Therese Coffey, who today replaced Amber Rudd as secretary of state for work and pensions, voted to cut welfare benefits spending on 52 separate occasions between 2012 and 2016.

Amber Rudd resigned yesterday due to disagreements over Brexit with prime minister Boris Johnson.

Her predecessor, Esther McVey, also resigned due to disagreements with the then prime minister Theresa May over Brexit, in November 2019.

Coffey has been the MP for the Suffolk Coastal constituency since the 2010 election.

Her voting record is not one that will inspire confidence amongst claimants.

As well as voting to cut welfare benefits spending on 52 separate occasions between 2012 and 2016, Coffey:

  • Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Consistently voted for the bedroom tax
  • Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • Consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities
  • Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights

Coffey was one of 72 MPs who are also landlords who voted against an amendment that would have obliged all landlords to ensure that their properties were “fit for human habitation.

The only consolation claimants can draw from the current situation is that Coffey is unlikely to be in post long enough to have much influence over anything.

It seems extremely likely that there will be an election in the next few months

If the Conservatives are not re-elected then Coffey will clearly be gone.

But even if they do win another term, a major reshuffle following the election is likely, which Coffey may not survive, at least in her current post.

The full list of DWP secretaries of state since Iain Duncan Smith resigned in March 2016 is:

Stephen Crabb: 9 March 2016 to14 July 2016

Damian Green 14 July 2016 to11 June 2017

David Gauke 11 June 2017 to 8 January 2018

Esther McVey 8 January 2018 to15 November 2018

Amber Rudd 16 November 2018 to7 September 2019

The average lifespan in the post since March 2016 currently stands at less than 9 months.

You can read more about Coffey’s voting record on the They work For You website.


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