POLITICS

Twitter Gaffe On Benefits Leaves Tory MP Andrew Selous Red-Faced

26/06/2013 15:43 BST | Updated 27/06/2013 16:34 BST

Tory MP Andrew Selous was left red-faced on Wednesday after making a spelling mistake in a tweet insisting all benefit claimants should learn English.

The Member of Parliament for South West Bedfordshire made the gaffe following the spending review, tweeting:

Others were quick to seize on his typo, with his gaffe being retweeted dozens of times.

Chancellor George Osborne revealed the new policy in his spending review earlier on Wednesday, saying: "From now on, if claimants don’t speak English, they will have to attend language courses until they do,"

He argued that this was a "reasonable requirement" and will help people find work. He added that if claimants were not prepared to learn English, their benefits will be cut.

However the government has actually cut funding for language lessons, with the coalition's strategy on skills in 2011 meaning that the only people eligible for full funding for English courses were those on "active benefits" – jobseeker's allowance (JSA) or employment support allowance (ESA).

It is not clear how the new regulations will affect this policy.