Iain Duncan Smith: Government civil war as Tory ministers clash over IDS resignation - in quotes

'I do resent his moral high tone,' says one minister of IDS' resignation 

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Conservative in-fighting is threatening to spiral out of control in the wake of Iain Duncan Smith’s dramatic resignation from the Cabinet.

The announcement on Friday evening has triggered an escalating row among some of the party's most senior figures, prompting a series of increasingly strident public statements. 

As the Government descends into virtual open warfare, see what each minister has said so far: 

Iain Duncan Smith

Iain Duncan Smith confirmed to the Andrew Marr Show that he had been considering resigning since last year

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Duncan Smith said there needed to be "fairness" in the way the government balanced its books.

He said: "My deep concern has been that this very limited narrow attack on what is working age benefits means we simply don't get that balance. We lose the balance of the generations".

He denied his resignation had been motivated by the EU referendum campaign and said the welfare cap was "abritrary" and accused Chancellor George Osborne of pursuing "a desperate search for savings".

He said they needed to consider cutting pension benefits: "We have a triple lock on pensions which I was proud to do six years ago but with inflation running at 0% we really need to look at things like this".

He said the Government was "in danger of drifting in a direction that divides society rather than unites it."

Iain Duncan Smith talks about his resignation on Andrew Marr

Amber Rudd 

Amber Rudd: Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, told Murnaghan on Sky News that she does “respect” Mr Duncan Smith but to “suddenly launch this bombshell on the rest of us in a way that is difficult for us all to understand is just really disappointing". 

She added that the former work and pensions minister was “completely wrong” to suggest the Conservatives were falling short of being a “one nation” government.

“I do resent his moral high tone on that when the rest of us are absolutely committed to a one nation government,” she said.

"I do find his manner and his approach really disappointing."

Ros Altmann


Ros Altmann, the pensions minister, made an extraordinary statement attacking IDS on her Twitter account.

She posted: “Shocked by IDS news. He championed reforms he now says he’s resigning over. Sadly seems all about EU referendum.

“IDS undermined my efforts to help on important pension policy issues like women’s pensions. Looking forward to working with Stephen Crabb."

Shailesh Vara 

But fellow DWP minister Shailesh Vara hit back at Lady Altmann, saying he remembered events differently.

"I have to say I'm surprised by Ros's comments," he said.

"The fact is that I recall Ros attending all the meetings at which we openly discussed government policy and then we both went out to defend the policy in the Commons and 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 has all happened."

Priti Patel 


Mr Duncan Smith’s former colleague, Priti Patel, also rallied to his defence.

"Iain has always provided support and encouragement in all aspects of my work in DWP," she said.

"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."

Justin Tomlinson

Disabilities minister Mr Tomlinson said: "Iain has 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 government."

Iain Duncan Smith's resignation - How it happened

Graham Brady

Though not a minister, Mr Brady is chairman of the influential Conservative backbenchers' group the 1922 Committee. 

On Pienaar's Politics, he said: "The worst thing you can do is impune somebody else’s motives for what they are doing and what they are saying. We are all involved in this because we have strong beliefs and are passionate about our country.

"I would caution colleagues and senior advisers in government just to reflect on the damage that can be done."