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"This is not the way to do government": Iain Duncan Smith lashes out at the government on the Marr show

The key moments from an interview in which the ex-cabinet minister stuck the knife into his former government colleagues.

In an explosive interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, the former Work and Pensions Secretary insisted that he resigned for moral reasons. He delivered some heavy blows to David Cameron and George Osborne in the process.

Here are the highlights:

Cameron and Osborne have lost their way

"I believe [Cameron and Osborne] are losing sight of the direction of travel they should be going...

"I would not support somebody who stands for leader at the moment.

Duncan Smith took several opportunities to take a dig at the Chancellor. He called the cuts a "desperate search for savings", and said that the Budget cuts were "deeply unfair" and "damaging" to the country and his party:

"That unfairness is damaging to the government, damaging to the party, and actually damaging to the country."

U-turns are a "very peculiar way" to set policy 

"You start Friday morning telling everyone they have to defend it, then later on Friday you're drifting away from it, then by Friday evening you say 'We've kicked into the long grass'."

Here, Duncan Smith is explaining why he resigned over the cuts to Personal Independence Payments despite the fact that the policy was reversed soon after the Budget was announced.

He wouldn't mind if he never returns to government

"I have no personal ambitions. If I never go back into government again I will not cry about that."

IDS says he believes in social justice and claims he felt "isolated"

"I'm passionate about social justice... I felt semi-detached, isolated in a sense... I progressively got more and more depressed that we were running to an arbitrary agenda with a welfare cap in it."

Marr points out in response that Duncan Smith "went along with" all the previous cuts. 

Lowering the welfare cap was "arbitrary" 

When Marr asked whether Duncan Smith was against lowering it, he said "yes". 

It's not about Cameron or Europe

"This is not some secondary attempt to attack the PM or about Europe."

There's a generational imbalance

"It''s all about how we are perceived and how that balance is right. My deep concern has been that this very limited narrow attack on working age benefits means we simply dont get that balance, we lose the balance of the generations."

Did Cameron swear at Duncan Smith?

Earlier on the show, Marr discussed allegations in the Mail this morning that the Prime Minister phoned Duncan Smith and called him "dishonourable" and a "shit" for resigning, after trying to convince him to stay in an earlier phone call.

Barbara Speed is comment editor at the i, and was technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman, and a staff writer at CityMetric.

Arsène Wenger. Credit: Getty
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My biggest regret of the Wenger era? How we, the fans, treated him at the end

Arsenal’s greatest coach deserved better treatment from the Club’s supporters. 

I have no coherent memories of Arsenal before Arsène Wenger, who will leave the Club at the end of the season. I am aware of the Club having a new manager, but my continuous memories of my team are of Wenger at the helm.

They were good years to remember: three league titles, seven FA Cups, the most of any single manager in English football. He leaves the Club as the most successful manager in its history.

I think one of the reasons why in recent years he has taken a pasting from Arsenal fans is that the world before him now seems unimaginable, and not just for those of us who can't really remember it. As he himself once said, it is hard to go back to sausages when you are used to caviar, and while the last few years cannot be seen as below par as far as the great sweep of Arsenal’s history goes, they were below par by the standards he himself had set. Not quite sausages, but not caviar either.

There was the period of financial restraint from 2005 onwards, in which the struggle to repay the cost of a new stadium meant missing out on top player. A team that combined promising young talent with the simply bang-average went nine years without a trophy. Those years had plenty of excitement: a 2-1 victory over Manchester United with late, late goals from Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, a delicious 5-2 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur, and races for the Champions League that went to the last day. It was a time that seemed to hold the promise a second great age of Wenger once the debt was cleared. But instead of a return to the league triumphs of the past, Wenger’s second spree of trophy-winning was confined to the FA Cup. The club went from always being challenging for the league, to always finishing in the Champions League places, to struggling to finish in the top six. Again, nothing to be sniffed at, but short of his earlier triumphs.

If, as feels likely, Arsenal’s dire away form means the hunt for a Uefa Cup victory ends at Atletico Madrid, many will feel that Wenger missed a trick in not stepping down after his FA Cup triumph over Chelsea last year, in one of the most thrilling FA Cup Finals in years. (I particularly enjoyed this one as I watched it with my best man, a Chelsea fan.) 

No one could claim that this season was a good one, but the saddest thing for me was not the turgid performances away from home nor the limp exit from the FA Cup, nor even finishing below Tottenham again. It was hearing Arsenal fans, in the world-class stadium that Wenger built for us, booing and criticising him.

And I think, that, when we look back on Wenger’s transformation both of Arsenal and of English football in general, more than whether he should have called it a day a little earlier, we will wonder how Arsenal fans could have forgotten the achievements of a man who did so much for us.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.