McVey didn’t misrepresent only Mind on Monday. She went full Trump with her charity quotes

mcvey trump.png
McVey: going full Trump (image by @UKDemockery)

On Monday, Esther McVey reeled off a list of charities and their comments, which she treated as praise for the DWP’s plans for Universal Credit (UC):

Her comments were a litany of misrepresentation – and triggered a scramble by charities to distance themselves from her and her claims that made clear that McVey was not only being misleading, yet again, but so misleading that she had essentially gone ‘full Trump’.


Mind, one of the charities McVey claimed had said her department was listening to them and to claimants, was so keen to disavow her claims that it put out a six-tweet thread on Twitter to ‘set the record straight‘.

The thread began with video of her claims, then made clear that Mind had not changed its position from its July statement that it was ‘hugely concerned‘ about the ramifications for vulnerable people of the Tories’ UC plans:



But Mind was not the only charity that wanted to ‘set the record straight’.


Gingerbread, another of the organisations McVey name-checked, has also put out a substantial Twitter thread today, making clear that while any improvement for claimants is welcome, McVey presented a partial and misleading picture in her use of its comments – and that the charity still considers UC a serious threat to the single parents it represents:



McVey also listed Mencap among the charities who said the DWP was ‘listening’. But again, she omitted a large – and utterly damning – part of the charity’s comment. The full version reads:

The government has started to listen on the huge problems with Universal Credit, but has done little to address the massive loss of financial support faced by disabled people due to disability premiums being abolished.

Trussell Trust

McVey quoted the Trussell Trust about ‘listening’ – but also its words about ‘significant improvements that will make a real difference‘. Predictably, the rest of the comment was not included:

However, right now, more and more people across Britain are struggling to make ends meet, unable to afford food, and facing hunger as a result. The huge rise in foodbank use where Universal Credit has been rolled out is the opposite of what should be happening: our benefits system should be protecting people from needing a foodbank, not forcing people to use one.

By failing to ensure benefits cover essential living costs, the Government risks undermining the health, wellbeing and dignity of millions of people.

The Trussell Trust told the SKWAWKBOX it is preparing a specific statement on McVey’s comments for imminent release. While it is likely to resemble to responses put out by Mind and Gingerbread, it will be published separately on the SKWAWKBOX when it is released.

Resolution Foundation

McVey also quoted the Resolution Foundation’s welcome for extra cash for some UC claimants – but again, she only quoted a small part of the picture. The charity told the SKWAWKBOX:

The £1,000 increase in Work Allowances will deliver a £630 boost to low-income families… However, the Foundation cautions that austerity is not over when it comes to social security. The cash freeze in working age benefits is set to continue next year, saving the Exchequer £1.5bn but costing a couple with children in the bottom half of the income distribution £200.


The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) did indeed say that the government’s increase to UC ‘work allowances’ is good news – although it will only help those claimants working and earning enough to benefit from it. But that was one small phrase from six paragraphs of the charity’s otherwise critical response.

CPAG did not wish to add to its published response when contacted by this blog, but that response itself could scarcely be more damaging to McVey’s attempt to claim that

The work allowance change will be welcomed by hard-up families but unless there is a further fundamental re-think of how universal credit works – and robust safeguards in place before it is scaled-up – people will continue to be pushed into debt and driven to food banks as part of their claim.

This should have been the Budget to bring families in from the cold by ending the four-year freeze on family benefits but the impact of that stealth cut will continue to be felt by just-managing families. Child benefit, a lifeline for many low-income families, will have lost 23% of its real value by 2020, compared with 2010, as a result of sub-inflationary uprating and the current freeze. That’s core money for struggling families in and out of work. If there is substance to the claim that austerity is ending, ending the freeze and allowing family benefits to rise again with rents and inflation must be a priority.

Rowntree Foundation

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation could not be reached for comment, but its press release on the new UC plans was, like the others, anything but unalloyed approval, drawing attention to the incredible fourteen million people living in poverty – and warning the government that it needs to make serious changes before the UK becomes a country that works for all its inhabitants.

Esther McVey was contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Nobody aware of Esther McVey’s complete disregard for truth when she claimed that official bodies were recommending the acceleration of the Tories’ UC roll-out, when they were in fact saying STOP!, will be remotely surprised that she has stooped to Trumpian levels of disinformation and reality-distortion this week.

But being predictably absurd does not make it any less appalling.

The reaction and comments of the charities she listed – every single one of them – make that abundantly clear.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Since when did lying / misleading the House once, let alone numerous times become a non resignation matter…?

  2. The problem is that McVey and her cohorts have ‘normalised’ lying, it’s the new truth and shocks no one any longer.

  3. Been trying to think what animal that hideous, braying voice most resembles.
    Can’t decide between donkey, pig and hyena.
    Hoping for a little help – to be honest I haven’t heard that many animals fart.

      1. Nah but Oi just watcht da trrailerr. Lot of Sean Bean toipes rrunnin’ arroun’ wit derre kecks in a boonch shewt’n an’ stuff.
        Nat moi koinda t’ing at arrl.

