Work and Pensions Secretary: 1.4 million claims for Universal Credit

The number of people claiming Universal Credit as a result of the coronavirus crisis has hit 1.4 million, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said.

The figure is an increase of 200,000 on the total Ms Coffey gave last week.

She said the welfare system was "capable of processing and managing those claims" amid concerns of financial hardship for people who are unable to access any of the coronavirus bailout measures.

"We're up to about 1.4 million people who have claimed Universal Credit and also other people who have claimed other things like Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment Support Allowance," she told Sky News.

"So we are capable of processing and managing those claims."

Ms Coffey's comments represent an increase from the figure she gave on April 8 of around 1.2 million people who had made claims since March 16.