Iain Duncan Smith really did claim expenses for his underpants – and reduced the woman who revealed it to tears

Latest wheeze (or last gasp): The current plan for the man we call RTU (Returned To Unit) is claiming that cutting benefits cuts unemployment.

Latest wheeze (or last gasp): The current plan for the man we call RTU (Returned To Unit) is claiming that cutting benefits cuts unemployment.

Tom Pride has been doing his research:

If there were ever any doubts that Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith is a very nasty bully of the highest order – as well as a hypocrite of the highest order – this little anecdote will surely remove them.

Around 10 years ago – when IDS was leader of the opposition – you may remember the ‘Betsygate‘ scandal when it was revealed he’d been using taxpayers’ money to pay his wife a wage for doing nothing.

In October 2003, a senior aide to IDS –  Dr Vanessa Gearson – gave written evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges about the scandal.

In her written statement Dr Gearson revealed that she had written an email to Conservative Central Office expressing her concerns about IDS claiming money from the taxpayer for his own personal expenses—for example his lunches, haircuts, food for his own home, a mirror for his flat, his laundry and – his underwear!

Even more revealing than the fact that IDS thinks the taxpayer should pay for his underpants, Dr Gearson also describes how after she sent the email, she was reduced to tears by an “extremely agitated” and “very angry” Duncan Smith after he called her to a meeting to demand that the offending email be “expunged” from the central server:

Mr Duncan Smith did not ask me for an explanation. He did not ask why I was concerned. Indeed, besides my own apology for having formalised the matter in the form of an email I did not utter another word as Mr Duncan Smith spoke without break. I was so distressed by his manner and conduct that I was reduced to tears in the meeting.

You can see the whole written statement from Dr Gearson here:

Select Committee on Standards and Privileges – Written statement by Dr Vanessa Gearson

Yet more irrefutable proof – if any more were needed – of what a very nasty piece of work Duncan Smith really is.

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  1. david pearce August 13, 2014 at 4:23 am - Reply

    the whole underpants kerfuffle is actually what gave him the idea of the benefits cuts. As surely all the sick/disabled/unemployed needed money for was clean calvins weekly. After all mummy and daddy paid for everything else

  2. Neil Mac August 14, 2014 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Without a shadow of doubt Duncan Smith and his wife should have been investigated by the Fraud Squad and prosecuted for obtaining expenses by deception. I understand that not only was the woman referred to in this article a witness, but so too was his own constituency agent.

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