Tue, 6 December 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
PM Sunak can deliver long-term energy stability, security and savings – here’s how Partner content
Breaking the Stigma of menstrual health: We need to talk about periods Partner content
Health
Protecting Wildlife, Protecting Nature: Why Biodiversity is Business as Usual for the Nation’s Fruit Farmers Partner content
Transport
History
Press releases

Angry backlash as former Tory leader and Universal Credit architect Iain Duncan Smith is knighted

Angry backlash as former Tory leader and Universal Credit architect Iain Duncan Smith  is knighted
2 min read

An angry backlash has erupted after former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith was given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.


Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy said it was a "disgraceful decision" to award the honour to the man who devised Universal Credit.

The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, who was Work and Pensions Secretary in David Cameron's government, has been knighted for “political and public service”.

Former Conservative Vice-Chairman Bob Neill was also given a knighthood for political service, and Diana Johnson, the Labour MP for Hull North who campaigned for victims of the NHS contaminated blood scandal, has been made a dame. 

Mr Duncan Smith was congratulated by his colleagues last night, with former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeting: “I have never worked alongside someone more willing to face unpopularity for standing up for his deeply held principles and moral convictions”.

Universal Credit has been criticised for failing to protect claimants from the costs of transferring to the new benefits scheme, with a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies saying 1.9 million claimants could lose £1,000 a year.

Reacting to Mr Duncan Smith's award on Twitter, Ms Nandy said: “This is a disgraceful decision by Boris Johnson to reward a legacy of cruelty and failure.

“This regime deliberately removed the safety net. It stripped people of their dignity. There is no honour in that.” 

Other high profile awards have been given to public servants such as NHS head Simon Stevens, credited with persuading Theresa May to agree to a five-year funding plan in 2018, who has been given a knighthood, and civil service chief executive John Manzoni, who has been made Knight Grand Cross. 

England cricketers Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Joe Root have also received honours, alongside England footballer Jill Scott, director of Women’s football at the FA Baroness Campbell of Loughborough, and Elton John.

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Max Jeffery - Government to rush in emergency laws next week to help tackle coronavirus crisis

Podcast
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more