George Osborne laughs with Michael Gove while being asked to apologise to disabled people for PIP cuts

Chancellor seen joking while fellow Cabinet member played with his phone

Jon Stone
Tuesday 22 March 2016 16:59
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Osborne laughs as McDonnell asks him to apologise

George Osborne ignored a call to apologise to disabled people for rolling out and then cancelling cuts to a key disability benefit, choosing instead to chat and laugh with Michael Gove.

Labour's shadow Chancellor John McDonnell asked the Chancellor to apologise for the "pain" he had caused the group over the last two weeks.

"Apologise for the pain and anguish he's caused disabled people and their families for the last two weeks. When you make a mistake and you correct it as least you should apologise," the Labour MP said.

But Mr Osborne could be seen entirely ignoring Mr McDonnell on the benches opposite, apparently preferring to swap jokes with Mr Gove while the justice minister tapped away on his phone.

The Chancellor had planned to save £4.4 billion by 2020 by cutting payments to people who use specially adapted applianced.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says this cut would have seen 370,000 disabled people lose an average of £3,500 a year.

The Chancellor however U-turned after a blistering attack on the policy by former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

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