Thousands of people have signed a petition demanding Iain Duncan Smith resign as Work and Pensions Secretary, it has been revealed.
The news comes as Labour MP Debbie Abrahams branded the use of ‘fake quotes’ in a DWP sanctions leaflet a “disgrace”, and joined the growing chorus of people calling on Iain Duncan Smith to step down.
Debbie Abrahams said: “This is yet another example of not only his incompetence, but what can only be described as very shady and unscrupulous behaviour not befitting a Member of Parliament let alone a Secretary of State leading a Government Department.
“Once again Duncan Smith is caught trying to paint a particular picture of social security claimants. He is a disgrace and should do the honourable thing and resign.”
Welfare Weekly revealed earlier this week how the DWP had misled the public, by using fabricated quotes in a benefit sanctions information leaflet from claimants that don’t exist.
Now, nearly 22,000 people (correct at the time of publication) have signed a petition, claiming “the Government has lied to the British public” and branding the leaflet “pure lies” and “fantasy”.
The petition, written by Beth G, says: “Stopping people’s benefits such as job seeker’s allowance, known as sanctioning, is driving people to suicide. People are resorting to stealing food in order to not starve.
“Sanctions do not encourage people to get jobs. Sanctions are known to be given to people for extremely minor reasons such as being five minutes late for an appointment.
“If someone has a heart-attack or has to attend a family members’ funeral and misses an appointment – they could be sanctioned and lose their benefits.
It adds: “Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is ultimitely [sic] responsible for the actions of those in his department, who produced the propaganda leaflet containing lies, presenting a fantasy of positive stories about sanctions. This distorts the truth, which is that people are dying due to sanctions.
“In addition to being responsible for the terrible effects of sanctions on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, the Department for Work and Pensions lying to the public in this way is not acceptable.”