On Wednesday, representatives from seven political parties appeared in a BBC election debate.
- Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
- Angus Robertson (SNP leader in the House of Commons)
- Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats)
- Caroline Lucas (Green)
- Paul Nuttall (Ukip)
- Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru)
Theresa May failed to turn up, and sent Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary in her place to represent the Conservative party.
The six other party representatives piled on Rudd, and accused May of running scared.
Online, another joke about May's failure to turn up was doing the rounds.
If Theresa May was claiming benefits the Tories would sanction her for failing to turn up for the job interview #wheresmay #BBCDebate— Joe Cullinane (@Joe Cullinane) 1496260470
Especially as this debate was like a job interview for being Prime Minister.
Though technically, the seven way discussion was more like an Assessment Day stage of the recruitment process.
As the Daily Jungle pointed out, the benefits rules for Job Seekers' Allowance are clear. To keep benefits you must:
Go to meetings on time with your work coach and take part in job interviews.
If Theresa May was claiming benefits they'd have been stopped after last night... #BBCDebate https://t.co/F9eurBeD8C— TheDailyJungle (@TheDailyJungle) 1496294525
According to statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions, there have been 220,000 decisions to sanction persons on Job Seekers' Allowance between August 2015 and May 2017.
Sadly, it may not do the Prime Minister any good to raise that figure to 220,001.
In November 2016, a report by the National Audit Office claimed that the government had failed to measure whether or not sanctioning a claimant's benefits actually resulted in their finding work, or saved the government any money at all.