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Charities working with Universal Credit claimants required to ‘sign contracts to protect Esther McVeys reputation’

Charities and firms working with Universal Credit (UC) claimants have reportedly been required to signal clauses pledging to not harm the repute of Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.

At the very least 22 organisations – overlaying contracts price £1.Eight billion – have been required to signal the clauses as a part of their involvement with programmes getting the unemployed into work, The Instances reported. 

Officers on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) denied they have been “gagging clauses” supposed to forestall criticism of ministers or their insurance policies, insisting they have been simply “commonplace process”.

Nevertheless a spokesman confirmed that the contracts did embrace references to make sure each events “perceive find out how to work together with one another and defend their greatest pursuits”.

The signatories to contracts should undertake to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and repute” of the Work and Pensions Secretary, the newspaper reported, including that they have to “not do something which can appeal to antagonistic publicity” to her, harm her repute, or hurt the general public’s confidence in her. 

A DWP spokesperson stated: “It is utterly unfaithful to counsel that organisations are banned from criticising Common Credit score. As with all preparations like this, they embrace a reference which allows each events to know find out how to work together with one another and defend their greatest pursuits.

“That is in place to safeguard any industrial delicate data for each authorities and the organisation concerned.”

The disclosure comes after Ms McVey confirmed that some people would be worse off because of the introduction of UC, saying the Authorities had taken some “robust choices”.

Former prime minister Sir John Major called for a rethink of the deliberate roll-out of UC to greater than two million claimants of present advantages, warning the Authorities risked a ballot tax-style backlash if the coverage was seen as unfair.

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