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Iain Duncan Smith

IDS will be staying put at the DWP. Photo: Getty Images.

Exclusive: why IDS was offered Justice, and how he turned it down

4 September 2012 10:09

Yesterday afternoon, David Cameron met with Iain Duncan Smith. According to a Downing Street source, IDS was offered the job of Justice Secretary. But the Prime Minister did make clear… Continue reading

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Iain Duncan Smith's department has come under fire for failing to secure adequate financial penalties from Atos Healthcare. Photo: Getty Images.

The weak contract worth £100 million

17 August 2012 18:05

Moving people off sickness benefits and back into the workplace was never going to be an easy job. It’s a sensitive process dealing with all the grey areas that complex… Continue reading

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Good jobs news goes against grain

15 August 2012 11:16

Ministers are generally cautious in welcoming falls in unemployment in case they represent a blip for just one quarter. But Iain Duncan Smith was pretty chipper this morning when the… Continue reading

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Victory for ministers on ‘slave labour’ schemes

6 August 2012 16:45

Ministers were relieved today when the High Court ruled that the Work and Pensions Department’s back-to-work schemes are not ‘forced labour’ and do not breach human rights. The case had… Continue reading

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David Cameron outside the door of Downing Street, Getty Images

The secret seven

22 July 2012 13:38

David Cameron’s decision to convene an inner Cabinet of seven Tories to advise him is a sensible move. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, calling this group together… Continue reading

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Members Of The Cabinet Attend Their Weekly Meeting

The benefit cap is a key test of compassionate Conservatism

16 July 2012 21:45

David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s railways announcement wasn’t the only attempt today by the coalition to bounce back from the strife of the past few weeks. Iain Duncan Smith also… Continue reading

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Transcript: IDS on Today

25 June 2012 12:15

Iain Duncan Smith appeared on the Today programme this morning. In a heated interview with Evan Davis, the work and pensions secretary was interrogated about David Cameron’s radical welfare proposals.… Continue reading

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David Cameron Campaigns At Sir John Hunt Community College

Return of the nasty party?

25 June 2012 9:15

David Cameron is at his best when circumstances force him to be bold, or so the thinking goes. With his government floundering and the wounded media baying for blood, the… Continue reading

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A more ambitious approach to fighting poverty

14 June 2012 15:00

‘You attack poverty by knowing what you do changes the lives of those people.’ In that phrase on this morning’s Today programme, Iain Duncan Smith summed up the difference between… Continue reading

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The pensioners’ benefits battle

28 April 2012 13:41

During the last election campaign, David Cameron repeatedly promised to protect pensioner benefits. In one of the most heated moments in the Prime Ministerial debates, Cameron accused Labour of telling… Continue reading

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IDS turns up the volume on welfare cuts

28 April 2012 11:04

Iain Duncan Smith is quietly spoken. His interview with today’s Times (£) is a case in point. The political elite are ‘distanced’ from the people, he says. The Leveson inquiry… Continue reading

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IDS’s important call for ‘social value’

13 March 2012 17:37

It’s the same for celebrities and policymakers: talking about marriage gets you headlines. Hence why the newspapers have concentrated on Iain DuncanSmith’s remarks today that ‘marriage should be supported and… Continue reading

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Ed Miliband turns back to Brown (again)

9 March 2012 15:49

At the end of last year, Ed Balls suggested that Labour would be ‘taking a tougher approach to conditionality [for benefit claimants]. If people can work, they should work.’ Now… Continue reading

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Raise the tax threshhold and let youth prevail

26 February 2012 16:13

Youth unemployment is approaching crisis levels in Britain. For almost two decades, Britain’s more flexible labour market had favourable effects on youth employment. But the re-regulation of the British economy… Continue reading

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IDS defends his work scheme — but he may have to change it

21 February 2012 16:21

Articles by politicians are often flat and passionless. Not so Iain Duncan Smith’s effort for the Daily Mail today. The welfare secretary sets about defending the government’s Work Experience scheme… Continue reading

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Cameron softens his stance on Europe — but who benefits?

30 January 2012 16:12

‘We will insist that the EU institutions — the court, the commission — that they work for all 27 nations of the EU.’ So said David Cameron, back in December,… Continue reading

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Labour seizes on Hester’s bonus

29 January 2012 19:50

The issue of Stephen Hester’s bonus is going to carry on hurting the government. Labour has now announced that it will use an opposition day debate on 7 February to… Continue reading

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The bias towards migrant workers

24 January 2012 10:19

Why are you never served by a Londoner in a London branch of Pret A Manger? I asked this in the Telegraph recently, and yesterday’s Evening Standard had a great… Continue reading

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IDS must stay the course on welfare reform

13 January 2012 14:35

Welfare wars are erupting again, with Iain Duncan Smith’s bill amended in the Lords and more showdowns ahead. Number 10 has been completely robust, threatening to use rarely-invoked powers to… Continue reading

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Where will the Welfare Reform Bill go from here?

12 January 2012 9:40

Yep, it’s that battle over ‘fairness’ again. Labour peers, along with a decent scattering of Lib Dems and independents, believe that some of the government’s money-saving welfare measures are unfair… Continue reading

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Why Tom Baldwin reckons Labour shouldn’t give up on Miliband

5 January 2012 14:43

Before Christmas, The Times’s Sam Coates managed to get his hands on Labour’s ‘media grid’ for the week — and much Westminster-y fun it was too. But now he’s gone… Continue reading

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The referendum question

4 December 2011 14:58

As French and German officials make final preparations ahead of tomorrow’s meeting on fiscal union, it’s worth reconsidering the coalition’s triple referendum lock. James Kirkup has an incisive post on… Continue reading

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The Tories’ latest frustration with the Lib Dems

27 November 2011 15:26

Nick Clegg’s interview in The Observer today highlights what is fast becoming one of the biggest tensions in the coalition: the Lib Dem desire to show that they are the… Continue reading

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Unemployment rate highest in 15 years

16 November 2011 10:23

Today’s unemployment figures do not make for cheery reading. Youth unemployment is up to over a million and unemployment overall has reached 2.62 million, meaning that the unemployment rate is… Continue reading

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The euro sparks a Cabinet row

3 November 2011 12:25

Word reaches me of a vigorous exchange of views in Cabinet this week between Chris Huhne and Michael Gove over the European question. Huhne, who has form when it comes… Continue reading

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