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IDS denies benefit blame claims

The Work and Pensions Secretary has denied reports he tried to blame officials for the failures in the Government's flagship benefit reform scheme. A critical report by MPs claimed at least £140m had been wasted by the Universal Credit programme.

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IDS 'didn't try to blame official for shocking failures'

Commons leader Andrew Lansley said there was "no truth" in allegations that Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith tried to blame "shocking" failures in his welfare reform programme on his most senior departmental official.

Read: Universal Credit scheme has 'wasted £140 million'

Mr Lansley said he had spoken to Mr Duncan Smith about allegations that he and members of his parliamentary team approached members of the Public Accounts Committee to ensure that his department's chief civil servant was blamed for the "alarmingly weak" handling of Universal Credit reform.

I have talked to Mr Duncan Smith and I can tell the House that there is no need for a statement.

I can tell you and the House now there is no truth in the allegations made about talking to members of the Public Accounts Committee because I talked to Mr Duncan Smith so I can tell the House.

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