130,000 sign petition to stop Iain Duncan Smith from being knighted

Joanna Taylor
Sunday 29 December 2019 12:00

A petition to stop Iain Duncan-Smith from receiving a Knighthood has been signed more than 130,000 times and it's growing by the second.

The former secretary of state for work and pensions who created the Universal Credit system appeared alongside cricketer Ben Stokes and actress Olivia Newton-John on the 2020 New Year's honours list.

NHS psychiatrist Mona Kamal, who started the petition on Change.org said:

Iain Duncan Smith was responsible for some of the cruellest, most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen. The suffering and impoverishment which are a direct result of the welfare reforms he has implemented are now undeniable. He must not be knighted.

Duncan Smith, who led the Tory party from 2001 to 2003, is a staunch supporter of Brexit and served as chairman for Boris Johnson's leadership bid. He is the most senior political figure to receive a knighthood on this year's honours list.

His inclusion caused a stir from the moment it was made public, with people pointing to the failures of Universal Credit and his Work Capability Assessments as evidence he should not be recognised with the honour.

John Bercow, meanwhile, became the first Speaker of the House of Commons not to be knighted immediately after stepping down in 230 years.

The 2020 honours list hit further controversy after it was revealed that the addresses of 1,000 recipients were accidentally published online. Personal details of Duncan Smith along with Sir Elton John and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain appeared online for around an hour.

The Cabinet Office has launched an investigation.

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