Last Friday [Friday 18-Mar-2016 at 21:04] Iain Duncan Smith [IDS] Secretary of State for Work and Pensions resigned. It was a shock to the media, however as we have learned since it was known to his close circle of friends and colleagues.
Number 10 responded instantly and the phrase picked out by the media was "puzzled and disappointed", then the individuals from the department start making comments.
Minister of State in the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] Ros Altmann said about IDS:
“He seems to want to do maximum damage to the party leadership in order to further his campaign to try to get Britain to leave the EU”
On Sunday morning on the Marr show IDS said:
"First of all this is not personal. I know people may think it’s personal because when you resign it’s personal. It’s not personal."
David Cameron is caught between a rock and a hard place. He has a job to do which leaves little time for extracurricular games. So does his Chancellor. Are they seeing power “ebb away from them”? Well maybe they are in which case I say be very careful what you wish for! Perhaps, for now, better to hold on to Nurse for fear of something worse!
One of the interesting bits for me was IDS relating how he felt isolated when the Lib Dems left after the coalition, just how much did the two sides work together to limit what Number 10 really wanted? After a struggle to remove the toxic side of the party before the 2015 election it now appears that the 'nasty party' has returned with a vengeance.
It came across very clearly during the Marr interview that IDS had always passionately strived for the poorest in society, he setup the CSJ [Centre for Social Justice] an independent think-tank, established to put social justice at the heart of British politics and still supports it. He was quite clear that the EU was not at the centre of his grievance although I suspect a lot will be made by both sides in the EU Referendum from this weekends excitement.
Stephen Crabb now replaces IDS as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and what an incredibly strong position he has. For instance he could refuse to implement some of the harsher measures and would not suffer for it as the PM could not possibly loose another cabinet member so quickly.