Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Who are the new DWP ministers?

So, in the current government reshuffle, two notable changes are the departure from the DWP of Chris Grayling and Maria Miller.

Instead they have been replaced with two people who most members of the public will never have heard of. They are Esther McVey (former parliamentary private secretary to Chris Grayling) and Mark Hoban (the former Treasury Minister), with both of them being Conservatives. That these are the new job holders is probably certain given that the official Number 10 twitter account has tweeted the appointments.

Mark Hoban is taking over from Chris Grayling as Minister of State for Work and Pensions.

Esther McVey is taking over from Maria Miller as Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions (though it's not known if she'll also be Minister for the Disabled).

Now, as McVey has been working in the DWP as Chris Grayling's chief assistant since 2010 she obviously has experience of working in the DWP while Hoban has none with his previous parliamentary experience being in science and technology, education and the treasury. However, with both of them, their personal opinions and approaches to the DWP's work are pretty much unknown.

That being said, it's obvious that neither of them are being in to rock the boat. Both of their job moves are promotions so my guess would be that Number 10 just wants them to pretty much keep things going the way they are under the auspices of their immediate boss Iain Duncan-Smith (who's presence will mean that the welfare reforms will keep going but who also is disliked by the treasury for fighting ferociously to protect his department from cuts).

So, to give us a better idea who these two new ministers are, I'm going to start with brief biopics of each of them.

Mark Hoban

Economist and former financial analyst. Married with no children. MP for Fareham in Hampshire, a Conservative safe seat, and member of the Conservative front bench since 2003 - primarily in finance related roles - and is viewed as a 'hard-nosed' safe pair of hands.

However, based on an interview on the Today programme and looking at the analysis of the interview by Touchstone, where he defended the housing benefit cuts and changes to DLA, while refuting analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies' analysis of the changes (based on the DWP's figures) as being likely to significantly increase poverty. From this he's either good at spouting the government line or a fool who actually believes it. Personally I think it's more likely to be the latter.

However, given that he's got no previous experience in this area and doesn't appear to have ever shown an interest, it's pretty impossible to tell what kind of job he'll do in his new role.

Esther McVey

Former TV presenter and businesswoman. Single. MP for Wirral West in Merseyside, a marginal seat which she won from Labour in 2010 after losing in 2005. She's also a supporter of Conservative Way Forward, a neo-Thatcherite group within the tories (albeit one which also supported David Cameron's modernising agenda). While this and the fact that she (unsurprisingly) supported her boss's welfare reforms in public, is rather unpromising, what her personal opinions are is anyone's guess and she is patron of a disabled children charity called 'Full Of Life'.

The best thing about her I've been able to turn up so far is that she doesn't appear to have copied her boss's habit of describing disabled people as workshy and scroungers - it's early days yet though. Additionally, she did manage to get Grant Shapps to visit families living in partially demolished streets in her constituency when he was Housing Minister with the result that he made an extra £75 million available to help families trapped in  those and similar situations - so not without some sense of decency then.

Can be found on twitter as @EstherMcVeyMP.


  1. To be honest it wouldnt make much difference if 'dave' put a blow up doll in the seats of the MPs etc - As every single one of them are on repeat of the same rubbish - Disabled are scum - so attack them - Dsabled who canno do workfare - take all the money away as they are scum. Disabled are meaningless. Letss ell off the Uk to the highest bidder from pals at eton.
    Ah what a great moher country we live in (sarc)

  2. As someone who genuinely suffers from clinical depression, I shall never vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat again. I have never been so scared and terrified of any government like this before. The minute I see a headline containing the words 'benefits' or 'cuts' my heart begins to palpitate. I regard anyone who is a member of either of the coalition parties as an accessory to murder.

    1. Agreed, why vote for someone who thinks you should bugger off and die quietly
      I spend my life in fear, and am sickened by this country who doesnt care

  3. I justread this - http://socialwelfareunion.org/archives/2164

    So basically it says if you can put soup in the microwave (a simple meal as someone said) then you get 0 pts. Soup is not going to keep one going for long it's mainly water. They (this evil govt) have made this so imposible to get any pts for - That 99% of disabled people will be thrown to the dogs! This is so vastly different to DLA - This will NOT give disabled people independance at all. Nothing in it about how long it may take you to bathe yourself and how that might affect your condition etc, just - can you do it - OK - Bog off and die then!

    Can you mak soup - OK - bog off and eat it then

    t is just horribly inhumane and many disabled people will be - NOT given independance but made to be more dependant (if they dont die) on family who arent equipped to help and will more than likely lose their cool at their family member because they wont be able to cope.

    I am sickened by whatthis govt have done. I am more sickened that the Lib Dems have not walked out and fotred a new election - In all effects the Lib Dems hav just allowed the conservatives to do as they please without truly standing up for what is right and whatis good!

    I am just sickened! (Not that anyone actually cares as Labour seem to have become blue conservatives of late)

    If Clegg is aiding and abetting these evil people (and if you stan by and watch a murder and ou know it is happening - You are still culpable by doing nothing to stop it) Clegg - He is as much an inhumane evil man as cameron is.

    Lib Dems neverused to be like this! They used to be the only party with a true heart. Now - Nobody can tell the difference party to party as not one party has a heart, not one party has a soul, and no one party holds a shred of humanity within it by the seems of it now.

    In years to come - Cameron will be touted as the most evil uncaring liar of a PM in history!

    1. That goes for Thatcher too One heartless evil woman who like all tories despises the working class and the poor

  4. And now - As well as taking away my DLA cos under PIP i get 0 pts when i got 15 under DLA, so i get 0 money there - They now put me on ESA but I am not good enough cos of the WCA so i get in WRAG and sactioned at 70% removed with £25 a week to sdupposedly LIVE on - As well as all that - I now (Thanks to this evil govt refusing to pay councils anythign) I now get to pay 25% of the council tax also. so from my £25 a week i get to pay my £60 a week of bills, maybe £10 a week or more of council tax when I am no good for anythign as i spend so much time up hospitals. So from £25 a week i have £60 a week to pay out???? How is this NOT putting the poor and disabled n to poverty I ask you?
    I really hope Cameron is happy with himself having broken the back of this country, and only lining the pockets of his millionaire pals. I am assuming I shall get given my £25 Euthanasia pack though - so all will be well wont it!

    This is NOT 'Great' Britain any more - It is only great if you are left millions by Mummy or Daddy. It is not great if you were born here and got a disability you did nothing to get!

    May as well go jump off a cliff cos it is blatantly obvious that disabled people are scum. I am scum and I don't deserve to live.

    Tell my kids I love them tho wont you!

  5. You are not a Scum under the UN international law you are entitled to shelter and food I mean adequate food and £25 a week is not enough for loaves of bread for the week never mind paying b.ills.

    It's outrageous the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer
    Put your armor on and fight for justice


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