View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a892771
Altmann attacks 'exceptionally difficult' Duncan Smith
Pensions minister Ros Altmann has attacked her former boss Iain Duncan Smith, accusing him of wanting to damage the Conservatives.
Pensions minister Ros Altmann has described former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith as 'exceptionally difficult' to work for and accused him of wanting to damage the Conservative party.
Duncan Smith quit the cabinet at the end of last week. In his resignation letter he said cuts to personal independence payments announced by George Osborne in the Budget last week led to his decision to step down from the role.
However, in a letter published online Altmann (pictured) said the motivation for Duncan Smith’s resignation was to inflict ‘maximum damage’ on the party leadership, which is backing the UK remaining in the EU.
Duncan Smith is one of seven cabinet ministers opposing the government's official position.
‘I’m particularly saddened that this really seems to be about the European referendum campaign rather than about DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] policy,’ Altmann said.
‘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. As far as I could tell, he appeared to spend much of the last few months plotting over Europe and against the leadership of the party and it seemed to me he had been planning to find a reason to resign for a long time.’
In an interview with the BBC Duncan Smith denied Altmann’s claim that his resignation was motivated by the EU referendum.
Altmann added she found Duncan Smith ‘difficult to work for’ and said he blocked her efforts to offer help to women affected by the rise in the state pension age.
‘From a personal perspective, for months I have been silenced by him and what I have said has been strictly controlled,’ she said.
‘I have found him exceptionally difficult to work for. It has been a hugely challenging time for me as he was preventing me from speaking to the public and has often been obstructive to my efforts to resolve important pension policy issues such as on women's pensions.’
Altmann has come under sustained attack in recent months over her apparent refusal to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign, which has campaigned for transitional measures to help women affected by the government’s programme to accelerate the rise in state pension age.
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