Two ministers have refused to apologise after they both misled MPs about the impact of the government’s new disability benefit on disabled people.In the space of just 20 minutes, work and pensions secretary Damian Green and minister for disabled people Penny Mordaunt both misled the House of Commons about how personal independence payment (PIP) was affecting disabled people.The first House of Commons work and pensions questions after the break for party conferences saw about 20 questions from MPs across the main parties with concerns about the way PIP was operating, far more than for any other issue.In one answer, Mordaunt (pictured) told MPs that under PIP – compared with disability living allowance (DLA), which it is replacing for working-age claimants – “more people are entitled to use the Motability scheme”.But Motability’s own figures show that of their customers who have been reassessed for PIP so far, 44 per cent have lost their entitlement to the scheme and have had to hand their vehicles back.Responding to another question on PIP, Green told MPs on Monday that “many more people are eligible to receive PIP than were eligible to receive disability living allowance”.But the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) own figures from June showed that only about seven in 10 disabled people who were previously claiming DLA were being found eligible for PIP.The DWP figures showed just 71 per cent of DLA recipients who applied for PIP were successful with their claim in April 2016, once withdrawn claims were excluded.PIP was introduced with the intention – announced by chancellor George Osborne in his 2010 emergency budget – of cutting the number of working-age claimants by 20 per cent.A DWP spokesman appeared to accept that the two statements were not true*, arguing in a statement that the ministers were trying to make completely different points about PIP.He has so far refused to say whether the ministers stand by their statements or whether they will be apologising to MPs, but insisted that “the comments should be considered in the context of the exchanges made during DWP Oral Questions and the wider discussion of which they formed a part”.Among MPs who raised concerns about PIP, the SNP’s Martyn Day told Mordaunt that for the fourth year in a row “the Infrastructure and Projects Authority has said that the roll-out of the personal independence payment project is ‘in doubt with major risks… apparent in a number of key areas’”.Mordaunt claimed that PIP was “a vast improvement on what went before” and was “a more targeted benefit”.Another SNP MP, John Nicolson, then told her of a disabled constituent who had had her Motability car removed after a PIP assessment.He said: “She had to use public transport, which she was unable to do, and she lost her job as a result.“Does the minister really think that government policy is delivering compassionate outcomes in such cases?”After asking for Nicolson to write to her with details of the case, Mordaunt claimed that more people were entitled to use the Motability scheme under PIP, although “clearly we want to make sure that any decision taken on a PIP assessment is the right one”.Tory MP Peter Bone told Mordaunt: “I do not know whether it is just in my area, but at every weekly surgery I will have one person who has been refused PIP who is clearly entitled to it.“I had a lady this week with multiple sclerosis; she is clearly entitled to it and will get it when she goes to the independent tribunal, but why do such people have to wait until then?“Surely this can be corrected at an earlier stage.”Mordaunt said she understood Bone’s frustration, and told him that DWP was “looking very closely at those cases that have gone to appeal and been overturned to see why the right decision was not taken earlier in the process”.She pointed to an earlier answer in which she had said that DWP was working to address such problems, “including giving a bit more flexibility for certain cases at that early stage, with the hope that the evidence we need will then be submitted at that stage”, work that she said was currently being rolled out.She told Bone that there would be more announcements on PIP in the department’s forthcoming green paper on employment support for disabled people, which is due to be published before the end of the year.*In full, the DWP spokesman said: “There are more people using Motability now than when PIP was first introduced, including a number who are newly entitled to Motability under PIP, which is the point the minister was making. “PIP recognises both physical and non-physical conditions, such as mental health problems, much more effectively than DLA did. “For example, under DLA some people with mental health conditions were not eligible for support or were on much lower rates than they are under PIP, which is what the secretary of state was referring to in his remarks.“Overall, 66 per cent of PIP recipients, whose main disabling condition is a mental health condition, are getting the enhanced rate of the daily living component, compared to only 22 per cent of working age mental health recipients receiving the highest rate of the DLA care component.“24 per cent of PIP recipients, whose main disabling condition is a mental health condition, are getting the enhanced rate of the mobility component, compared to only nine per cent of working age mental health recipients receiving the higher rate of the DLA mobility component.”
Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, has announced that she does not want to stand for reselection as a Labour candidate in the next general election.In a letter addressed to her constituents, the Brexit-supporting representative of a London seat explained that she had already stated her intention not to seek re-election in 2020 before being “persuaded to fight the unexpected general election of 2017”.Hoey has vowed to “continue every single day to give my all to help my constituents” and serve with “energy, honesty and integrity” until the next general election. She has been MP for Vauxhall since a 1989 by-election.Whoever is fortunate enough to be the next MP for Vauxhall I wish them well. pic.twitter.com/f8TKl43E1r— Kate Hoey (@KateHoeyMP) July 8, 2019Labour MPs were told two week ago to inform the party as to whether they want to stand for reselection as a candidate. They have until 6pm tonight to return the form provided by Labour HQ.Labour’s reselection process has begun early in the parliamentary term, which is supposed to end in 2022, amid speculation that a snap election could take place – either as a result of the government losing a vote of no confidence or because the next Prime Minister opts for one after not being able to implement Brexit.Hoey’s announcement comes after fellow Brexit rebels Kevin Barron and Jim Fitzpatrick confirmed their own intentions to step down at the next election. Both Hoey and Fitzpatrick, who represent heavily Remain seats in London, have had votes of no confidence raised by their local parties due partly to their views on Brexit. It is thought that they would have been at risk of being deselected.Katy Clark, a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, and Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker, who is anti-Brexit, are both thought to be interested in standing for Vauxhall. Lambeth councillor Ibrahim Dogus, founder of the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) and organiser of the British Kebab Awards, is also thought to be eyeing the seat, but Labour is likely to use an all-women shortlist.Tags:Kate Hoey /deselection /Brexit /Reselection process /
SAINTS began their pre-season campaign with a solid 38-18 victory over Dewsbury Rams.A much-improved second half performance saw them turn around a 14-10 deficit to eventually overhaul their spirited opponents.Theo Fages impressed on his Langtree Park bow whilst Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Mark Percival both crossed for braces.Ultimately, the game wasn’t about the result – more so Keiron Cunningham getting a look at his combinations.Saints looked lively in the opening stages with both Jack Owens and Matty Dawson making line breaks.But it took just five minutes for Luke Walsh to make his mark.Seeing Rams’ fullback Karl Pryce over on the far side, he fired a beautiful 40:20 to the near touchline to give his side great position.And within a couple of tackles, McCarthy-Scarsbrook was hit by a lovely ball to put Saints in front.Buoyant, the home side forced another Dewsbury error in the 12th minute, but couldn’t take advantage; likewise a few minutes later.That time Walsh was intercepted but Matty Dawson ran 70 metres to make a superb cover tackle.The Rams had numbers though and a fine flowing move to the corner saw Dale Morton go over.Dewsbury continued to press but good kick chase brought up the home side’s next chance … and they didn’t disappoint.Walsh’s kick was knocked dead by the Rams and after the drop out, Saints took the ball to the left and Jordan Turner offloaded to Mark Percival under pressure.The Rams hit back through Aaron Brown after Saints failed to deal with a kick along the floor – and then another kick saw Andy Kain go over and give the visitors the lead.Saints needed to start the second half strong and they did – Mark Percival weaving his way through the Rams’ defence from distance.Fages then showed a glimpse of what he is capable of. He made a superb break through sleight of foot to find Oli Davies. Seconds later another superb sidestep saw him cross in the corner.Jack Owens tagging on the extras from the touchline.Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook added a fantastic try on 60 minutes – made by Fages – before Kyle Trout replied with around 10 to go.But Saints underlined their second half dominance with a fine move polished off by Calvin Wellington.And there was time for Dougie Charnock to sneak over from dummy half right on the hooter.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook (2), Percival (2), Fages, Wellington, Charnock, Goals: Walsh (1 from 2), Owens (2 from 3), Burns (2 from 2)Rams:Tries: Morton, Brown, Kain, TroutGoals: Sykes (1 from 4)Penalties:Saints: 3Rams: 2HT: 10-14FT: 38-18REF: G StokesATT: TBCTeams:Saints: 22. Jack Owens; 21. Matty Dawson, 3. Jordan Turner, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 4. Mark Percival; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 14. Lama Tasi, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Joe Greenwood, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 11. Atelea Vea, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 25. Lewis Charnock, 26. Oliver Davies, 27. Jack Ashworth, 28. Morgan Knowles, 29. Ricky Bailey, 30. Calvin Wellington, 33. Jake Spedding, 34. Regan Grace.Rams: 3. Karl Pryce; 2. Dale Morton, 15. Jason Crookes, 4. Shane Grady, 5. Dalton Grant; 6. Paul Sykes, 22. Andy Kain; 8. Matt Groat, 9. Tom Hemingway, 24. Jack Teanby, 32. Kyle Trout, 16. Toby Adamson, 14. Luke Adamson.Subs: 10. Ryan Hepworth, 13. Aaron Brown, 17. Dom Speakman, 19. Nathan Conroy, 25. Joel Farrell, 27. Jason Muranka, 31. Ryan Wright.
