Boring but important
The Government is pressing ahead with its roll-out of universal credit despite protests from Tory backbenchers. Twelve Tory MPS have raised concerns that people claiming universal credit – which merges six existing benefits into one – faced a minimum wait of six weeks for their first payments, potentially causing grave financial hardship. This week, David Gauke, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the system was “working”, but announced that claimants struggling to pay their bills could be granted advances on their payments within five days – or, in emergency cases, on the same day. Charities welcomed the news, but said they continued to be concerned about the system’s flaws.
New UKIP leader
A former soldier has been elected leader of UKIP. Henry Bolton, who has never held elected office and once ran as a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, defeated Anne Marie Waters, the director of a group called Sharia Watch UK. UKIP’S fourth leader in a year, Bolton has vowed to professionalise and unite the party, which has lost members and donors since the EU referendum.