MP labels debate criticism a ‘load of rubbish’

Mark Spencer MP.
Mark Spencer MP.

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer has defended comments he made during a Westminster debate, saying his words have been ‘twisted’.

The Tory backbencher was defending the Government’s benefit’s system during a discussion about people having their money stopped for turning up late for appointments.

One Labour MP spoke about how a man in her constituency with learning difficulties had his cash withheld because of the strict regime.

Mr Spencer is then accused of saying that people ‘needed to learn the discipline of timekeeping’, resulting in an angry reaction.

But speaking to the Chad, Mr spencer said: “They have twisted what I’ve said. I said that the normal people doing normal jobs, if they turn up late they would get their wages docked, and I stand by that.

“When it comes to people with learning disabilities, I think we should be helping them into work.”

He put the criticism down to it being ‘silly season’ with elections looming, adding: “Anybody who has met me or knows me, knows it’s a load of rubbish.”

In response to Wigan MP Lisa Nandy’s point during the debate about a constituent who had his benefits sanctioned, Mr Spencer said: “I hope that the hon. Lady appreciates that people who work very hard, and who might be earning very small amounts from working 50 hours a week, have to turn up to work on time.

“If they are late for their employment, they might be sanctioned by their employer.

“It is important that those seeking employment learn the discipline of timekeeping, which is an important part of securing and keeping a job.”