Sue Taylor and her correspondence with Tom Newton-Dunn (The Sun.. ‘erm Political Editor).
It started with this email from Sue about http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4198504/590000-on-sickness-benefit-are-fit-as-a-fiddle.html
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read what you stated (see below);
“NEWS: Just 29% of people on sick benefit have been found unfit for any work, shock government statistics reveal. All 1.6 million on Incapacity Benefit are being retested in a bid to clear out years of taxpayers’ cash abuse”
Let me give you the correct figures, in excess of 40% of those tested so far by the wonderous ATOS have had their ATOS assessments overturned at appeal and put back onto the benefits they originally claimed. ATOS are making a total mess and costing this Government and the tax payer millions a day in assessments that are deemed to be incorrect and many times to be found lying about the medical condition of many people. There are severly disabled people committing suicide because they just cannot cope with the way they are being harrassed, stressed out and isolated by this Government and people like you.
What beggers belief is that you, as a newspaper reporter cannot and will not write the true facts and show a balanced side to this witchhunt you are heading for people who cannot either defend themselves or are being victims of hate crimes because of what you are writing.
Do you not have the guts to put in writing the REAL stories behind these cuts and the behaviour of ATOS, or are you to much of a coward to do so.
I totally understand your cowardice, after all look who you work for – and their leading lady has been arrested yet again.
I hope you sleep at night and I sincerely hope one of your family never becomes disabled. You would be singing a different tune if it happened to YOU.
You disgust me”
On Fri, 16/3/12, Newton Dunn, Tom <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Newton Dunn, Tom <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: NEWS
Friday, 16 March, 2012, 21:34
Thanks for writing. It’s a shame we disgust you – it’s not our intention.
If you actually read today’s story, you will see we clearly state your alternative viewpoint, as held also by Brendan Barber.
May I suggest that these are government statistics which we are simply reporting, so your beef is when them and not us?
Furthermore, if you don’t believe the country’s bloated welfare system – paid for by hard working taxpayers – is not in need of serious reform, you are very much in the minority of British people.
Tom Newton Dunn
Press Gallery, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA
“Mr, Newton Dunn
What a flippant sarcastic reply to somebody who has dared to question your reporting, I certainly DO agree that some of the Welfare Systems needs some reform I dont think I said differently, the point of my objection is that the genuinly sick and disabled in this country are being hounded into the ground by the people from ATOS who are deliberatly ignoring the professional and learned reports from GP’s Specialists etc, and making very sick and disabled people even more sick and disabled, the suicide rate for people who just cannot cope with the evil and prejudicial tactics of ATOS is climbing at a rate of knots and not one single newpaper is even interested let alone reporting on it. The facts are out there. If there were any other sector in this country that was having a mass suicide rate such as what is happening to the sick and disabled, there would be headline news round the world.
Let me also point out another FACT and that is 0.03% of any fraudulent benefits claimed are made by people claiming disability benefits. These are ABLE BODIED people claiming DISABILITY benefits, and that is the fault of the incompetant DWP staff, NOT the disabled people of this country.
The witchhunt people like yourselves are waging on disabled people is (and i am sure you will jump up in glee) having the desired affect, hate crime on the disabled is rising and disabled people are being attacked and harmed. One man actually had morons deliberately push his wheelchair into oncoming traffic to see if he was “really disabled” he was nearly killed – there are many more instances of this and they are rising at a rapid rate, and all caused by people like yourselves who actually do not report the true facts, the true figures, and the TRUTH. I can back up what I am claiming – can you ???
I sincerely do not expect your newspaper to show a balanced reporting ethic, its just to much to ask on this issue, the Disabled people of this country can see clearly the news “blackout” that is happening right across all media’s, but we wont be beaten – we may be slower than most other groups, but we will eventually be heard.
I now reply to your comment in regards to the “hard working taxpayer” let me actually educate you as you seem to have no idea just what the “hard working taxpayer” is actually paying for (yourself being one of them). They are paying on a daily basis, millions and millions of pounds to a government backed company called ATOS who are cheating them with false decisions of which in excess of 40% are being overturned. Thats twice the Gp’s and specialists time (paid for by hard working taxpayer) to complete yet more reports, it is paying for extra staff to have these appeals heard, and that also is millions of uneccesary money the “hard working taxpayer” is paying for. This company is paid on “results” i.e. they get paid for every “client” that is taken of their benefits and put onto JSA, it does not matter whether their reports are correct or not – its the money that counts. Lets also not forget that this company have been caught out using fraudulent methods of claiming even more money from the “hard working taxpayer”.
Also the “hard working Taxpayer” is paying for the companies (of which there are to many to name) who are tax avoiders and who are bringing this country to its knees, I dont see your newspapers doing major front page headlines and witchhunts on these issues, and these companies owe BILLIONS of pounds to this country.
Finally, MP’s expenses, the “hardworking taxpayer” is also paying out millions of pounds to pay these people for fraudulent use and nothing is done to claim these monies back.
I dont seriously expect you, as a reporter for the SUN newspaper, to give honest and true facts or even work from a level playing field, but yes you disgust me when you are putting seriously disabled and sick people (the most vulnerable people in this country) not only at risk not only by claiming (and wrongly so) that all disabled people are scroungers, but enciting behaviour from the general public to actually harm and cause disabled people injury. THAT IS DISGUSTING.
Also remember that many Disabled people have had working lives, have paid in FULL thier taxes, National Insurance contributions, pensions, and are only getting back what they have paid into. They are neither scroungers nor liars.
I have, and very easily so, found out the true facts and figures, so stop hiding behind “you are only quoting Government statistics”, you are quoting what you are being told to quote, and it is unacceptable that this Government is using methods of bullying and intimidation that this “democratic and caring” country usually associate with dictatorships.
Just know that disability can happen to anyone at anytime of their lives, it has no preference for age, race, or creed when it hits, it is devastating and life changing, it smashes lives apart and caused problems that are incomprehensible, and to attach a “blame” on any disabled person is dispicable and unacceptable.
Didn’t Cameron himself claim DLA, was that or has that ever been questioned or has he and his wife ever been pilloried ??????
What is coming across loud and clear to disabled people is Cameron’s intense dislike of any disability, you may pooh hoo this statement, but when you consider that Cameron himself has had his father (who was disabled) and his son (disabled) die within a year of each other the question is being asked (and gaining momentum) “has this man truly worked through his grief – is he fit for the office of PM” because grief can cause very dangerous and unthinkable reactions in every single one of us, and the way this man is hounding the sick and disabled people of this country is totally unthinkable and having very dangerous and in a lot of cases fatal results.
All the sarcastic and dissmissive replies in the world do not even touch sides when dealing with people who are sick and disabled through no fault of thier own, (especially children) and any newspaper that actively incites anger and harm towards truly disabled people through stories that are sensationalised and unbalanced, need to look at their own morals and ethics, because you know what Mr. Newton Dunn, one day it could be YOUR family that is attacked in the street, YOUR family left to cope with crippling disabilities and nowhere to turn, YOUR family that suffers this witchhunt, and believe me I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
Get some heart, get some conscience and stop being part of this governments despicable treatment of the truly sick and disabled, show some empathy and balance out the playing field.
Would you care to comment to Mr Newton-Dunn? Email him at
or tweet him @tnewtondunn