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Monday 27th June 2016
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James O'Brien Skewers IDS Over 'Conscience'

Monday 21st March 2016

James O'Brien said he was "gloriously unconvinced" that Iain Duncan Smith resigned due to his conscience as he skewered the former Work and Pensions Secretary.

 

Mr Duncan Smith quit on Friday night, claiming that he could not accept George Osborne's cuts to disability benefits in the Budget.

But James labelled IDS "the poster boy for Conservative callousness". And to back it up, he had a list of things he has done in his time in office.

Watch the corruscating monologue above.

James said: "I'm gloriously gloriously unconvinced that he's acted out of principle, or more pertinently, out of concern for the poor and vulnerable.

"The reasons for that are actually 15-fold. I'll run you through the 15 points at which if he had a conscience, he'd have exercised that conscience rather sooner.

"I would point to court cases where his policies have been judged illegal. Actual court cases judging his policies actually illegal from which he walked away with his curiously inscrutible little smile and did absolutely nothing to redress the balance.

"I remember him sitting on this programme and telling me there was absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with expecting people in receipt of an unemployment benefit to put in a full-time shift in return for their tuppence-hapenny an hour.

"And absolutely no qualms at all about riding roughshod over minimum wage legislation, driving a coach and horses through the simple observation that a fair day's wage is a fair day's pay is one of the bedrocks of our society.

"Bedroom tax, food banks, you could go on.

"So, I don't believe he's acted out of principle on this. I don't believe Iain Duncan Smith has acted out of conscience. But I find myself in the really strange position of thinking he's right in what he has said about where the government is going.

"I just can't square the circle that has me seeing his foot as being one of the heaviest feet on the accelerator of this process."

Meanwhile, this is what happened the last time James O'Brien spoke to Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr Duncan Smith resigned from the cabinet this weekend, claiming some of the cuts on disability benefits could not be justified.

Back in 2013, James was involved in a fiery row when the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions appeared on his show to discuss unemployment figures.

In the explosive interview, Mr Duncan-Smith was questioned about the reliability of the figures and the effectiveness of government policy for getting more people back to work. 

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