Reluctant `Tory boy' loses benefit

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The Independent Online
WHEN PETER KELLY, a life-long Labour supporter, signed on at the Jobcentre in Cardiff he was fully prepared to look for work. But he was aghast when the employment service told him to take a job pulling pints at the local Conservative club.

He refused to take the job on ideological grounds and the Jobcentre promptly cut his pounds 51 a week benefit claim.

Mr Kelly, who has pounds 200-a-month mortgage repayments, said: "I can't take the job for ideological reasons. It's like asking Gerry Adams to work in an Orange Order lodge."

According to the Employment Service, a job can only be refused on the grounds of religion or conscience. "Political considerations do not apply," said a spokesman. But he implied the situation might have been different if Mr Kelly, who has been unemployed for two years, had been a member of the Labour Party.

Kevin Brennan, who chairs the Cardiff West constituency Labour Party, said: "The club will contribute funds to the Tory party. It just isn't right to expect a dedicated Labour man to work for the opposition."