David Cameron is preparing to replace Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, according to a Tory insider.
The move comes following the misery caused to thousands of disabled and vulnerable benefit claimants by the highly controversial ‘bedroom tax’, as well as delays caused in the rollout of Universal Credit and the £40 billion (plus) in IT software which had to be written off.
According to a Tory insider, who has spoken to the Sunday People, Iain Duncan Smith will be shifted out of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to become the new Defence Secretary, a position he was offered two years ago but later withdrawn after he threatened to quit the cabinet.
The new position at the Defence Department will be presented to Iain Duncan Smith as a ‘promotion’, to allow the former Tory Party leader to ‘save face. It is understood that the job of Defence Secretary is the only position Iain Duncan Smith is prepared to accept.
Replacing Iain Duncan Smith at the DWP is the only way to get Universal Credit back on track and open the way to scrapping the hated ‘bedroom tax’, the Sunday People reports.
The Tory insider told the Sunday People:
“It’s the only position IDS is prepared to take to abandon his post at DWP – he will save face because it can be presented as a promotion.
“The only way Cameron can change policy at DWP is to change the personnel.”
Rumors first surfaced yesterday, after a commuter overheard a conversation on a train. According to Sarah Quinney, a stage manager from Chichester, she overheard Iain Duncan Smith’s special adviser say IDS was to be moved from the DWP. However, the rumor was later dismissed as “complete fabrication”.
Today’s report in the Sunday People will pile yet more confusion on the fire. Ultimately we won’t know for sure whether IDS is to be replaced until David Cameron announces his cabinet reshuffle on Monday.
Que sera sera (whatever will be, will be).
Read more: Sunday People via Daily Mirror.