Benefits reform to be led by ex-environment minister after Amber Rudd resignation

Former environment minister Therese Coffey is the new work and pensions secretary after Amber Rudd resigned from the government and Conservative party last week following an attack on the PM’s Brexit negotiations.

Ms Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, was appointed as environment minister by former PM Theresa May after being elected in 2010.

Amber Rudd said yesterday that Ms Coffey will do “an excellent job in a first rate department” while trade secretary Liz Truss called it an “absolutely brilliant appointment”.

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But Ms Coffey will have a challenging job heading up a department which has been under pressure to reform controversial benefits.

The rollout of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which help disabled people to fund specialist equipment, has come under close scrutiny in the last two years.

In particular, the method of assessing disabled people to decide how much money they are entitled to, has been criticised in recent months.   

Ms Coffey is a Liverpool FC fan and considers Margaret Thatcher as her political hero.

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Joe Peskett

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