Tory DWP secretary backs candidate who said those on Benefits Street need 'put down'

Conservative DWP Secretary Thérèse Coffey is facing calls to resign after she backed a Tory candidate who said those appearing on Benefits Street needed "putting down".

Asked on LBC by Nick Ferari if she would personally vote for Francesca O'Brien, who made the comments, Coffey said: "Yes, I absolutely would".

O'Brien has faced wide condemnation for her comments, which she said were "off the cuff", including from senior Tory figure Lord Daniel Finkelstein.

Labour's shadow secretary for employment rights, Laura Pidcock, said neither O'Brien nor Coffey were fit for office. 

More: Tory hopeful said people on Benefits Street should be 'put down'

“Thérèse Coffey is not fit to be DWP Secretary and the Conservative candidate for Gower is not fit to be an MP.

“It is shocking that the Conservatives’ benefits chief has endorsed someone who would talk about people on social security in such a disgusting way. This is the person in charge of the roll-out of Universal Credit.

“The Tories' cruel benefits regime has pushed families and children into poverty. And it is no wonder, when Boris Johnson’s party has such contempt for the less well off.

Image: UK Parliament

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