'Sanctioned by China': Iain Duncan Smith considering running for Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee

7 September 2022, 07:32 | Updated: 7 September 2022, 16:29

IDS reveals he plans to run for Chair of the Foreign Affairs Ctte

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith reveals he is "giving serious thought" to running for Chairman of a powerful Parliamentary Committee.

Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith has exclusively told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast he is giving serious thought to running for Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

When Nick asked the former Tory leader why he had turned down a chance to return to frontline politics in Liz Truss’s new Cabinet, Mr Duncan Smith said he only wanted to do a role where he "added value".

"You turned down the opportunity to be Leader of the House of Commons, some newspapers say, is that true, and if so, why?" Nick asked.

The Tory MP replied he had turned the role down, but that he felt if he was going to a job he needed to "add value", and he did not believe he would be able to in that role.

Mr Duncan Smith has previously been sanctioned by China, after accusing him of spreading “malicious lies and disinformation” about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

"On the subject of China, how about being Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee?" Nick asked.

A smiling Mr Duncan Smith replied he was "seriously thinking about standing" revealing these comments to LBC were a "first".

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On Tuesday Liz Truss has rewarded her closest allies - Kwasi Kwarteng and Therese Coffey - with top Cabinet jobs while culling several Sunak supporters during a major Government reshuffle.

Mr Kwarteng was announced on Tuesday evening as Chancellor of the Exchequer, whilst Suella Braverman replaced Priti Patel as Home Secretary.

Thérèse Coffey took over as Health Secretary as well as Deputy Prime Minister and James Cleverly took Ms Truss' place as Foreign Secretary.

On Wednesday, Ms Truss will face Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in her first Prime Minister's Questions, and is expected to continue with the reshuffle.

However, first she will hold the debut meeting of her new Cabinet as ministers seek to finish an emergency package to ease the cost of living crisis.

Newly-appointed Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has summoned the bosses of major banks to discuss the new economic strategy, with fresh support possibly being announced as soon as Thursday.

The rest of Ms Truss' Cabinet includes former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, who was given the posts of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, equalities minister and intergovernmental relations minister.