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Tory peer aims to challenge PM with vote on universal credit cut

Tory peer

Tory peer aims to challenge PM with vote on universal credit cut

Boris Johnson faces a parliamentary challenge over the benefit cuts he has imposed on the country’s least well-off people, from a Tory peer who helped set up universal credit.

Philippa Stroud, the chief executive of the rightwing thinktank the Legatum Institute and a former adviser to Iain Duncan Smith during his time as work and pensions secretary, said more than 800,000 people would be pushed into poverty, and threatened a vote in the House of Lords on the universal credit cut.

“By our calculations, the decision today to remove this uplift will push 840,000 people into poverty – 290,000 of those are children – and so this is … a really bleak day for many, many families up and down the country,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The prime minister has pushed ahead with his plan to remove the £20 uplift to universal credit, which was introduced at the beginning of the pandemic. The cut comes despite serious opposition – including on his own backbenches.

Universal credit is available to many people in work, as well as jobseekers. Critics – including its architect Duncan Smith – have said the country’s poorest cannot afford the cut, which is being applied to assessments from Wednesday and will begin to take effect in a week, with the last families receiving the payment about a month later.

Save the Children has warned that more than 3.5 million children in the UK are living in households that receive universal credit payments.

Lady Stroud said: “There are people who are out of work who will move back into work, but there are also 450,000 who will move into poverty today as a result of this who have disabilities or who have children with disabilities.

“It is not just people who are in employment or should be moving into employment who claim universal credit and I think we have to be really honest about who is claiming UC and why they’re there.

“Our safety net is supposed to protect vulnerable people and that includes people who are sick, disabled and who have disabled children at this time.”

She threatened to challenge the prime minister from the Lords, telling Today: “At this moment in time, MPs have not voted on this at all, it’s been a decision taken by the executive. So my intention is to bring a vote in the Lords, cross-party vote that would say to the House of Commons, think again on this issue.

“Is this something we really want to do as a civilised nation? Putting our poorest people into poverty is surely not the way forward as we come out of the pandemic.”

The deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab, defended the cut, telling Sky News: “Of course the emergency support we have provided was because of the pandemic. As we come through the pandemic, with youth unemployment going down, employment going up, we need to transition. We don’t want to see people reliant on the welfare trap.”

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Governor Ortom Mourns Elder Statesman, Paul Unongo

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed deep pains over the death of an elder statesman Dr Paul Unongo, saying “we have lost a pathfinder and leader of an inestimable value.”

Unongo, a former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, died at 87 in Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday.

Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Nathaniel Ikyur on Wednesday in Makurdi quoted his principal in a statement, describing Unongo him as a father figure who led the emancipation of the ordinary citizens without ethnic or religious barriers.

“The leadership role Unongo played in the political evolution of Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

“He was a mentor to many leaders of today who have great ideas for the socio-political and economic development of the country.

Ortom said Benue’s Iroko tree and one of the last icons of political leadership in Nigeria has fallen, adding that Unongo’s contributions to the politics of the country from post-independence till date cannot be quantified.

“Indeed the state has lost a leader and mentor. His death has created a vacuum that will be difficult to refill.

“We shall miss his intellect, great ideas, oratory prowess and immense capacity for mobilisation and organisation of the people.

“I am consoled that Unongo’s legacies of patriotism, pan Nigerian and philanthropy will endure.

“The state will do the needful to immortalise Unongo for his selfless services and contributions to the development of the state,”Ortom said.

He prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Unongo too from over Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum. In 2017.

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BREAKING: Court Jails Student Over Tweet On Aisha Buhari

An Abuja court has sent a university student, Aminu Muhammad, to prison over a post on Twitter mocking first lady Aisha Buhari.

The student, according to BBC Hausa Service, was sent to prison on Tuesday.

The student’s lawyer, CK Agu, told BBC that the judge has refused to grant his client bail.

Mr Aminu was remanded in prion custody till December 5, 2022, the lawyer said.

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Top ISWAP Commander Killed In Airstrike In Lake Chad Region

A top commander of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), Muhammad Malik has been killed by troops of the air task force in the Lake Chad region.

Zagazola Makama, a publication focused on the Lake Chad region reported that Malik died on November 29 from the fatal injuries he sustained during the attack.

Nigerian troops were said to have launched a coordinated intelligence-led aerial and ground operation and targeted the jihadist group’s location in the Sabon Tumbun area of Lake Chad on November 24.

This attack was also said to have led to the killing of scores of fighters.

Malik is said to have been a member of the Shura Council in Marte before he went for a course in computer engineering and improvised explosive device (IED) making, sponsored by ISIS in Somalia.

On his return, he reportedly established IED training units where fighters were trained in deploying explosives during attacks.

In the last few months, the Nigerian military has been recording a series of successes in the fight against insurgency in the Lake Chad region and other northern states.

Troops had recently repelled an attack by insurgents at Wawa cantonment in Borgu LGA of Niger state as well as the killing of three commanders of ISWAP in Borno.

 

 

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