Bor­ing but im­por­tant

The Week - - Politics -

Uni­ver­sal credit

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.

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