Suffolk MP Dan Poulter returns to Westminster as inquiry nears finish

Dr Dan Poulter returned to Westminster this week.

Dr Dan Poulter returned to Westminster this week. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has marked his return to work at the House of Commons by taking part in a debate on Universal Credit in Westminster Hall.

The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP has been away from work for the last two months and receiving medical attention after he was reported to the Conservative Party’s new committee looking at allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

He has been dealing with constituency issues and talking to his staff regularly – but this has been his first return to the House of Commons since early November.

The Westminster Hall debate secured by Stephen Lloyd, MP, was an opportunity for Members to examine the effect of Universal Credit on the Private Rented Sector and in taking an intervention to his speech, Mr Lloyd took the opportunity to welcome Dr Poulter on his return to Parliament.

During the debate Dr Poulter said: “With some one in five households being in the private rental sector it is vital that we do all we can to ensure a smooth transition during the implementation of Universal Credit.

“Currently some landlords in the private rental sector are fearful of offering tenancies to those in receipt of benefits, but there can also be a tendency to be cautious when considering those on low incomes, for fear that they too may find themselves in need of benefits. There is still work to be done, but I am reassured that the Government is listening.”

Mr Aldous added: “The full rollout of Universal Credit in Lowestoft commenced in May 2016 and significant problems were encountered including delays in rental payments.

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“The position as a result of collaborative working between Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice and local landlords has improved and the changes announced in the November Budget were very welcome.”

Allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Dr Poulter – which he vigorously denies – are currently being investigated by the new committee and the MP is hoping to get their findings before the end of January.

After returning to work in Westminster this week he is hoping to resume public duties in the constituency over the next few weeks – his local party has backed him during his absence from the House of Commons.