The consent policy has remained the same since it was announced in March 2017. The written statement from March 2017 can be found here: (https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-13/HCWS528).
The system is working well. These arrangements provide the right balance between enabling data security for claimants and swift resolution of any questions or issues raised by the claimant or their representatives.
With Universal Credit, for the first time, explicit consent is easy and instantaneous so that Members of the Scottish Parliament, Assembly Members and Councillors can still represent claimants. Claimants can give their explicit consent via their journal, over the phone, or in person when accompanied by their adviser.