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Duncan Smith backs PM's move for Brexit talks mandate

Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith backed Theresa May's early election call. Credit: ITV News

Former Conservative cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has told ITV News that Theresa May is right to pursue a mandate early in Brexit talks by calling for a snap general election.

"The choice for voters is 'do you want a strong leader of a strong party to take you through these difficult (Brexit) negotiations?'," the backbench Tory MP said.

Mr Duncan Smith praised Mrs May as "one of the strongest leaders" since Margaret Thatcher and said her election U-turn was justified to strengthen her hand in the negotiations to leave the EU.

"What she's saying to the British people is 'we've got a lot to do and we need that mandate to do it now at the start of that process rather than waiting for a problem to arise and having to come back to say look we've hit a problem'," he said.

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Questions over Duncan Smith's lack of signature

On Iain Duncan Smith's notable absence from the letter to David Cameron, our deputy political editor tweets:

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IDS: 'Government ignoring chaos and crisis EU brings'

Credit: Good Morning Britain

Iain Duncan Smith accused the Government of getting the Treasury to look at the "very worst possibilities" economically if the UK left the EU.

The former Tory leader's warning comes after the Treasury predicted the country would suffer an "immediate and profound" economic shock if it voted in favour of Brexit on June 23.

Duncan Smith told ITV's Good Morning Britain said there were a "number of economists" who didn't agree with the report.

He added that Government supported remaining in the EU and that it had got the Treasury "to look at the very worst possibilities that could happen".

Duncan Smith said that none of the pro-Remain Government reports mentioned the "chaos and crisis that the euro area is bringing".

IDS: May has 'refused' to ban Le Pen from visiting UK

Iain Duncan Smith will be on The Agenda tonight Credit: The Agenda/ ITV

Iain Duncan Smith has claimed that Home Secretary Theresa May has "refused" to ban the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen from visiting the UK to campaign for the EU referendum Leave campaign.

The former Work and Pensions Secretary voiced concerns that the Front National figurehead would "toxify" the debate if her UK visit went ahead and that she would only be joining the debate in the hope of stirring demands for an in/out referendum in France.

Speaking on ITV's The Agenda tonight he will accuse May of blocking requests to impose a ban.

He will say: "We've asked for her to be banned but the Home Secretary has refused to do it.

"She won't do it. I want her banned, I don't want her over because I think she will toxify the debate. She (Mrs May) can't ban her because of the European Union rules. She said she can't do it."

  • Watch The Agenda with Tom Bradby on ITV at 10.35pm tonight.
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