Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has denied accusations that the Department for Work and Pensions routinely scan social media pages in order to deny benefit claims.
The DWP was accused of doing so by Labour MP Anna Turley in the House of Commons, who suggested that the department search social media for “evidence of spending patterns” to provide further basis in their rejections of benefits claims.
Turley asked McVey in the Commons: “Can the Secretary of State inform this House if it is now official DWP policy to scan claimants Facebook and other social media pages for evidence of spending patterns, such as meals or days out with the family, which are then being used to turn down illness or disability related benefits?
“If this is approved DWP policy will she put the guidance before this House?”
McVey was adamant that she did not believe it to be DWP policy, and claimed “we wouldn’t do it.”
She added: “What I have seen before is when fraud investigations have happened as we’ll have seen people who might say they are not working or unable to work — unfortunately from what they’ve posted themselves on their Facebook page has proven very much not to be the case.”