SAINTS will need to be “on the money” if they are to beat Castleford this Friday according to the Club’s head coach.Keiron Cunningham’s side go in search of their third win from four in Super League this season when the Tigers come to Langtree Park.But they won’t get anything from the game if they’re not prepared …“I know Castleford’s record here isn’t great but you will see a different side this week,” he explained. “They went to Hull, who have started like a house on fire, and laid the gauntlet down.“They are a good side and well coached. Daryl (Powell) always does the right thing with his team.“They have lost Michael Shenton but he has brought players in to cover and they have done well.“Luke Dorn has been going for about a million years hasn’t he – he is experienced, understands the game and always puts himself in the right spot. Luke Gale has gone up another level which usually happens when players find the right coach.“He has scratched around the comp for a while but now has an England call up. A large contribution of that has come from Daryl Powell.“On their day they can really hurt you and we will have to be physically ready for the game. Strengths can become weaknesses if they aren’t worked on so we need to be on the money and defend well.“We have to be ready for this one.”Cunningham has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match but Travis Burns is up on a Grade B punching charge.And, as he has no early guilty plea it is likely he will miss the game.Saints take on Castleford Tigers in the fourth round of the First Utility Super League on Friday March 4 at Langtree Park.The game will kick off at 8pm.Tickets can be bought by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
Kyle Amor returns in place of Matty Lees.Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival (pictured), 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 36. Zeb Taia, 37. Ben Barba.Rick Stone will chose his 17 from:2. Jermaine McGillvary, 4. Lee Gaskell, 6. Danny Brough, 8. Sam Rapira, 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 12. Dale Ferguson, 13. Michael Lawrence, 14. Kruise Leeming, 16. Oliver Roberts, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 18. Paul Clough, 20. Daniel Smith, 22. Tyler Dickinson, 23. Sam Wood, 24. Darnell McIntosh, 30. Alex Mellor, 31. Adam O’Brien, 34. Jordan Turner, 35. Jordan Rankin.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Gareth Hewer.Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Adults and children in the road grabbing cash and holding up traffic. That’s what some callers described to Bladen County 911 Sunday morning.The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office says around 10:00 a.m., several people called 911 telling them about people in the highway in the 9000 block of US Hwy 701 N.- Advertisement – Deputies and White Lake Police responded to the area. No one was there when they arrived, but they did find money on the highway and the shoulders of the road.Sheriff McVicker says officers collected a total of $34,465 in fake bills. They were made up of $100, $20, $10 and $5 bills.“We have no idea where the money came from,” McVicker said. “We have notified the US Secret Service for assistance and will continue to investigate.”Related Article: 11 dead, nearly 70 wounded in weekend violence in ChicagoMcVicker said some of the bills were obviously counterfeit but some were more sophisticated and could have passed for real currency if the person taking the money was not alert.Sheriff McVicker urges anyone who might have picked up some of this money to please bring it to the Sheriff’s office.He also advises local merchants to be particularly careful when accepting large denominations of currency.“We have no idea how much of this fake money was picked up before law enforcement was notified and arrived on the scene,” he said.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Winnabow man is in jail after deputies say he assaulted his brother and a neighbor with a machete Tuesday night.According to an arrest warrant, 43-year-old Christopher Porter was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.- Advertisement – Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office say the incident happened around 10:15 p.m. in the 2100 block of Davis Street in Winnabow.Barry Porter, 32, and Jeffery Struckman, 42, were injured in the attack, according to the warrant.Christopher is in jail under a $60,000 secured bond.
