Mick Philpott and wife Mairead
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Derby fire deaths: Were benefits to blame?

Labour MP Pamela Nash, and Daily Mail columnist A.N. Wilson debate whether the welfare system has been corrupted beyond repair.

Mick Philpott, who killed his children when he set fire to their house, will be sentenced later today.

Many UK newspapers have questioned whether the case should be seen as an isolated incident or whether it tell the story of a wider picture.

In the Daily Mail Andrew Wilson said that those six children were killed not only by their father but also by the welfare system, which has been corrupted beyond repair. The front page of the Mail had the headline: "Vile product of Welfare UK".

The reaction was met with outrage by others, including Labour MP Pamela Nash.

Speaking to the Today programme's John Humphrys, Mr Wilson explained that the benefits were the "motives for this terrible crime".

Pamela Nash said that the Daily Mail headline was "repugnant" and said that it was "offensive to those throughout the UK who survive on benefits" to link this crime to welfare.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 4 April 2013.

  • 04 Apr
  • From the section UK