      2. You couldn’t have watched it too closely cos it’s not set in Oireland and features no Oirish, sorry, Irish people at all, as you seem to be implying. It’s (English) Northeners in Noo England if anything.

        Brilliant film. Your loss.

      3. Tim, I was just having a bit of fun trying to spell an accent.
        I happen to love Irish accents and idioms – the look of the trailer just made me think of it, that’s all – nothing more 🙂
        I try not to dismiss anything on the strength of a clip – I missed years of the brilliant Harry Hill doing that – but you can’t watch everything so you have to accept missing some good stuff along with the Hollyoaks.
        I haven’t seen a second of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones and I can live with that.

      4. You can certainly live without Game of Thrones. I pride myself on not having seen any of it, though that’s primarily cos I only have Freeview!

        Breaking Bad, on the other hand, is the King Lear of US drama. Well, next to the Sopranos, maybe. Make an exception…

      5. I’m at the stage of life where I keep seeing listings on Freeview’s Guide for episode 6 of something I swear I haven’t seen listed before.
        When I’m sitting in one of those tall chairs lined up around the walls of the TV lounge in my nursing home drooling into my dressing gown maybe I’ll get to watch it all.
        I don’t think I’ll have to wait long – if I make it that far 🙂

  4. Poor little Esther McVey, the hapless victim put in place to take the heat off the notorious sadist Iain Duncan Smith. She is clearly incapable of carrying off Smith’s vindictive contempt for the ‘great unwashed’!! He enjoys such perversity, as he has demonstrated in the Commons…waving his clenched fists in the air with genuine glee! But she’s just an ingenue, making every effort to please her master and failing at every turn. Look & learn…this is a front seat in the theatrical Grand Guignol of Tory politics. ‘Here’s some blood Esther, drink it down, there’s a good girl’!!

  5. For Christ’s sake she’s a effing Tory , do you expect truth , honesty and integrity ! Scum of the earth .

  6. What about the upper class charity or upper class welfare state of when Trump a few years before going for President was broke and was bailed out by a US fellow US Barbarian Billionaire, and later when Trump the Turd became President he gave him a post in return.
    Perhaps in the US it’s :
    ‘We have seen the very beginning, the tentative very beginning of the Grotesque’s End.
    But the sword will only slay the bourgeois dragon.
    With Socialist Democrats my friend.’
    Mcvey is a poor man and women’s Trump,
    Working class dad made millions legally stealing the surplus labour of his workers labour and bought his daughter privilege – born again Tories who the elites probably hate but find useful idiots- whilst the inheriters of legally stolen wealth know to be more subtle whilst offering crumbs and bread and circumstances. Memo to Ester from the rich elite legal thieves- we know we are legal theives but best not to wake working people up – get with the programme!
    Meanwhile the rich and powerful in every country are the REAL DEPENDENCY CULTURE – every night they must pray that diverse working people will turn up for work tomorrow.
    THEY need to CON working people every day, we only need to wake diverse working people up in every country once!. Recognise your power brothers and sisters and peacefully & democratically transform the world. X

  7. wow this bitch really believes herself, what about all the suicides and self harm’s caused by your policies and lies by your assessors, I even know she went on a dementia walk, wonder what her view are on the assessment with a person with dementia who scored zero points, got anything proud to say about that, carry on lying, your department going to see a few more AB soon, then you wont be so smug

  8. Little Esther only cares about promoting Esther and her climb towards becoming more like IDS.

    1. she trying but there is nothing as repugnant as smith, he makes dictator’s seem nice

      1. mvile is the irma grese to dummkopf-schmitt’s josef kramer.

  9. By selectively quoting she is showing she is aware of exactly what they actually said but she is choosing to wilfully mislead parliament. Which is a breach of the ministerial code. Previously she claimed she had used the “wrong form of words” and got away with it, but in this case she is deliberately omitting key elements to twist the intended meaning.

    1. Jaxster, May does exactly that every Wednesday to howls of approval.
      It’s the new normal.
      What you get away with on the BBC is as good as the truth on Tory Island.

  10. there was also an article in the Times about the government forcing charities to sign up to gagging clauses that ensure they cannot criticise the government.

  11. I only read down to the paywall but it was a hoot:

    “The contracts, worth a total of £1.8 billion, state that groups receiving the money must ‘pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation’ of the work and pensions secretary.”

    I don’t actually think it’s a problem – she has no standing with anyone who matters, her reputation’s in the toilet and she won’t be WPS for much longer.
    Say whatever you like, boys and girls 🙂

  12. Yes but perhaps she’s not the sharpest tool in the toolbox? Also when her reputation is as a Right Wing Neo-Liberal political imbecile you are “paying the utmost regard” to a political moron by publicly acknowledging that a moron is a moron or as perhaps as someone said “Politcally stupid is as politically stupid does” Tory Barbarians!

  13. yet these charity bowed down to government helping them to take a esa slave to stack their shelves while holding out their hands for the rewards of taking them charities nowadays are a laugh to themselves

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: