The government confirms the man was not on benefits. Whoops
Yesterday the Daily Express claimed an out-of-work builder had spent £10,000 of benefits on prostitutes. The story was based entirely on a boast from the man himself, 26-year-old Carl Robinson.
MediaWatch offered some reasons why this seemed unlikely (£170 per fortnight only goes so far).
But after our story was published, the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed to MediaWatch that Carl Robinson is not receiving benefits.
It seems he only claimed for a few weeks last year, whereas the story implies he has been claiming for three years.
The maths of this didn’t add up anyway.
If he has only received a few hundred pounds in benefits, as seems to be the case, he can’t have spent £10,000 of benefits on prostitutes.
Why did the Daily Express publish this story, which turns out to be a pack of lies?
It claimed the DwP could not confirm one way or the other if Robinson was claiming benefits at time of press, due to lack of information to find him on their system. So why run the story anyway?
It’s a mystery. In unrelated news, the Express is forever whinging that benefits are too generous and should be cut for everyone, cheering on the government’s Welfare Bill…
We hope to see a correction in the Express poste haste.
Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter
Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.