Iain Duncan Smith’s shock emotional resignation from the Cabinet over the issue of benefits was probably less of a surprise for Ian Hislop.
The Private Eye editor interviewed the former Work and Pensions secretary (when he was still in the job) for his new documentary, Workers or Shirkers? Ian Hislop’s Victorian Benefits, which airs on Thursday April 7th on BBC2. And Duncan Smith, the so-called Quiet Man of British politics, showed his softer side.
Reflecting on meeting a 19-year-old girl who had given up hope of work, Duncan Smith cries on camera, visibly wiping away the tears. He explains his response by saying that the young woman reminded him of his daughter.
The politician, who oversaw many changes to disability allowances and benefits during his six years in charge of welfare payments, has four children – two sons and two daughters – with his wife Elizabeth “Betsy” Duncan Smith, daughter of the fifth Baron Cottesloe. They are Edward, Alicia, Harry and the youngest child Rosanna who is in her early twenties.
The former Work and Pensions Secretary resigned earlier this month after saying that the way the Government had planned to cut payouts to vulnerable people was “deeply unfair.”