‘I’m really cross!’ Tory peer blasts trade unionist in tense clash over sickness benefits

Lord Daniel Moylan and Paul Embery

Lord Daniel Moylan had a tense debate with Paul Embery

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 01/09/2023

- 21:14

Ministers will announce plans to revamp work capability assessments

New plans to make claiming sickness benefits significantly more difficult are set to be introduced next week.

According to The Telegraph, ministers are set to announce plans to revamp work capability assessments, which determine whether someone is fit for employment.

Around 2.4 million people receive sickness benefits but are given no support to get them back into work as a result of their health.

The plans sparked a fiery debate on GB News, after trade unionist Paul Embery claimed the idea may not be so practical at a time of economic woe.


Tory peer Lord Daniel Moylan, on the other hand, took issue with the point, arguing that certain economic forecasts have been overblown to suggest Britain is in a worse position than it is.

Reacting to the idea, Paul Embery said on GB News: “I always get a bit twitchy about these sorts of announcements when the economy is nosediving.


“We’re on the brink of a recession and the chances are, we might need up in. A recession. We know what happens in recessions, business fold and unemployment goes up.

“This means people will be chasing fewer jobs.

“To announce this at this particular time and essentially try and coerce people back into work, which in principle is not a bad thing…”

Embery was halted while making his point, with Dewbs & Co host Michelle Dewberry interjecting with the suggestion that if you are able to work, and you choose not to, you should “not be able to make a choice to live off the state”.

A number of other benefits could be impacted by the summer bank holiday

Ministers are set to clamp down on sickness benefits


Lord Moylan, visibly frustrated with Embery’s suggestion, told Michelle Dewberry that he was “very cross”.

“It isn’t very often I get angry with your other guest, Michelle, but I cannot believe what Paul just said”, Moylan commented.

“When I was young, we had mass unemployment, and the big thing was, there was not enough jobs.

“The big problem now is the big reverse. Anyone who wants a job in this country can get it, we are so short of labour.

“We imported 600,000 people last year, which is a scandal quite frankly.”

Paul Embery attempted to “interrupt” Moylan as he made his point, but the Tory peer was not in a mood to put an end to his rant.

“In a civilised society, people who genuinely can’t work should be given support, of course”, he said.

“Is it really the case you can’t work full time? There are plenty of jobs out there.”

Embery snapped back: “We have got sluggish growth, we have got interest rates going up. We know what it means when interest rates go up.

“There is a danger with the economic situation we’re confronting that this could tip us into a recession.”

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