I met with Jenny Willott MP (and her research assistant Giles, and her toddler who she was babysitting at the same time) on Monday evening to discuss the Welfare Reform Bill. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to write up what happened until now.
Because quite a lot was discussed, and because I was busy yesterday and will be again today, I'm probably not going to be able to publish a full account until this evening.
However, just to summarise very briefly, the good news that things aren't quite as bad as we thought but the bad news is that the government doesn't seem likely to be able to be forced to give in on anything else - mainly because the Treasury has shut, bolted and barricaded its doors and won't give the DWP a penny more. Which, of course, means that the only way that stuff like time limiting could be reversed is if the DWP took the money from elsewhere in its department which of course means that other vulnerable people would be penalised instead. That or if the Treasury doors were forced open with a battering ram - something that seems unlikely given reality as reality as perceived within the Westminster Bubble.
A few good things came of the meeting though - it looks like IDS and Freud and Grayling and co have been yelled at to the extent that they won't be coming out with any more deliberately misleading "scrounger" press releases again, for example. And I did manage to mention the issue of DWP consultation documents not being available in accessible format for disabled people and it looks like that's something which Jenny Willott should be able to get fixed soon (either by herself or by her successor).
But I'll go into the detail properly this evening. Like I said, there is some good news - not that that will make the bad news any more acceptable.