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MP in charge of disability benefits resigns over Brexit disagreement

Fri, 16 Nov 2018

Esther McVey is no longer the Work and Pensions Minister after she resigned from her role amid disagreements over the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, less than a year after being appointed.

Ms McVey, who was responsible for policies on disability benefits, became the third cabinet member to resign in the last 24 hours.

The MP for Tatton wrote a letter to Theresa May detailing why she resigned and said the EU withdrawal deal “did not honour the result of the referendum”.

The former minister has been under the mobility industry’s spotlight in recent months during the Personal Independence Payment’s (PIP) saga of failings, which has attracted a great deal of frustration from disabled people trying to fund independent living.

Ms McVey pledged to reform the system and introduced a pilot scheme to ensure video recordings of PIP assessments are a standard part of the benefits claiming process.

She has had to answer for a series of mishaps in the PIP system, including hundreds of thousands of claimants being owed money which many use to purchase equipment to help them live independently.

However, Ms McVey was praised for her role in tackling the controversy surrounding the Motability Scheme earlier this year.

She made an 
urgent request to the National Audit Office to look into the Motability charity after a row erupted exposing the scheme’s alleged £2.4bn of cash reserves and the £1.7m salary it pays its chief.

In her letter, Ms McVey said the deal put forward by the PM fails to “honour the will of the British people and secure the right outcome for the future of our country”.

Reflecting on her time as Minister for Work and Pensions, she added that since 2013, there are now nearly 1m more disabled people in work.

She added: “I am extremely grateful to you for appointing me to the role, and for the support you have given to me, not least in the run up to the budget, ensuring Universal Credit got a much need injection of £4.5 billion.”


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