Advertisement Today, twitter introduced a new, re-engineered Twitter.com that provides an easier, faster, and richer experience. The video of the new Twitter has already been viewed more than 2million times (Just hours after it was published).On the site, you’ll see the familiar timeline, yet underneath each Tweet is a handful of information, deeper context and even embedded media. Simply click on an individual Tweet and a details pane slides out on the right and reveals this content.You can find out more about the enhancements on this information page. Here are some highlights:New design. The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll — you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.Media. Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, deviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.Related content. When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.Mini profiles. Click a username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets. – Advertisement – These changes will roll out as a preview over the next several weeks starting with a very small percentage of registered accounts tonight. During the preview, you’ll be able to switch back and forth so you have time to grow accustomed to the way things work. Eventually, everyone will have the updated version of Twitter.com. We are incredibly proud of the work the Twitter web team has accomplished.
Advertisement Google allows Web Store extensions to be installed inline but it is unable to exert any control over third party creations that sit outside of the store. This move is the company’s next best option to protecting users from ‘malicious’ extensions which may be set up to perform any manner of unscrupulous activities, as it explains:Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to take down malicious items promoted on other websites. For instance, online hackers may create websites that automatically trigger the installation of malicious extensions. Their extensions are often designed to secretly track the information you enter on the web, which the hackers can then reuse for other ill-intended purposes.As well as focusing on unaccountable third parties, Google has put its own house into order after it initiated a program to analyse every extension uploaded to the Web Store. Those entries that are found to be suspect or malicious will be taken down to prevent security issues for users. – Advertisement – It’s hard to believe that Google was not already monitoring the Web Store, but the introduction of this program — and the additional level of security for third party extensions — is all the more important considering that Chrome overtook Internet Explorer as the Web’s most used browser in May, according to Statcounter.The new security measures come with yet another reminder that developers are encouraged to submit extensions to the Web Store, and Google has been working hard to built a locally appealing ecosystem with the launch of country-specific Web Stores in a number of markets worldwide.Developers are also set to be able to monetise extensions by placing apps inside them, as was revealed at the beginning of the month.Google recently revealed that Chrome is now serving 310 million active users, after significant growth saw that figure double during the last year. The browser has since launched for Apple’s iOS mobile platform.Source: TNW
Microsoft chief Satya Nadella in Mumbai meeting industry leaders.Image Credit: VWmin Advertisement Microsoft chief Satya Nadella is in Mumbai today and has met industry leaders like Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Axis Bank head Shikha Sharma and Tata Starbucks CEO Avani Davda during his one-day visit to India. The India-born CEO also delivered a keynote address at ‘Microsoft’s Future Unleashed’ event here that will bring together 3,000 industry leaders, enterprise heads, developers and entrepreneurs.At the beginning of the event, Chairman of Microsoft India, Bhaskar Pramanik, took to the stage to unveil the first edition of Future Unleashed. He stated that the company will demonstrate how technology, when in hands of majority, will give boost to innovation.Next up was Anand Mahendra, Chairman at Mahindra & Mahindra. His keynote was titled, “Small is the New Big.” He started off with a rather personal story. Mahindra stated, “Bill Gates and I were in the same college, but our paths never crossed.” He points out that, “Social Mobile and Cloud is today’s new formula. Digitisation has enabled old economy to come back”. He also spoke about the importance of 3D printers and they will change many industries. – Advertisement – Anand Mahindra ended his talk on a