Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Picture: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Iain Duncan Smith resigned as work and pensions secretary on Friday night over planned cuts to disability benefits paired with a Budget that favoured the wealthy over the poor.

He explained in his resignation letter to David Cameron that while he found some cuts "easier to justify" than others and had been determined to be a "team player", this week's Budget was a "compromise too far":

I have attempted to work within the constraints that you and the Chancellor set.

I have for some time and rather reluctantly come to believe that the latest changes to benefits to the disabled and the context in which they've been made are, a compromise too far. While they are defensible in narrow terms, given the continuing deficit, they are not defensible in the way they were placed within a Budget that benefits higher earning taxpayers.

In response David Cameron said he was "puzzled" at the resignation:

That is why we collectively agreed - you, No 10 and the Treasury - proposals which you and your department then announced a week ago.

Today we agreed not to proceed with the policies in their current form and instead to work together to get these policies right over the coming months.

Puzzling indeed, when you consider all the times Mr Duncan Smith chose not to resign despite six years of cuts and failings in his department:

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