Iain Duncan Smith

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Pathfindering and lobster pots: IDS defends Universal credit

9 December 2013 22:01

If you’d judged the success of universal credit purely on Iain Duncan Smith’s tone at the Work and Pensions select committee this afternoon, you might conclude that things weren’t going… Continue reading

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Number 10 defends IDS and universal credit

9 December 2013 12:32

It’s a bit pointless asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in Iain Duncan Smith, so this morning his spokesman was asked a slightly different question: why does the Prime… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith: Universal credit plan is different

9 December 2013 8:56

Iain Duncan Smith is up before the Work and Pensions Committee this afternoon to talk about his department’s annual report. Doubtless the latest bad news on universal credit will crop… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Same old ding-dong as Reeves and IDS face off for first time

14 October 2013 16:53

After insisting that her appointment in no way represented a ‘lurch to the left’ at the weekend by repeating the policy pronouncements that her predecessor was allowed to come out… Continue reading

Image: Carla Millar

Liam Byrne’s vulture strategy

5 September 2013 20:45

David Aaronovitch’s furious Times column this morning described Ed Miliband as a vulture, swooping down on problems caused by this government rather than leading. If he wanted another example of… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith turns up the jargon on universal credit

5 September 2013 15:59

Iain Duncan Smith was in an aggressive mood when he appeared before MPs this morning to explain the latest awkward report on universal credit to the Commons. He combined his… Continue reading

Scott's has survived the Nigella crisis. In fact, it's thriving. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

No Nigella slump for Scott’s

24 July 2013 17:14

You might have thought that being the scene of a tabloid sensation — and one concerning a national treasure — could have spelled a tricky period for Scott’s of Mayfair. Not a… Continue reading

1 Comment
British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013 17:06

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the Work and Pensions Secretary’s admission that the roll-out of Universal… Continue reading


The ‘conservative wing of the coalition’ toast Maggie and roast Dave

28 June 2013 19:17

Margaret Thatcher’s death has reinvigorated her devout following in the Conservative Party. The current Prime Minister was wise to give the House of Lord’s terrace a wide berth last night.… Continue reading

Billy Bragg: power to the people, vote Tory! Photo: Getty Images.

Billy Bragg may not like it, but the Conservatives are the new workers’ party

6 June 2013 11:37

Ed Miliband argued this morning that the Labour party ought to be more focused on people working. ‘The clue’s in the name,’ he said. The irony is that Labour gave… Continue reading

Eurozone Debt Crisis - General Imagery

European Commission makes the case for curtailing its own power

30 May 2013 9:22

If anyone pushing for reform of Britain’s relationship with Europe was hunting for an example of why there needs to be a renegotiation, they would have struggled to find a… Continue reading

Chancellor George Osborne Accepts Recommendations By Lord Heseltine To Boost Regional Growth

George Osborne rules out further welfare cuts as IDS offers solution to spending review stalemate

28 May 2013 9:03

George Osborne’s broadcast tour this morning served two purposes. The first was to reward those ministers who aren’t playing hard to get in the spending review negotiations by praising their… Continue reading

Image: PA

Can you really give back your pensioner perks?

29 April 2013 16:30

This weekend, Iain Duncan Smith sparked a furore when a Sunday Telegraph interview quoted him as saying he would ‘encourage everybody who reads the Telegraph and doesn’t need [their winter… Continue reading

Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

Ministers burrow under the ring-fences for spending review

29 April 2013 9:07

Bids for the 2015/16 spending review will land on George Osborne’s desk today from Secretaries of State across Whitehall. Some, like Iain Duncan Smith and Patrick McLoughlin, are signed up… Continue reading

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

IDS highlights contradiction of pensioner perks as spending review deadline looms

28 April 2013 10:42

It isn’t the first time that ministers have suggested wealthy pensioners might want to hand their universal benefits over to those who really need it, but Iain Duncan Smith’s proposal… Continue reading

Ed Miliband

I hate to admit it, but Ed Miliband has a point about welfare and language

7 April 2013 16:11

In his Mail on Sunday column today, James Forsyth gives a fascinating insight into what both main parties are thinking as we move from welfare wars into local election campaign… Continue reading

Photo: Getty Images.

Matthew Parris is right – and George Osborne should calm down.

6 April 2013 10:46

George Osborne has been behaving rather oddly of late. Normally, he’s known as the ‘submarine’ for surfacing only twice a year. Now, it’s twice a week. On Tuesday he delivered… Continue reading

A menace to society? Image: Getty

The political class’s new phobia: big families

5 April 2013 14:38

After almost a week of media breast-beating about the Philpott case, a creepy consensus is emerging over benefits for children. Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative backbencher, wants child benefit to be limited… Continue reading

The war against Iain Duncan Smith’s efforts has shown that this country appears unwilling to make basic judgements. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Philpott case should prompt debate about Britain’s underclass

4 April 2013 18:39

The Philpott case has already turned into a row about media reporting. You can see why. It is so much easier to argue about a newspaper front-page than to talk… Continue reading

Candidates Enter Last week of Campaigning In Glasgow East By-Election

Welfare Reform is this government’s most difficult but most popular policy.

4 April 2013 9:00

I always enjoy Peter Oborne’s columns not least because his opinions are as entertaining, predictably unpredictable, quixotic and changeable as his cricket captaincy. This is not a bad thing. This… Continue reading

Chancellor George Osborne Accepts Recommendations By Lord Heseltine To Boost Regional Growth

George Osborne launches welfare counter-attack

2 April 2013 9:13

The petition to get Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53/week has amassed more than 122,000 signatures. And counting, quickly. The petition was inspired by IDS remarking, on yesterday’s Today programme,… Continue reading

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

Osborne and IDS promise a ‘better deal’ for working families. But a better deal is not necessarily a good deal

1 April 2013 10:36

As Fraser says, the welfare changes, cuts to legal aid and so forth, which have come into force today, have got a universal thumbs-down in the left-wing press. I expect… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith campaigning on the Easterhouse estate, where in 2002 he was inspired to start his drive for reform of the welfare system. Picture: Getty.

Why are the left so angry about today’s welfare reform? Because it’s popular – and right.

1 April 2013 9:25

It’s tough being a supporter of this coalition government. Mishap and omnishambles have come to characterise its first three years in office – but you can almost forgive all of… Continue reading

Are children growing up in poverty in spite of the welfare state - or because of it? Photo: Getty Images

Why church leaders are wrong to attack welfare cuts

31 March 2013 17:00

Another day, another welfare row. The practical outworking of the Government’s most controversial idea – that people on welfare should actually be better off in work, continues to spark outrage.… Continue reading

Edward Leigh lolls on the green benches after telling Iain Duncan Smith he didn't understand a word of his answer on migrants.

‘Tell the European Commission to sod off!’: MPs press government on migrants

5 March 2013 14:27

‘Oooh, your statement was so much more partisan than mine!’ Iain Duncan Smith almost said to Stephen Timms this afternoon as the pair sparred over Bulgarian and Romanian migrants. The… Continue reading