Tens of thousands of peole have added their names to an online petition calling for Iain Duncan Smith to be denied a Knighthood awarded in the New Years Honours List.
Mr Duncan Smith’s inclusion in the New Years Honours has been met with both anger and disbelief, especially from the many thousands of people affected by draconian welfare cuts that he himself introduced.
During his time as DWP boss, Duncan Smith oversaw the introduction of a host of welfare cuts and social security changes, as part of the widely condemned Welfare Reform Act.
This includes the introduction of Universal Credit, which has been blamed by charities for rising food bank use, the hated Bedroom Tax and harsh changes to disability entitlements.
A petition shared on the change.org website, shortly after his Knighthood was reported in the media, has attracted close to 100,000 signatures at the time this article was published.
The petition, titled ‘Iain Duncan-Smith [sic] should not received a Knighthood’, was created by Dr Mona Kamal Ahmed, an NHS Psychiatrist, who slams the former DWP boss for introducing “some of the cruellest most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen”.
It continues: “Under his stewardship of the Department of Work and Pensions the UK became the first country to face a United Nations enquiry into human rights abuses against disabled people – an investigation which later confirmed that our government had been guilty of ‘grave and systemic violations of the rights of disabled people’.
“The suffering and impoverishment which are a direct result of the welfare reforms he has implemented are now undeniable.
“The callous and humiliating Work Capability Assessments where people with chronic disability are required to continuously prove they are deserving of their welfare payments or else be stripped of their entitlements have caused needless stress and misery.
“They have also been directly associated with relapses of depression and anxiety in patients with chronic mental illness. They have even been linked to excess deaths through suicide.”
The petition concludes that, because of this, rewarding Iain Duncan Smith in the New Years Honours is “an insult to the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals across this country who are suffering as a result of his policies and to those who have tragically lost loved ones as a direct result”.
The petition can be read and signed at: https://www.change.org