (Conservative) hammondsp@parliament.uk

    * via their web site contact form only

  5. Have sent e-mail to Sarah Newton, Tory MP for Truro and Falmouth.Previous experience when writing to her about health service in Cornwall would suggest that there probably wont’t be much of a response but we can only hope and do our little bit to help.

  6. Thank you for your e-mail.

    You may be assured that I take very seriously the accurate use of
    statistics, and I am not aware that anyone has suggested at any point that as a Government minister I have misused statistics.

    Whilst I cannot speak for the Chairman of the Conservative Party, to whom complaints about his use of statistics should be directed, I entirely agree that all government departments should be using statistics in a fair and appropriate way and should never be used to stigmatise particular groups of the publication.

    I understand that the all-party Department of Work and Pensions Select Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the use of statistics by DWP which will involve gathering evidence and hearing from witnesses, and we await its report with interest.

    With best wishes,
    Steve Webb MP

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