Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis refuses to attend public meeting about Universal Credit problems

Brandon Lewis MP outside his constituency office.
Picture: James Bass

Brandon Lewis MP outside his constituency office. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Great Yarmouth's MP has refused to attend a public meeting on the rollout of a new benefits system which has been plagued with issues.

Borough councillors voted last month to ask Great Yarmouth's MP to attend a public meeting on the controversial roll out of the Universal Credit benefits system.

Councillors requested Conservative MP Brandon Lewis' attendance at a meeting – which had yet to be organised.

In a written response to the council, Mr Lewis said: 'I have never been tempted by the political games that the Labour Party and UKIP seem so keen to play locally, and my focus has always been on the residents of Great Yarmouth and their needs.

'I am working with and helping a number of residents with Universal Credit queries or issues and will continue to do just that.

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'A public meeting does not help specific cases, where data protection and privacy are important to the individuals concerned.

'If councillors have cases relating to Universal Credit that they are unable to help with then I would welcome them forwarding the cases and the details to me so I can help and support those residents directly.

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'I look forward to hearing from any councillor who needs my help.'

In a later statement he said: 'I have and do meet with constituents who are recipients of Universal Credit, and this includes cases where the system is working well, as well as those who are having problems.

'I am always happy to help individual constituents with any issues they are having.

'I am focused on helping my constituents get positive outcomes in the most effective way, and would encourage anyone who is having problems with Universal Credit to contact me so I can help.'

Last month the council voted on a motion put forward by the Labour group, which stated: 'In view of the current Universal Credit crisis, we call upon this council to write to Brandon Lewis MP and request that he attends a public meeting (to be arranged) where agencies and those affected are encouraged to voice their own experience of this new benefit.'

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