Debbie calls for minister to quit over fake stories

Date published: 21 August 2015

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has called on Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to resign after it was revealed his department made up comments from fictitious claimants praising sanctions.

The Department for Work and Pensions was forced to admit it made up stories from fictitious claimants to demonstrate the “positive impact” of benefit sanctions. The department claimed the stories were for “illustrative purposes only”.

Mrs Abrahams and Oldham West and Royton MP Michael Meacher both branded the Department of Work and Pensions a disgrace. Mr Meacher said sanctions were “destroying lives, leaving people unable to eat and pushing families to financial breaking point” and the revelations highlighted how detached from reality the Conservatives were. The Labour veteran has repeatedly demanded that sanctions be scrapped

Mrs Abrahams, a member of the work and pensions select committee which instigated an inquiry into the use of sanctions, said: “After being caught out so publicly it must be impossible for Iain Duncan Smith to continue as work and pensions secretary and he should do the honourable thing and resign.

“This is yet another example of not only his incompetence, but what can only be described as very shady and unscrupulous behaviour not befitting a Member of Parliament let alone a Secretary of State leading a Government Department.”

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