She was at his shoulder while he was announcing cut after cut to social security benefits, all the while telling us the benefit system was “overly generous”.
While acting as his policy special adviser, this woman was also being paid by the Centre for Social Justice, to lobby him on benefit-related issues.
Duncan Smith knewthe special advisers’ code of conduct stipulates that they “should not receive benefits of any kind which others might reasonably see as compromising their personal judgment or integrity”.
An annex to the code, titled the Seven Principles of Public Life, adds: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”
The code also makes clear that ministers making such appointments, in this case Smith himself, are held responsible for their advisers’ conduct.
Both he and she seemed to think it was okay for her to take public money on top of her own salary; that it was all right for her to have a job as a senior member of a pressure group that tried to influence his department, when her role within that department was to give him advice on what to do; and that it was permissible to allow all that and still lecture the nation about what is morally acceptable.
Now he has resigned, she suddenly wants to tell us that the government’s cuts are wrong – cuts that she supported when her buddy was in charge at the DWP.
Let’s not forget that the CSJ was set up by Iain Duncan Smith. This woman owes him a lot .
This Writer can’t help thinking she is making a short-term show of support for his unlikely reasons for quitting.
It’ll be business as usual soon enough – with the poor getting hammered while Philippa Stroud sponges even more money from the Tories as a government adviser.
Philippa Stroud, who was Iain Duncan Smith’s closest lieutenant through much of his time in government, has set up a commission of experts to develop new poverty measures to act as a counterweight to the cost-cutting orthodoxy of the Treasury.
Lady Stroud now runs the Centre for Social Justice – the charity she helped Duncan Smith to set up in 2004, when the Conservatives were in opposition. She has assembled an independent, cross-party group of academics and campaigners, who will be given 18 months to agree new poverty metrics.
Stroud, who previously worked in refuges for addicts and the homeless, hopes the work of this social metrics commission, which is being watched closely by her former colleagues in government, could provide a tool for ministers trying to argue against spending cuts that could hit the poor.
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