Pensioner blasts Theresa May after her partner finally won his disability benefits – two days after he died

Retired HGV driver Geoffrey Elwell, 68, could barely cook, shower or walk without help – yet was given zero points in a humiliating PIP assessment

Carol with her partner Geoffrey, who finally won his battle for benefits two days after he died

A pensioner has blasted Theresa May after her partner finally won his disability benefits back – two days after he died.

Carol Acton, 68, was left “angry and lost for words” after receiving the shock letter while she grieved for her love of 12 years Geoffrey Elwell.

Retired HGV driver and electrician Geoffrey had crippling chest and spinal injuries after his truck flipped in a crash that left him temporarily dead.

Carol, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said he couldn’t walk long distances, cook or shower without her help and had for years received Disability Living Allowance.

Retired HGV driver and electrician Geoffrey had crippling chest and spinal injuries(Image: Carol Acton)

He appealed the decision in January – but three months later was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.

Already diabetic and having suffered two heart attacks, 68-year-old Geoffrey moved to a hospice while he waited for a date for his appeal.

He died on June 21, two days before it was heard. Then on June 23 the appeal ruled his benefits should not just be awarded in full – but be backdated to January.

Geoffrey’s shocking case was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions this week by his local Labour MP Gareth Snell.

Yet despite sending her condolences to Carol, Theresa May defended the system, saying it means “we are able to focus payments on the most vulnerable”.

Carol said she watched PMQs on TV, adding: “It was very emotional – it brought it all back.

“I wasn’t very happy with the way Theresa May handled it. She offered condolences to me but that’s not going to help, is it? She didn’t seem very sincere when she said it.”

woman with crippling condition has ESA stopped

If Theresa May knocked on her door now “I would probably thump her”, Carol joked.

She added she still hasn’t received the backdated cash – and “nobody’s ever apologised to me”.

Hundreds of thousands of people have had their benefits axed or downgraded when moving from DLA to PIP since 2013.

Ten days before Christmas, he was awarded zero points in a controversial PIP assessment 

Two-thirds of those who appeal to get PIP, which helps with daily living costs, win their cases – 14,077 in the most recent three months alone.

But victims of the system are forced to wait through an internal appeals system before they can appeal to an independent tribunal.

Concerns over criteria for ‘fitness for work’ reassessment exemptions

Carol blasted the assessor who said Geoffrey was not eligible for benefits last year, saying: “She was looking at her watch all the time. She was very abrupt.

“She was asking him questions not looking directly at him – she was basically downright rude.”

The letter from the independent tribunal came through while she was grieving for Geoffrey.

If Theresa May knocked on her door now “I would probably thump her”, Carol joked grimly 

She said: “I was angry and lost for words. If Geoff had hung on a bit at least I could have said to him, ‘you’ve won’. He could’ve died knowing it was sorted. But I couldn’t tell him that.”

The appeal judge ruled Geoffrey should be paid £141.10 a week – the maximum possible rate of PIP.

DWP officials insisted they were processing the payments grieving Carol “urgently”.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Elwell’s family. ARE THEY HELL! They are just glad it’s another one less they have to pay for!

“In this instance new evidence was submitted alongside the appeal which changed the outcome of the case.” Was this “new evidence” media exposure?

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Tory ministers refuse to halt cruel benefits shake-up that has left people mulling suicide

MPs jeered as Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke claimed Universal Credit is “proceeding to plan”

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“Deluded” Tory ministers have refused calls from their own party to halt a cruel benefits shake-up that has left people mulling suicide.

MPs jeered today as Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke claimed Universal Credit is “proceeding to plan” – despite hearing payment delays left one claimant “living on water”.

One in five people who move onto the all-in-one benefit are forced to wait more than six weeks for their first payment. Even people paid “on time” have to wait up to six weeks.

Some 25 Tory rebels are now said to be demanding more help despite Mr Gauke unveiling same-day advances for the worst-hit last week.

In a bitter House of Commons row Tory MP Heidi Allen warned advances – dismissed by Labour as another loan – were “treating the symptoms rather than the cause”.

 

Labour MP Stephen Timms added: “That delay is causing immense hardship up and down the country. I met last week with Maria Amos who came within an inch of suicide because she had to live literally on water for six weeks. Her health was irreparably harmed.”

The SNP ‘s Neil Gray branded Mr Gauke “either desperately deluded or ignorantly incompetent” and warned the shake-up was causing “social destruction”.

