White Dee, the woman made famous by a Channel 4 Television Show about benefit claimants in Birmingham, is to speak at Conservative Party Conference on Welfare Reform, according to the Daily Mail. Deirdre “Dee” Kelly is being hailed by the party as an expert after she boasted that she had held down a job since March, just over six months.
She will speak as part of a debate about the future of the Department for Work and Pensions. Last year, a similar debate was addressed by the former editor of ConservativeHome, Tim Montgomery, but this year the overweight reality TV star is picking up the mantle.
Dee was considered the mother figure of the show, filmed on James Turner Street in Birmingham. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the benefits system enabled her to assist her fellow residents to avoid getting jobs.
At times she appeared better versed on what claimants were entitled to than the staff of the Benefits Agency. Channel 4 did not air any footage of her encouraging residents to get jobs, and during the show she too was unemployed.
But her circumstances have now changed and she recently claimed that she was unwilling to run as an MP because the £67,000 a year salary was not enough for her. She claimed that all three major parties had approached her to be a candidate in next years General Election. It is unclear what skills she would bring to the House of Commons.
Conservative Party Conference will take place in Birmingham from 28th September to 1st October. Dee will speak at an event organised by think-tank Policy Exchange and chaired by Allegra Stratton, a presenter on the BBC’s Newsnight show. The 47-year-old claimed she was looking forward to getting a chance to air her views.
Her agent Barry Tomes said: “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.”
The Conservatives are in good company choosing White Dee to help them with their conference. Since she rose to national prominence she has appeared at a number of other high-end events. In June she was attacked during a six hour pub crawl she was hosting in Magaluf. She is also in negotiations to be a model for clothes aimed at overweight women.
Policy Exchange expressed their delight that Dee would be speaking at their event. A spokesman said: “We’re very glad she’s doing it. It is always good to have a balance of people on the panel.”
Dee has also suggested that during her visit to the conference she would like to have a drink with David Cameron. it is not known whether he plans to meet up and discuss her views personally.