The Department for Work and Pensions are under fire once again, this time for the appearance of a man who many Twitter users suspect to be an actor in a promotional video about Universal Credit.
The video, posted to Twitter by Amber Rudd yesterday, shows Charlie speaking about his experiences with Universal Credit and the support he received in his desire to become a personal trainer.
👋 Meet Charlie
🥊 Because of the personal support #UniversalCredit provides, Charlie started a personal training career
👌 Universal Credit is helping people into work and I am going to share these good stories with you
🎬 So don’t just take my word for it, take Charlie’s 👇 pic.twitter.com/rijoZCpwMA
— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) January 28, 2019
But in reply to Rudd’s original tweet, blogger Alex Tiffin writes that Charlie is “an actor and has been since 2013. He’s documented his lavish world travel and work online,” adding screenshots from an Instagram account which appears to belong to Charlie.
The Instagram features images of Charlie, who has not been confirmed officially as the man in the video, filming a Vodaphone advert alongside Liverpool player Mo Salah, and images on set for Sky Atlantic and the BBC.
Other users in the thread added that the Instagram profile was full of images of the man on holidays in Costa Rica, Cuba and the US, which is contradictory to the lifestyle which is experienced by most while on Universal Credit.
Another tweeter pointed out that the same man had also appeared on the Channel 4 show First Dates.
— Blackcatseye ♿✊🌹 (@BlackCatzEye) January 29, 2019
Rudd responded by quoting the Tweet, adding “Hi Alex, Glad you met Charlie. Your scepticism and conspiracy theories are misplaced. More than 1.6 million people claim UC, and they have a wide range of life experiences. No matter what work you’ve done, you can apply for UC. Cynically exploiting people’s pasts doesn’t help.”
The DWP’s press office today tweeted: “We see there’s been a lot of interest in our video about Charlie. We agree he seems almost too good to be true, but everything in the video is real,” with an image reading: “Everything portrayed in the video is true and the people speaking are not paid to do so. Charlie is a real Universal Credit claimant who has now moved into work and his responses were not scripted.”
UNITE have contacted the DWP for comment.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine
Source: Alex Tiffin
Image: DWP promotional video