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Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to reports in the Guardian of a major scandal in the DWP's sanction's regime, said:

"This is why we took difficult decisions on the Jobseekers' Bill to secure an independent review of sanctions. We knew there were sanctions targets and now we've secured an independent report to Parliament to put right a regime in Job Centres that's running out of control.

"This explosive letter lays bare the climate of fear in Job Centres as league tables and threats of disciplinary action are used to perpetrate a culture of sanctioning innocent people to hit targets. That is just plain wrong and must be stopped – now.

“I asked ministers to assure the House on Tuesday that there were no sanctions targets and no league tables. Either Ministers have no grip on their department or they misled Parliament. Either way they must now face the consequences.”

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