Iain Duncan Smith: John McDonnell and Nadine Dorries lead social media in shock and amusement at resignation

Former Work and Pensions Secretary says disability benefit cuts have gone too far

Twitter users across the political spectrum have been tweeting their shock, outrage and amusement of the shock resignation of Iain Duncan Smith

The former Work and Pensions Secretary announced his resignation in a scathing letter to the Prime Minister saying he could no longer support the Government as it pushes through punishing benefit cuts against the disabled while cutting taxes for the better-off. 

He said: "I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they've been made are a compromise too far.

"While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers.

"They should have instead been part of a wider process to engage others in finding the best way to better focus resources on those most in need.

"I hope as the government goes forward you can look again, however, at the balance of the cuts you have insisted upon and wonder if enough has been done to ensure 'we are all in this together'".

People on Twitter reacted with both outrage and disbelief that he could have quit over the Government being too hard on disabled people - and questioned why he did not resign earlier. 

Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said although Mr Duncan Smith, known as IDS, had left Chancellor George Osborne was "the architect" of the cuts and must go also:

Backbench Tory MP and reality star Nadine Dorries took exception at the "moral" reasons for IDS' departure and in a string of tweets said he had personally begged her not to vote against earlier disabled cuts as it was "his bill".

Other Twitter users took a more whimsical approach to the news:

Mr Duncan Smith has been in charge of the Department of Work and Pensions since the Conservative came to power in the coalition government in 2010.

Some have speculated that his decision to resign now - as to opposed to when other cuts have been announced - was to do with his "humiliation" over the Government's conduct during its EU referendum campaign.

Mr Duncan Smith is a vocal advocate for Brexit.