Mr Gauke faced angry heckles as he was confronted with an attack by ex-PM Sir John Major, who said the “messy” shake-up should be halted.

Labour Work and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field demanded “a guarantee that none of our constituents will be faced by hunger, near destitution, for the lack of money over the Christmas period.”

Labour’s John Mann also warned the “indecent” plans could cause a “catastrophe at Christmas for many children”.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams added: “Universal Credit is causing debts, rent arrears and even homelessness up and down the country.”

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams warned more people could end up on the streets (Image: Daily Mirror)

Tory MP Philip Hollobone said he was “concerned” for those who “have zero savings and if they lose money for a week or two weeks, they have nothing to fall back on.”

But he was jeered for suggesting Jobcentres should “write supportive letters” asking landlords not to evict penniless claimants – rather than giving the claimants more cash.

Mr Gauke claimed the advances meant “nobody needs to go six weeks without financial support” – to which MPs shouted: “They are!”.

He added: “I do believe that on something like this we should roll it out gradually, sensibly, make changes as and when necessary, but that is exactly what we’re doing.”

The Universal Credit Row and Our Basic Human Rights

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Evidence shows that many people are struggling to make ends meet while they wait for their first Universal Credit payment, which can push them into debt.

“Easier and quicker access to Advance Payments will help tide some people over until they receive their first payment, but won’t address the other problems they are experiencing.”

Meanwhile a new report today warned almost half a million more people will be pushed into poverty before 2021 by Tory welfare cuts.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation warned the four-year freeze on benefits was the “biggest driver” behind the toll and recommended scrapping it.

Cruel benefits freeze will push ‘half a million more people into poverty’

By 2019/20, when the freeze is due to end, the think tank says a low-income couple with two children on Universal Credit will be £16 a week worse off – £832 over the year.

The report also slams Theresa May’s constant boasts that she is helping the poorest by lifting the income tax threshold – saying only £1 in every £6 of the change goes to the poorest half of households.

Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd demanded an end to the benefits freeze, saying: “Balancing the books on the backs of the poorest in this way is unacceptable.”

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‘Boris told me to do it’ Lee Nelson hands Theresa May her ‘P45’ on stage

and the government have launched an urgent security review after the comedian handed the Prime Minister a mock P45 in the middle of her address:

Theresa May’s keynote speech to Tory conference has been interrupted in dramatic style by notorious prankster Lee Nelson.

Police and the government have launched an urgent security review after the comedian handed the Prime Minister a mock P45 in the middle of her address.

At first Theresa May didn’t skip a beat.

But she stopped as he was marched out by security to cries of “out! out! out!” from party faithful.

As Mrs May tried to continue as he left, Tory activists gave her a standing ovation in solidarity.

She quipped: “I wanted to talk about someone I’d like to give a P45 to and that’s Jeremy Corbyn !”

Speaking to journalists, Nelson, whose real name is Simon Brodkin, said: “I gave a P45 to Theresa. I thought he [Boris Johnson] wanted me to hand it to her.

(Image: AFP)

“Boris asked me to.

“I don’t know why, you’ll have to ask him 

“Boris said in one of those corridor meetings ‘Do me a favour and give Theresa this.’

“It was a P45 of course.”

View image on Twitter
It’s understood the prankster was driven away from the Conference centre, which has been under high security, with strict pass checks, metal detectors and armed police and snipers surrounding the venue, in a black Mercedes sprinter van.

He was seen being led out of the building in handcuffs, and was subjected to a body search by security officers.

A security probe has now been launched.

Five of prankster Lee Nelson’s most famous stunts

A senior No 10 source said: “Greater Manchester Police have arrested a man for a breach of the peace.

“We expect that there will be a thorough investigation into what’s happened.”

Brodkin tweeted shortly after the prank, saying: “Hi @BorisJohnson, I gave Theresa her P45 just like you asked.

The comedian also stormed the stage during Kanye West’s Glastonbury Festival headline performance, making himself a household name in the process.

He’s been performing since 2004, and has had his own TV shows, including 2010’s Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show and also and Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People in 2013.

Lee Nelson also appeared on Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder in 2009.

His character is known for being fairly ignorant and antisocial.

Stage and pitch invasions are ‘a thing’ for Brodkin, as he ran onto the pitch at Goodison Park and tried to warm up with Premier League team Manchester City.

Greater Manchester Police said they had launched a major review after realising the prankster held a legitimate pass.

Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said: “Earlier today a man was detained by conference security during the Prime Minister’s speech.

“Officers attended and the man was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace and was released a short time later.

“The man had legitimate accreditation which granted him access to the conference site.

“In light of this we will be reviewing the accreditation process with the Conservative Party.

“Even with accreditation, everyone at the conference goes through airport-style searches before being allowed entry to the site.”

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Philip Hammond runs up £145billion in debt – and still slams Labour for their spending

Just hours before it was revealed, he accused Labour of advocating “borrowing our way out of every problem”

 

Daily-Mirror - Copy
Blaming Corbyn excuse is wearing a bit thin

 

Philip Hammond put on a shocking display of hypocrisy as he attacked Labour’s borrowing, while presiding over a public debt that has soared by £145billion.

His huge IOU is the biggest amount any Chancellor has racked up in their first year in office since records began.Just hours before it was revealed, he accused Labour of advocating “borrowing our way out of every problem”.

He said Jeremy Corbyn ’s “socialist fantasy” would leave “billions of extra debt for the next generation to pay off” – while ignoring his own dire record.

When he took over in July 2016, total national debt stood at £1,614.4billion. A year later, it had soared to £1,760.2billion.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “The lack of any plan from this weak Tory government is exposed when it comes to the national debt.

As after just one year into the job Philip Hammond has managed to borrow a record amount of money compared to any of his ­predecessors’ first years.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable added: “Far from being fundamentally strong as Hammond claims, wages are failing to keep up with inflation, growth is anaemic, and ­business investment has stalled since the referendum.”

 

Labour-Party-Conference-2017-Day-Four
The man responsible for everything from global warming to the rise of ISIS

 

State spending has outpaced income by tens of billions of pounds on Mr Hammond’s watch, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Revelations about Mr Hammond’s state spending will be an ­embarrassment to Theresa May after No 10 sent crib sheets to ministers this week telling them to boast about their “balanced approach” to Labour’s plans for “more debt”.

But in a speech to ­delegates at the Tory Party conference in Manchester yesterday, Mr Hammond arrogantly called Mr Corbyn “a clear and present danger to our economic prosperity”. He boasted: “They say politics is about the clash of ideas, so we say to Corbyn… bring it on. Let them put their arguments, let them make their case, we will take them on and we will defeat them.”

He confirmed plans to spend £10billion to assist home-buyers through the Help to Buy scheme and £400million to improve transport in the North.

But his speech got a lukewarm reception from business chiefs.

CBI boss Carolyn ­Fairbairn said: “Our economy is under threat. It has moved from the top of the G7 to the bottom. The solution must be for responsible business and ­government to grow our way out of austerity.”

Britain will be able to export more pigs ears for food after Brexit as they will not have to carry EU tags, making them cheaper, Michael Gove claimed yesterday.

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Tory MPs pile pressure on PM days over cruel benefit changes & soaring energy bills

The Tory Conference is supposed to be a show of unity, but MPs are demanding action over a cruel benefit shake-up and a failed pledge to cap energy bills

Tory MPs have been piling pressure on Theresa May to change key policies just days before she speaks at her party conference.

The annual get-together is supposed to be a show of unity, but MPs are demanding action over a cruel benefit shake-up and a failed pledge to cap energy bills.

The move will add to the strain on the Tory leader as she arrives on Sunday in Manchester, where her own party is already debating how long she can stay in office.

The first of two protest letters reveals today asks Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke to halt the rollout of all-in-one benefit Universal Credit.

Council chiefs have warned people are “falling off a cliff” as they move to the new benefit because it can take 12 weeks for the first payment to come through.

The new all-in-one benefit Universal Credit can stop people’s payments for 3 months

The protest is led by serial welfare campaigner Heidi Allen and backed by 11 other Tory MPs, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In a second protest today, scores of Tory rebels today are urging Theresa May to cap energy prices for 17 million families.

Some 76 Conservatives have joined forces with 116 opposition MPs in a cross-party drive to give families price protection against “stitch-up” energy firms.

The MPs, who include former Work and Pensions Secretary and one-time leadership hopeful Stephen Crabb, called on the Prime Minister to fulfil her manifesto promise to introduce a cap for families on Standard Variable Tariffs.

The MPs say proposals by regulator Ofgem to bring in caps for two million households do not go far enough. Mrs May kicked her manifesto pledge into the long grass at the Queen’s Speech by promising a more wide-ranging review.

