The movie Taken may be 15 years old, but that hasn’t stopped the Conservative Party’s Minister for Disabled People from putting a costume on and pretending to be Liam Neeson this week – and Tom Pursglove has been accused of ‘overlooking the real issues’ facing the DWP.
DWP engages in bizarre Taken crossover video
A video posted by the ministry’s Twitter account on Thursday features Mr. Pursglove attending a police raid. The cops are seen arresting a suspecting accused of ‘major benefit fraud’. The clips are then spliced by the minister’s promise to ‘deliver justice’ on this matter.
Both he and the DWP decided to paraphrase the iconic quote Neeson delivers in Taken, where he vows to ‘track down and find’ the criminals who kidnapped his daughter. The fact an actual government department thought this would be an appropriate thing to emulate really is quite remarkable…
Liam Neeson, he ain’t – Tom Pursglove criticised for cringe cameo
The critics have not held back on social media. Pursglove himself has been accused of ‘engaging in cosplay’, whereas others slammed the video as ‘shameless propaganda’. Mik Scarlet, the co-CEO of disability charity Phab UK, was furious with the department’s messaging:
“You are meant to be representing disabled people. Try pushing for more accessible housing, a better legal system, and stopping disability hate crime. Benefit related focus should be making them easier to get and enough to live, not fraud!” | Mik Scarlet
DWP, Tory minister scalded by opponents
Labour MP Dawn Butler also ripped into the DWP and the minister, referring him to a number of fraud cases involving his colleagues in Westminster. The member of the opposition has called for Pursglove to apply the same rules for all.
“Hang on. How about the £6bn that was fraudulently claimed during the pandemic by wealthy Tory donors? And the billions claimed for dodgy PPE? I could go on. Fraud is Fraud. Whether you know them or not. Should be fairness, not one rule for you one for us.” | Dawn Butler