lighter note. He referred to a silhouette of Gandhi and made a comment on how Satya Nadella has a similar silhouette. He also added, “Mahatma Gandhi is the Messiah of the digital world.”Next on stage was Mukund Rajan of Tata Sons, talking about building sustainable organisations. He says, “The Tata approach is not a short term approach. We don’t think about the next quarter, but the next quarter of century.” He went on to talk about Tata’s mission to help community, CSR and skill development. The company has also announced an award called ‘Dare to Try’ for good ideas, even if they’ve failed.Next on stage was Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis along with Microsoft chief Bhaskar Pramanik. Fadnavis stated, “Maharashtra has always been a preferred destination for businesses. But getting 76 permissions takes around 1 to 3 years.” He says, “We want to bring that down to around 23 permissions. We have brought down hotel permissions from 120 to 25.”Fadnavis also said that, “We have brought a lot of services online and we want Maharashtra to be a role model for other states.” He voiced his interest on how he would like to work with Microsoft and Satya Nadella to create around 50 smart villages in 2016 in Maharashtra. Bhaskar Pramanik also added that Maharashtra has been a good state to implement the company’s ambitious projects as well.[related-posts]And finally, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage. He starts with, of course, ‘mobile first, cloud first’. He said, “While a computer on every desk was our goal when Bill and Paul started Microsoft, I guess the vision was to empower individuals and organisations.”The CEO begins to demonstrate some of the tools he uses on a daily basis. To everyone’s surprise, Nadella pulls out an iPhone, but quickly says that, “It’s not my phone, but it’s an iPhone, but it includes all the Microsoft apps and services. It’s a Microsoft phone, really.”He begins to show a page from his OneNote notebook, along with his inbox with the Outlook app from his 950 XL smartphone. He says that the new Lumia 950 will be available in India in next couple of months, but did not offer much information on pricing and availability. He says that the company is not stopping at building a 5-inch or a 6-inch phone. He stated, “I can connect this phone to this dock, and it’s a full PC -like experience.” Nadella shows off his Microsoft Band as well.Nadella said, “Every successful company has a core. For us it is about empowering every person to achieve more. We have three interlocking ambitions. First is about reinvention of productivity and business processes.” He adds, “Work isn’t a solo experience anymore. The idea of harnessing the power to network is what we want to do with our services.”Nadella begins a demo with the Windows 10 apps, Continuum, health analytics. The Delve analytics gives you insights about your work time too! There’s a PowerBI for business intelligence as well.Talking about India, Microsoft CEO also says that he is inspired by the work done in the field of education in the country. In addition, he points out that a lot of exciting work is happening in the startup and e-commerce space in India.Continuing, Satya spoke about Hololens. He believes that this is first time in our history that we are able to superimpose digital content on our analog world. He says, “Think about the change in landscape this will bring in architecture, healthcare etc.” He added, “If I had the power of Hololens growing up as an Electrical Engineer, I would’ve understood Maxwell’s equations better!”A video demo of StaffPad went on and showed that A.R. Rahman is a big user of StaffPad and Surface. The final announcement made by the CEO was the news that the Surface Pro 4 is coming to India in January. He also announced that India will be getting the Lumia 950XL very soon.Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was next on stage to talk about Digital India. He thanked Bill Gates for his humanitarian work in India. He quoted PM Modi and said, “Indian Talent along with Information Technology is ‘India Tomorrow’. Prasad went on to talk about Digital India initiatives such as common service centres and rural BPO schemes.Prasad also went on to state that, “Microsoft Cloud services are being appreciated by Telecom Minister. But he wants the company to work even more closely with the government. “If digitisation tech has to succeed in India, it will do so on the back of local languages”, he added.He went on to state that we have 980 million mobile phone connections in India, 930 million Aadhar profiles along with 5 lakh Aadhar based digital identities being activated daily.[FirstPost]