Peter Grant MP has claimed Esther McVey, the UK Government minister responsible for Work & Pensions, has gone back on a promise she made in January to meet with him in person to discuss Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
During a debate four months ago on an Urgent Question, tabled by Mr Grant following the High Court’s decision to rule that some UK Government changes to PIP were unlawful, Esther McVey said: “If there is a specific case or constituent that the honourable Member would like to see me about my door is open and I will meet with him.”
However when he tried to take her up on this promise and wrote to her asking for a meeting, he waited over six weeks before finally getting a reply from a junior minister stating the Secretary of State was unavailable to meet with him to discuss the issue.
On Monday afternoon the Glenrothes and Central Fife MP raised the matter in Parliament, only for Esther McVey to delegate the answering of the questions to colleague, Sarah Newton MP.
Peter Grant said: “It is ridiculous that the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions has to hide behind her junior minister to dodge questions on such an important issue.
“Esther McVey said to me very clearly in Parliament last January that her door would be open to meet if I wished to discuss how her Government’s handling of Personal Independence Payments has adversely affected those in my constituency.
“Instead of opening her door she is now closing down communication on what was an unfair and callous attack by the UK Government on people with disabilities.
“I ask the Secretary of State again to keep to her promise and meet with me to discuss this issue.”
Peter Grant said in Parliament on Monday afternoon: “Four months without even an update to the Members of Parliament doesn’t sound like it’s (PIP) been treated urgently by the present Government. But in January when the Government were dragged in by an urgent question to give a statement on the court case that they lost, the Secretary of State assured the House that If I wanted to contact her to arrange a meeting to discuss a particular case in my constituency her door was open and she would meet me. Six weeks after I wrote asking for such a meeting I got a letter back from a junior minister saying the Secretary of State was not available to meet me. Will she apologise for breaking the promise she made to me, and will she apologise on behalf of my constituents and the constituents of other Members that we still do not know what the Government are doing to sort this mess?”
Peter Grant MP press release on PIP: https://www.petergrant.scot/single-post/2018/01/25/MP-calls-for-end-to-Callous-Attack-on-Disabled