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Labour: Universal Credit has become a shambles

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves claims the Universal Credit programme has become "a shambles".

She said Labour would pause the programme for three months to see if it can be "rescued".

Iain Duncan Smith earlier admitted there had been mistakes in the roll-out of the flagship benefits changes, which he said should be complete by 2019, rather than his original target of 2017.

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show just 17,850 people are claiming Universal Credit - less than 1% of the million people Iain Duncan Smith said would be on the new benefit in April 2014," said Ms Reeves.

Labour wants Universal Credit to succeed but the Government's mishandling of the programme has led to huge waste and delays with over £130 million of taxpayers' money wasted on failed IT. It's another example of Tory welfare waste.

– Rachel Reeves

IDS admits mistakes over 'artificial' benefits deadline

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: PA Wire

Iain Duncan Smith has admitted mistakes were made in rolling out the Government's Universal Credit benefit reform.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said an original deadline of completing the scheme by 2017 was "artificial" and it was better to take implementation slowly than rush. He said current plans were for all claimants to be transferred to Universal Credit by 2019.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

I decided two years ago, having had some outside work look at this, that the wrong way to roll it out, as was originally planned, was to roll it out like tax credits, which as you may remember had been a disaster. They crashed and 400,000 people didn't get their payments.

I hope anyone listening will recognise that if we do it carefully and we land it safely, they are far better off than trying to rush something for a simple deadline, which actually was artificial in the first place.

– Iain Duncan Smith

Commuters urged to vigilant as terror threat level rises

Commuters across the UK are being urged to look out for anything suspicious after the terror threat level was raised to severe, a transport police chief said.

Chief Constable of the British Transport Police Paul Crowther told Good Morning Britain the transport network was a likely target and to contact them if they spotted anything out of the ordinary.


Polish ambassador warns Cameron against cutting benefits

As the Prime Minister prepares to set out a new immigration policy this week, the Polish ambassador has warned him against cutting benefits for EU citizens already here and blocking others from coming.

He says it would be unfair and unworkable.

And there was more advice for Mr Cameron from one of his own former Ministers - about leaving the European Union.

ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Shapps: Politicians should not use Twitter 'to judge the public'

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps has said politicians should not be using Twitter to judge the public but that the public should be judging politicians, after Emily Thornberry's tweet led to her resigning from the front bench.

Tonight's panel on The Agenda with Tom Bradby. Credit: Twitter/ @agendaitv

Speaking as one of the guests on The Agenda with Tom Bradby Mr Shapps said it was still important for MPs to be on Twitter: "Politicians can either hide away or they can be out there. It's not just tweeting - it's about replying to people who tweet to you."

Other guests on the programme on ITV at 10.35pm tonight are feminist writer Germaine Greer, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and Telegraph Women's Editor, Emma Barnett.

Ministers believe we face 'unprecedented' terror threat

Ministers believe Islamic State, and other radical groups, present an unprecedented threat on home soil. That has prompted the unveiling of wide-ranging powers to counter it.

Radicalisation itself would be challenged in schools and colleges while suspects' ability to leave and re-enter the country would be disrupted.

The Home Secretary wants a new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill fast-tracked through Parliament. But Lib Dem and Labour doubts over the communications aspect of the package will make it a contentious, pre-election issue.

ITV News UK editor Rohit Kachroo reports:

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