Civil War at DWP

Pensions minister Ros Altmann stabs IDS in the front:

“I am extremely shocked by the news of Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation and the way he has behaved… I simply cannot understand why he 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 seems to really be about the European referendum campaign rather than about DWP policy… 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”

DWP minister Shailesh Vara knifes Ros Altmann:

“I have to say I am surprised by Ros’s comments. The fact is that I recall Ros attending all the meetings at which we discussed government policy and then we both went out to defend the policy in the Commons and the Lords, which as you know wasn’t always easy to do. Ros’s recollection does not accord with mine and I’m sorry that this all happened.”

As does Priti Patel:

“All meetings with our Ministerial team have been constructive and every Minister has had the freedom to take forward policy ideas in their brief, to lead media campaigns and engage freely with parliamentary colleagues. Iain has been a remarkable SofS [Secretary of State] to work with. He has run the largest delivery Dept in Govt with great determination and it has been a real privilege to work with him as one of his Ministers.”

Justin Tomlinson joins in to defend IDS:

“Iain always conducted himself in a professional, dedicated and determined manner. He actively encouraged ministers and teams to engage, challenge and develop ideas. We were to be ourselves, our judgement backed as we worked as a team both for DWP and the Gov.”

A circular firing squad at Caxton House…




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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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