‘I quit over welfare plan, not EU vote’

Britain's former welfare minister Iain Duncan Smith leaves the BBC television centre in London after appearing on "The Andrew Marr Show" on March 20, 2016. In his first interview since resigning Friday, Iain Duncan Smith accused Cameron of trying to reduce Britain's budget deficit through benefit cuts which were unfairly hurting poorer voters while protecting older, richer ones. Duncan Smith, who last month became one of the most prominent Conservatives to say he would campaign against Cameron for Britain to leave the EU on June 23, denied his shock resignation was about Europe.  / AFP / NIKLAS HALLE'N


Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned as U.K. work & pensions secretary last week, denied accusations that his move was aimed at undermining Prime Minister David Cameron amid Conservative Party divisions over the European Union.
Duncan Smith told BBC Television’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday he quit solely because the government’s tax and welfare changes are unfair.
“This is not personal,” Duncan Smith said. “I am not about seeing the prime minister depart.”
Duncan Smith, 61, dramatically resigned late Friday, sending Cameron a two-page letter that attacked a series of decisions to cut welfare, culminating in Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Budget statement two days earlier in which payments to the disabled were reduced while taxes on higher earners were lowered. He told the BBC that the government has become too narrowly focused on reducing the budget deficit, damaging the Conservatives’ claim to being a one-nation party with the interests of the entire country at heart.
The former cabinet minister is one of the leading campaigners within the Tory party to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, putting him in direct opposition to Cameron and Osborne. He told the BBC it was “nonsense” to suggest the EU was behind his decision to quit, as suggested by one of his former junior ministers.

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