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Johnny Robinson quizzed over benefits scam

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    Posted: 28 Oct 2011 at 10:46

X Factor's Johnny Robinson quizzed over benefits scam

Probe ... X Factor's Johnny Robinson
By TOM NEWTON DUNN, Political Editor and COLIN ROBERTSON, TV Editor
Published: Today at 00:12

X FACTOR wannabe Johnny Robinson is to be quizzed on suspicion of being a benefits cheat, The Sun can reveal.

The 45-year-old singer known for his energetic gyrations on the ITV1 talent show, has been claiming incapacity payouts for a bad back for years.

Now welfare inspectors will reassess his condition.

The squeaky-voiced contestant is facing the probe after an acquaintance spotted him dancing on the telly talent show.

Welfare inspectors are hauling him in for an urgent reassessment of his condition to see if he is a genuine claimant — or a cheat.

Former drag queen Johnny has been pocketing a £94.25 a week incapacity benefit for years.

Back thing singer ... Johnny Robinson yesterday
Last night he confessed he had been receiving the payouts for an arthritis-related condition known as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae causing a stiff spine.

Yet his performance on Saturday's X Factor was particularly lively as he sang Darkness hit I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

He was lowered on to the stage by crane, then danced from side to side and even skipped around the judges.

Is Johnny rotten? ... Robinson on X Factor

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is said to have "hit the roof" when officials told him of the suspicions surrounding Londoner Johnny.

And the reforming Cabinet minister demanded an immediate investigation.

Video: Johnny Robinson montage

WATCH compilation of X Factor star strutting his stuff on TV show

It is the second benefits scandal to hit X Factor in a year.

Last November The Sun revealed oddball Wagner Carrilho was on incapacity handouts for a frozen shoulder while appearing fit.

Demand ... Iain Duncan Smith

Pals said Johnny has rarely worked due to his ailment and is forced to take "heavy duty painkillers". One said: "His back is so troubling for him he prefers to sleep on the floor."

X Factor bosses have known Johnny was getting incapacity payments since he has been on the live shows. They advised him that under the circumstances he should contact the department for Work and Pensions.

Energetic ... Johnny Robinson prances round the judges in last Saturday's show

Two million Brits get incapacity benefit or its successor, employment and support allowance.

Under a Government crackdown, all claimants are being re-tested at a rate of 10,000 a week to weed out fakers.

Almost 75 per cent of all new ESA hopefuls have abandoned their claims halfway through or been found fit to work.

  • JOHNNY was taken to hospital on Wednesday night hours after visiting The Sun. He swelled up, started sweating and went pale. Doctors found he had an allergic reaction to a minor insect bite.


    Song & dance over cult hero

    Storm ... Wagner Carrilho

    BRAZILIAN warbler Wagner Carrilho became an X Factor cult hero last year — as he claimed incapacity benefit.

    Millions of viewers were thrilled the 55-year-old oddball, who performed energetic dance routines with his songs, made the final batch of contenders.

    But a storm erupted in November after The Sun revealed his £91.40 a week handouts. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith even urged him to explain himself.

    A month later Wagner wrote to his JobCentre saying he no longer needed the cash — after he was signed up for the X Factor tour.

    Last week viewers saw him heading to Rome on Channel 4's Coach Trip show.

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