OXFORD East MP Anneliese Dodds has urged the Government to change a 'farcical' rule so Universal Credit claimants can get more help from charities.

Currently only a claimant's MP can act on their behalf to solve any problems with the Job Centre or the Department for Work and Pensions.

That means any charity or advice centre is unable to directly help.

Ms Dodds said: "This can get completely farcical. I have heard of charities that work with people with head injuries who are ill in bed who have to explain to someone from the Department for Work and Pensions that (the claimant) cannot get to the phone.

"They need to change the rules on this issue.

"Why should I be able to talk to the DWP but a perfectly trained person from Macmillan (Cancer Support) can't?

"I have written to the government with some case studies about this farcical situation and I raised it again this week."

From October 18, claimants in Oxford picking up six benefits have been given Universal Credit.

They are: Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, income based Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.

Ms Dodds and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran said they were concerned that claimants could be forced into debt by needing to wait for six weeks for their first payment.