In a letter to the PM and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Greg Clark, they call on the Government to widen the Ofgem plans to meet manifesto pledges.

The letter states: “While these proposals are a step in the right direction it is clear we must do more to protect the further 15 million households who continue to be preyed on by the big six energy firms.

“It was promised in the three leading party manifestos. We hope you will work with us and Ofgem to stop this Big-6 stitch-up, and pledge to help the millions of households who Ofgem seem set to ignore.”

Former Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose said: “For decades the ‘Big Six’ energy companies have ripped off 17 million consumers, and yet Ofgem have chosen to stand idly by, leaving 15 million customers on SVTs to be preyed upon.

“If Ofgem won’t challenge the ‘Big Six’ and stand up for consumers, the Government should replace it and implement the energy price cap itself.

“This was a manifesto pledge in the Conservative, Labour and SNP election campaigns, and the breadth and depth of cross-party signatures on this letter shows huge support for the Government to get this through Parliament.”

Heidi Allen is among the Tory MPs voicing their concern

A DWP spokesman said: “Universal Credit lies at the heart of our commitment to help people improve their lives and raise their incomes a

“It does that by providing additional, tailored support not available under the old benefit system, including more help for those in work so they can eventually stop claiming benefits altogether, and under UC people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the previous system.

“The vast majority of claimants are comfortable managing their money, and for anyone who needs extra help, we have budgeting advice and benefit advances. Continuing to roll out Universal Credit in a safe and controlled way will mean many more will benefit from moving into employment.”

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“HOLY” HYPOCRITE! Jacob Rees-Mogg profits from sale of abortion pills

Pro-life Tory and multi-millionaire Jacob Rees-Mogg profits from sale of abortion pills

The father-of six’s company has nearly £5million-worth of shares in the Indonesian firm Kalbe Farma, which produces the pills to prevent ulcers

Hypocrite Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted his investment firm profits from abortion pills – even though he wants to deny rape victims the right to terminations.

His company has nearly £5million-worth of shares in the Indonesian firm Kalbe Farma, which produces the pills to prevent ulcers.

They also trigger terminations, can be bought in pharmacies and are used widely in Indonesia – where there are an estimated two million illegal abortions each year.

Father-of-six Mr Rees-Mogg defended the investments and said he would not resign his investment post.

But he admitted: “It would be wrong to pretend that I like it but the world is not always what you want it to be.”

“HOLY” HYPOCRITE!
Susanna Reid with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

The staunch Catholic, who is tipped to succeed PM Theresa May, is a partner in Somerset Capital Management, the investment firm he co-founded in 2007.

The North East Somerset MP, 48, is paid more than £14,500 a month for 30 hours of work for the company.

He will not reveal the dividend payments he receives for his 15 per cent share in the firm, based in London’s upmarket Belgravia.

But partners have trousered nearly £60million between them since 2010.

Invitec 200, which also prevents ulcers

According to this year’s interim report, two of Somerset Capital Management’s investment funds hold £4.8million in shares in Jakarta-based Kalbe Farma.

The pharmaceutical firm make misoprostol, a generic abortion drug sold under the brand name Invitec. They also manufacture oral contraceptives.

Invitec is marketed under its other use as a gastric ulcer preventer because abortion, other than in cases of rape or to save a mother’s life, is illegal in Indonesia.

But the international women’s rights organisation Women on Waves say it is available in Indonesian pharmacies.

The Dutch-based organisation advises women in Indonesia on how to obtain the drug and the circumstances in which terminations are legal in the country.

It says: “Abortion is permitted to save a woman’s life, in cases of foetal impairment and in cases of rape. Spousal authorisation is required. Misoprostol is available in pharmacies under the names Chromalux, Citrosol, Cytostol, Gastrul, Invitec and Noprostol.”

Mr Rees-Mogg defended the investments.

He said: “Kalbe Farma obeys Indonesian law so it’s a legitimate investment and there’s no hypocrisy. The law in ­Indonesia would satisfy the Vatican.”

Jacob Rees Mogg, Tory MP with his wife Helena and six children

In an earlier phone call, Mr Rees-Mogg said he had been unaware the company made the drug.

But he added: “I don’t manage the funds and haven’t done so since I became an MP. But the funds have to be run in accordance with the requirements of the investors and not according to my religious beliefs.

“This is not something I would wish to invest in personally but you have a duty as an investment manager not to impose constraints on investors.”

