Less than one month ago, Tory DWP chief and upper crust class warrior Iain Duncan Smith visited Mark Spencer’s office in Hucknall. One could be forgiven to assume the small clique of Tory activists met with IDS to learn tips on how to bash the poor, the sick and demonise anybody who claims benefits.
It now seems Mark Spencer has taken on board IDS’ callous approach of clobbering the most vulnerable people in society in a jaw dropping turn of events during a debate in the House of Commons this week.
Wigan Labour MP Lisa Nandy told the house about a constituent who had learning difficulties was sanctioned by the DWP and lost his benefit entitlement because he turned up to an appointment late due to his genuine inability to read the clock. Nandy also told the house that because the benefits had been withdrawn the man hadn’t eaten for days and was left alone, in his house, cold with no electricity to even turn the lights on.
The Hucknall Tory MP then suggested that people like him needed to learn “the discipline of timekeeping”, and stated the education system needed to improve to ‘cure’ the constituent’s learning difficulties.
This triggered a huge backlash towards Spencer as the news spread via a Huffington Post article which was shared online via Facebook & Twitter. The article even made it to the ‘I love Hucknall’ group with a cascade of negative comments towards Spencer’s actions followed on the drop box.
To the MP’s defence leapt the fresh faced Tory lackey, Ben Bradley who is conveniently employed by Mark Spencer as his campaign manager and official bag carrier.
‘Clearly taken completely out of context – he said people on Jobseekers should be held to the same expectations as people in work – which is fair and reasonable… The ”benefits system” didn’t leave the guy without food or electricity, a lack of social care/support did… and Mark suggested he needed more help! Ridiculous article!’ claimed Bradley.
Since the news broke the Hammer has read a copy of the official Commons Hansard report which can be read below:-http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150204/halltext/150204h0001.htm#15020481000001
So people can judge for themselves what was said and what was allegedly said.
The local newspaper (reluctantly) covered the story online after being contacted by numerous angry Hucknall constituents in what was a pitiful one sided news story that Mark Spencer could have written himself.
With the General Election looming could this have damaged Mark Spencers reputation even further? Only time will tell.