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Angry Islington Council leader rips up letter on Atos from justice minister

Cllr Richard Watts at the disability event Cllr Richard Watts at the disability event

Friday, December 6, 2013
8:55 AM

The leader of Islington Council publicly tore up a letter from a government minister in disgust because it defended a controversial healthcare company.

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Speaking at a disability event a Islington Assembly Hall, in Upper Street, on Tuesday, Cllr Richard Watts, destroyed the “complacent” response to his letter about Atos, the firm responsible for assessing whether people are eligible for disability benefits on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

He said: “I was very angry about what was a complacent response by the government to a very real issue and problem we have identified with Atos.

“Ninety per cent of people we have supported have been successful on appealing their decisions, which suggests a massive problem with the quality of work.

”The justice minister is blatantly not taking notice.”

In October, the council became the first in the UK to officially oppose the company when it passed a vote of no confidence.

Cllr Watts said: ”We declared no confidence and we want them to respond properly not just send us PR spin.”

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