Stephen Crabb – former Welsh secretary, the first man in the cabinet with a beard since David Blunkett, and now the replacement for Iain Duncan Smith as work and pensions secretary – was immediately dismissed as a “yes man” by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a nod to the fact that Crabb has never voted against the government.
George Osborne has long coveted the prize of the Tory leadership.
Social engineering through the tax system is nothing new. Both Tory and Labour chancellors have become excited at the prospect of initiatives to encourage spending in one area and discourage it in another.
David Cameron was being driven back from RAF Northolt early on Friday evening when he was told that Iain Duncan Smith, his predecessor but one as Tory leader, had resigned from the cabinet. The work and pensions secretary quit in a fury, following vicious arguments with the Treasury over cuts to benefits for the disabled, announced in the budget only two days before.
Will the real Iain Duncan Smith please stand up? The self-styled “quiet man” of British politics is a hard subject to paint in broad brush strokes. A former army officer, IDS – as he is known to many – is often seen in the mould of Norman Tebbit, the MP for Chingford, whose seat he inherited in 1992.
David Cameron and George Osborne were struggling to maintain a semblance of unity in the Tory party as allies of Iain Duncan Smith said he had quit the cabinet because he regarded their cuts to welfare as “morally indefensible”.
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, has agreed to repay more than £11,000 in expenses after saying he made an error in claiming extra accommodation costs for two children who did not “routinely” live with him.
Iain Duncan Smith has resigned as work and pensions secretary over cuts to disability benefits, in the most dramatic cabinet departure of David Cameron’s leadership.
Making change is not easy: it is an art, not a science. As junior partners in a coalition and having been out of power for decades, the Liberal Democrats had to learn quickly how to get things done in a system that can resist change at every turn.
Jeremy Corbyn has floated the idea of letting Labour party members choose some members of his top team in a move to counter calls for the return of full shadow cabinet elections.
Nick Clegg has revealed how his relationship with Michael Gove deteriorated so much while in government that he told No 10 he was no longer prepared to talk to him.