Mr Rees-Mogg accepted he did profit “in a very roundabout way”.

Mr Rees-Mogg accepted he did profit “in a very roundabout way” 

He went on: “This company does not procure the abortion of babies. It’s not my money in these investments and I profit from the total amount of client money we hold, not the investments we make.”

The Eton and Oxford educated MP caused uproar this month when he was interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain by Susanna Reid and denounced abortion as “morally ­indefensible” in all circumstances.

That, he said, included cases of pregnancy caused by rape or incest. He added: “Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception.”

The MP said this was not government policy, but his own personal view based on Catholic teachings.

He also said that he was opposed to same sex marriage, adding: “I am a Catholic and I take the teachings of the Catholic Church seriously.

“Marriage is a sacrament and the decision of what is a sacrament lies with the Church not with Parliament.

“Same-sex marriage is something people are doing for themselves. With abortion, it is something that is done to the unborn child. That is different.”

Katherine O’Brien, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said Mr Rees-Mogg’s “extreme” views were “wildly at odds” with public opinion.

She added: “Every politician is entitled to their own opinion on abortion.

“But what matters is whether they would let their own personal convictions stand in the way of women’s ability to act on their own.”

Theresa May also let it be known she did not agree with the backbencher, while Tory MP Margot James called his views “utterly abhorrent”.

Misoprostol can be prescribed to prevent stomach ulcers, or induce labour in pregnant women by causing contractions.

But when used with another drug, mifepristone, it ends pregnancy in NHS medical abortions to avoid surgical procedures.

Misoprostol is often used alone to bring about an abortion, particularly in countries where termination is illegal.

World Health Organisation guidelines recommend its use for pregnancies up to 12 weeks – when it is effective in nine out of ten cases.

The bookies had made Mr Rees-Mogg second favourite – behind David Davis – to succeed Theresa May as next Tory leader.

But after his abortion and gay marriage comments his odds drifted from 5/1 to 7/1.

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The Trussell Trust demands halt to Universal Credit that’s leaving people with no cash for months

Britain’s biggest foodbank charity demands halt to benefit shake-up that’s leaving people with no cash for months

The Trussell Trust said problems with Universal Credit had forced demand on one of its centres up by 67%

Britain’s biggest foodbank charity has demanded a temporary halt to a benefits shake-up that’s leaving people stranded without cash for months.

The Trussell Trust said problems with Universal Credit had forced demand on one of its centres up by 67%.

The mammoth all-in-one system is slowly replacing six benefits including jobseekers’ allowance and Tax Credits.

But not only has it been delayed seven times, it’s sparked fury by delaying initial payments who transfer onto the benefit.

MPs have repeatedly heard of people waiting three months for payments to come through.

Britain’s biggest foodbank charity has joined calls for the rollout to be halted 

In January a housing association warned 12-week average delays in Croydon risked “people losing their homes”.

This month Fiona Colley, Labour finance chief at Southwark council, warned: “We see them drop off a cliff once the claim goes in and remain in freefall for about three months until people start getting into payment.”

The Trussell Trust gave out nearly 1.2million emergency food parcels last year, its highest number ever and up from 61,000 in 2010/11.

If Universal Credit rollout continues like this, foodbanks won’t be able to catch everyone who falls

Chief executive Mark Ward said: “Universal Credit has the potential to be transformative: we welcome the intention to simplify a previously complicated system and make work pay.

“However, in its current form, we fear it is doing more harm than good for some of our country’s most vulnerable people.

The programme was masterminded by Tory welfare slasher Iain Duncan Smith

“Foodbanks tell us that Universal Credit is inadvertently leaving people without any money for six or more weeks, leading to debt, rental arrears, and poor mental health.

“People in seasonal or insecure work are finding it difficult to budget as they don’t know how much they’ll get paid next month.

“It’s led to one foodbank seeing a 67% increase in their referrals, and another has been working flat out to help people with their claims.

“We are concerned this will only get worse as winter approaches and more pressure will be put on stretched voluntary groups left to step in and help in the absence of other practical support.”

The Trust has joined a call already made by Citizens Advice for the roll-out to be halted “until appropriate emergency financial support is available and accessible to all people left with no income or food in the cupboard.”

The warning comes just days after Tory millionaire Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed the rise of foodbanks was “uplifting”.

The Old Etonian investor – touted as a future Conservative leader – claimed charity handouts to desperate families “show what a good compassionate country we are.”

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