DWP deny scanning Facebook pages of disabled to reject benefit claims

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has refuted accusations her department routinely scans social media pages to deny benefit claims.

Labour MP Anna Turley made the claim in the Commons -- suggesting the Department for Work and Pensions look for "evidence of spending patterns" in order to reject benefits.

The Redcar MP said: "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?"

MP portraits
MP portraits

Ms McVey responded saying she did not believe it was DWP policy, adding "we wouldn't do it".

The Tory Cabinet minister went on to add however: "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."