Iain Duncan Smith. Photo credit: Brian Minkoff - London Pixels / Foter / CC BY-SA

Conservative Pensions Minister, Ros Altmann, has launched a scathing attack against Iain Duncan Smith, claiming his shock resignation “really seems to be about the European referendum campaign rather than about DWP policy”.

In a personal statement released on Saturday, Ros Altmann, says she was “extremely shocked” to hear that Iain Duncan Smith had resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary, and criticised his behaviour.

Altmann claims Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation is intended “to do maximum damage to the party leadership in order to further his campaign to try to get Britain to leave the EU”.


She rejected Duncan Smith’s explanation that his resignation was due to being pressurised by George Osborne into accepting cuts to disability benefits.

Iain Duncan Smith “championed the very package of reforms to disability benefits he now says is the reason he has resigned”, Altmann said.

“I simply cannot understand why he suddenly chose to quit like this”, she says, “when it was clear that Number 10 and the Treasury told him they were going to pause and rethink these measures”.

“I’m particularly saddened that this really seems to be about the European referendum campaign rather than about DWP policy”.

She added: “I have had to accept that this is part of being in Government, but am therefore horrified to see him abuse the freedom to take sides the Prime Minister has generously offered to ministers.”

Altmann also says Iain Duncan Smith was “exceptionally difficult to work for”, and accused him of silencing her from speaking about policy issues relating to pension reforms.

“From a personal perspective, for months I have been silenced by him and what I have said has been strictly controlled.


“In particular, I was astonished that he attacked his own government for producing what he called “dodgy dossiers” on the EU situation, which simply sought to set out the facts about this vital issue for our country’s future.”

Altman added that her time as Pensions Minster has been “hugely challenging”, because Iain Duncan Smith “was preventing me from speaking to the public and has often been obstructive to my efforts to resolve important pension policy issues such as on women’s pensions”.

The Statement In Full

“I am extremely shocked by the news of Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation and the way he has behaved.

“Having worked alongside him as a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions, I have seen that he championed the very package of reforms to disability benefits he now says is the reason he has resigned.

“I simply cannot understand why he suddenly chose to quit like this when it was clear that Number 10 and the Treasury had told him they were going to pause and rethink these measures. I’m particularly saddened that this really seems to be about the European referendum campaign rather than about DWP policy.

“From a personal perspective, for months I have been silenced by him and what I have said has been strictly controlled.

“I have had to accept that this is part of being in Government, but am therefore horrified to see him abuse the freedom to take sides the Prime Minister has generously offered to ministers. In particular, I was astonished that he attacked his own government for producing what he called “dodgy dossiers” on the EU situation, which simply sought to set out the facts about this vital issue for our country’s future.


“He seems to want to do maximum damage to the party leadership in order to further his campaign to try to get Britain to leave the EU.

“As far as I could tell, he appeared to spend much of the last few months plotting over Europe and against the leadership of the party and it seemed to me he had been planning to find a reason to resign for a long time.

“I have found him exceptionally difficult to work for. It has been a hugely challenging time for me as he was preventing me from speaking to the public and has often been obstructive to my efforts to resolve important pension policy issues such as on women’s pensions.”


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