James O'Brien Tears Into Government Over 55p Helpline U-Turn

18 October 2017, 11:25 | Updated: 18 October 2017, 11:43

James O'Brien tore into the government for making a U-turn over the 55 pence-per minute Universal Credit helpline - saying they are only doing it because they are terrified of losing tonight's vote.

MPs vote on the controversial Universal Credit changes tonight, with the government facing a possible commons defeat.

Ahead of that, Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke revealed he is to make the helpline a freephone number. But James says that is too little, too late.

James O'Brien was furious over the government's actions on Universal Credit
James O'Brien was furious over the government's actions on Universal Credit. Picture: LBC

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "They've only done it because they're worried they're going to lose the vote tonight.

"They haven't done it because they're worried about humanity, basic decency, dignity, civilisation, society. They've done it because they're worried they're going to lose a vote.

"And just when you thought Theresa May's face could accommodate no more egg... splat, there would be another one."

David Gauke revealed the Universal Credit helpline would become free
David Gauke revealed the Universal Credit helpline would become free. Picture: PA

James suggested that the idea was one that would fit straight into Charles Dickens or Joseph Heller books, adding: "55 pence a minute for people who haven't got any money to ring up and enquire about the system that is designed to provide them with some money.

"You could stick that in David Copperfield or Oliver Twist or Little Nell, couldn't you? It's a situation so utterly bonkers.

"What's that? You haven't got any money? That's fine, here's the number you need to ring to get some money. Oh thank you. It's 55 pence a minute."

Watch his electric clip at the top of the page.

'You're jealous': James O'Brien dissects caller's opposition to striking workers

'You're jealous': James O'Brien dissects caller's opposition to striking workers

James O'Brien slams right-wing media endorsement of Tory PMs

James O'Brien slams right-wing media endorsement of Tory PMs

Tories have become 'the English Nationalist Party' warns member

Tories have morphed into 'English Nationalist Party' member declares

James O'Brien destroys government's 'crisis of intelligence' over Brexit

James O'Brien destroys government's 'crisis of intelligence' over Brexit

LBC listeners blown away by James O'Brien's 'explosive' Beergate reaction

LBC listeners blown away by James O'Brien's explosive Beergate reaction

James O'Brien offers Boris Johnson superfans shoulder to cry on

James O'Brien offers Boris Johnson superfans a shoulder to cry on

James O'Brien's instant reaction to Boris Johnson's resignation speech

James O'Brien's instant reaction to Boris Johnson's resignation speech

'An inevitable and inglorious end': James O'Brien's unrelenting farewell to Boris Johnson

'An inevitable and inglorious end': James O'Brien's unrelenting farewell to Boris Johnson

James O'Brien savages those still backing Boris Johnson - 'Complicit in catastrophe!'

James O'Brien savages those still backing Boris Johnson - 'Complicit in catastrophe!'

Civil servant urges colleagues to quit over PM's 'lies' in 'most remarkable' call

Civil servant urges colleagues to quit over PM's 'lies' in 'most remarkable' call

James O'Brien: 'Toddler Boris Johnson won't set Covid rules, he'll appease childish mask-refusers'

James O'Brien: 'Toddler Boris won't set Covid rules, he'll appease childish mask-refusers'

James O'Brien: 'Starmer's Brexit plan can't include EU until Leave admits they're wrong'

James O'Brien: 'Starmer's Brexit plan can't include EU until Leave admits they're wrong'

James O'Brien blasts 'tub-thumping tabloid hooligans' over Extinction Rebellion hypocrisy

James O'Brien blasts 'tub-thumping tabloid hooligans' over XR protest hypocrisy

James O'Brien reacts as MP Chris Pincher's career hangs in balance amid groping allegations

James O'Brien reacts as MP's career hangs in balance amid groping claims

James O'Brien's animated reaction to outrage over Halifax pronoun badges

James O'Brien's animated reaction to outrage over Halifax pronoun badges

James O'Brien blown away as legal expert explains why Government can't dump Brexit deal

Why PM can't dump NI protocol: James O'Brien blown away by legal expert