Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation as Work and Pensions Secretary has sent shockwaves through the Conservative ranks, with ministers fighting over who’s at fault for rushing him in to discarding the disability cuts.
The Conservative party descended in to civil war on Sunday 20 March as a succession of MPs revealed their support for Duncan Smith, after the 61-year-old savaged the party leadership for protecting wealthy Tory-voting pensioners at the expense of the working poor.
Mr. Duncan Smith documented his reasons for the surprise resignation in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, in which he stated that the way Mr. Osborne had cut benefits in his Budget at the same time as cutting taxes for the more affluent was ‘deeply unfair”, he also said that he had become “semi detached” from the government.
Mr. Duncan Smith has warned that the government risks dividing society, with politically motivated spending cuts. However the Prime minister is to reject this notion whilst rubbishing claims of a rift with George Osborne, saying that the chancellor still has his full confidence.
David Cameron is now attempting to halt the civil war within his party. On Monday 21 March Cameron will utilise his statement on the EU summit to respond to the crisis by restating the case for “modern compassionate conservatism”. Former Tory leader Lord Howard has urged MPs to “listen to what the Prime Minister has to say” and to “calm down”.
A No. 10 Spokeswoman revealed “We are sorry to see Iain Duncan Smith go, but we are a one-nation government determined to continue helping everyone in our society have more security and opportunity, including the most disadvantaged”.
However Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for Mr. Osborne’s resignation whilst Conservative MPs have also spoken out against the leadership, as Mr. Duncan Smith’s former ministerial team are divided in their responses to his resignation.
Many conservative MPs believe that a swift leadership election is highly likely whatever the result of the EU referendum, which will conclude on 23 June.
TNT News Billy Rooney