Some people have asked why it took me 15 years as an MP to do it.
To that – all I can say is that nobody wants to be defined by a lie – I certainly never wanted to be.
But the outrage and the urgency I felt after reading that woman’s story was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
For me it felt like it was now or never.
In the days since the speech I have heard from scores of people – mostly single mums – who have had to make the same choice I did.
I’ve had people come up to me on the street and say the same.
That reaction was unexpected but has been quite amazing.
I’ve also heard from people who are outraged.
They think I’m a fraud and a criminal.
(Of course – as I’ve said – I will pay back what I owe.)
But importantly all the abuse and vitriol that beneficiaries face today by the agencies and in private – is now being levelled at me in public.
That reaction was expected.
And it has broken the silence about how awful life on a benefit really is.