Gag­ging clauses to muz­zle char­i­ties

Daily Mirror - - NEWS -

CHAR­I­TIES have been made to sign gag­ging clauses pledg­ing not to dam­age Es­ther McVey’s rep­u­ta­tion over uni­ver­sal credit.

At least 22 or­gan­i­sa­tions – cov­er­ing con­tracts worth £1.8bil­lion – have had to sign as they help with pro­grammes get­ting the job­less into work.

Of­fi­cials at the De­part­ment for Work and Pen­sions de­nied they were “gag­ging clauses” in­tended to pre­vent crit­i­cism of min­is­ters or their poli­cies, in­sist­ing they were just “stan­dard pro­ce­dure”.

How­ever a spokesman con­firmed the con­tracts did have ref­er­ences to en­sure both par­ties “un­der­stand how to in­ter­act with each other and pro­tect their best in­ter­ests”.

Ac­cord­ing to The Times, the sig­na­to­ries must un­der­take to “pay the ut­most re­gard to the stand­ing and rep­u­ta­tion” of Ms McVey, the Sec­re­tary of State.

And they must “not do any­thing which may at­tract ad­verse pub­lic­ity” to her, dam­age her rep­u­ta­tion, or harm the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence in her, the pa­per said.

Labour Shadow Dis­abil­i­ties Min­is­ter Mar­sha De Cordova said: “The Tories have tried to gag crit­i­cism of uni­ver­sal credit. The truth is it’s go­ing to make peo­ple worse off.”

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