Parliament is to investigate a complaint against Iain Duncan Smith, after he was recorded presenting inaccurate information to fellow MPs in the House of Commons.
Vox Political reader Helen Groves stated in her complaint that she found it “deeply troubling” to hear that a government minister responsible for the welfare of millions of vulnerable people “continually misrepresents” information to other MPs.
She was referring to the Gentleman Ranker’s reply to Debbie Abrahams’ question on June 22. Ms Abrahams had asked: “Why does he refuse to publish the details of the number of people who have died within six weeks of their claims for incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance, including those who have been found fit for work?”
The Secretary-in-a-State replied: ” She knows very well that the Department does not collate numbers on people in that circumstance. It deals with individual cases where things have gone right or gone wrong and reviews them.”
Everybody reading Vox Political knows this to be untrue, as an email from the DWP, dated October 21, 2013, now-famously states: “The Department does hold, and could provide within the cost limit, some of the information requested.”
In her complaint, Ms Groves states: “I feel this calls both his position and the government into disrepute, domestically and internationally, due to his high profile. I can only assume that… Mr Duncan Smith deliberately provided false information.
She continued: “Mr Duncan Smith must be aware that his department [has] already provided such information to the data commissioner and that his department [has] been fighting a legal battle to prevent publication of this information. As such it is not plausible that Mr Duncan Smith provided this information without knowledge that it was false.
“This subject has been widely reported by [the] media and as simply a member of the public I am conversant with the issues. How can it be credible that the minister is not?
“Only days later, Mr Cameron has acknowledged in PMQs that this information does indeed exist though like Mr Duncan Smith he does not seem to be willing to release it in full, but rather in a form which would prevent the general public from being able to make a clear assessment of the data.
“I would therefore wish my complaint to be addressed as a formal complaint against the Minister Iain Duncan Smith on the basis that his conduct calls his position, The UK Government and the House itself into disrepute.”
In a comment to Vox Political, she added: “they have to investigate and I have no intention of letting them skip over it. Conduct is one of the easiest ways to go after a minister or MP. I think IDS has earned a bit of being held to account.”
Vox Political will publish updates on the progress of this matter as they become available.
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