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Benefits Street’s White Dee To Speak At Conservative Party Conference

August 12, 2014

White Dee, the star of controversial Channel 4 series Benefits Street, has been invited to speak at this year’s Conservative Party Conference alongside David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith.

Dee, or Deirdre Kelly, will give her views on the welfare system in a debate organised by the Policy Exchange think tank.

It comes after Dee revealed she is toying with the idea of becoming an MP – but at £70,000-a-year, it doesn’t pay enough.

The final annual conference ahead of the general election will take place in Birmingham from September 28 to October 1.

Last year saw Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith debate with former editor of ConservativeHome Tim Montgomerie.

But this year, the Policy Exchange has decided to pair a representative with 47-year-old Ms Kelly in a debate chaired by Newsnight presenter Allegra Stratton.

Ms Kelly insists she has been waiting for an opportunity to lend her own voice to the serious arena of policy-making. She hopes to take David Cameron out for a drink afterwards.

Her agent Barry Tomes told MailOnline: “Dee is very excited. She has lots of ideas about how to improve benefits.

“She agrees that the benefits system is totally abused in the UK.

“She wants to address how it is so easy to get on them but so hard to get off them.

“In classic Dee style, she said she won’t think about what she wants to say until the actual debate.

“She shoots from the hip, Dee, and that’s what everyone likes about her.

“This will be a great way for her to get her ideas out – and hopefully she will get to go for a drink with David Cameron.”

It is a dramatic career turn for Ms Kelly, who shot to fame on the Channel 4 documentary in January.

Since, she has done a string of media appearances across the UK and in Magaluf, hosting bar crawls and pool parties.

She has even filmed her own cooking programme, which is due to screen later this year.

But according to her representatives, she has been approached by all three major parties to run for a seat in Birmingham.

‘She is tempted by the idea, but there just isn’t enough money in it,’ Mr Tomes added.

“Nick Clegg has invited her to go on his show and all the parties have approached her to represent them.

“She is a Lib Dem at heart but if she ran she would probably go independent.

“But she could do so well out of her media appearances, I think she should leave it for at least 10 years.”

A Policy Exchange spokesman said: “We’re very glad she’s doing it. It is always good to have a balance of people on the panel.”

Benefits Street, which portrayed the lives of people living on a Birmingham street, had been criticised for its portrayal of benefits claimants, with an estimated 90 per cent of residents claiming between £500 and £900 a month.

Complainants voiced concerns about the treatment of under 18s featured in the show and the portrayal of what appeared to be criminal activities.

Ofcom launched an investigation into the complaints, and has now rules the broadcaster did not breach any of its responsibilities.

The programme, filmed on Birmingham’s James Turner Street, was met with public outrage when it was screened and prompted discussion in Parliament as well as public meetings in the area.

The series was a ratings hit for Channel 4 but drew criticism for allegedly demonising those living on the breadline.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 12, 2014 2:24 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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