"If you were in France or Spain or Greece... you would say I wish was in that position"

Business quote of the day.

"No-one is saying this is easy, but if you were in France or Spain or Greece... you would look at these figures and say I wish we were in that position"

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith comments on the fall in UK unemployment in the three months to December. However official figures show there was a cut in the real value of pay as inflation remains higher than pay growth.

Ian Duncan Smith. Photograph: Getty Images

Helen Roxburgh is the online editor of Economia

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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