David Cameron backs George Osborne over Philpott benefits row

David Cameron has backed George Osborne. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

David Cameron has backed Chancellor George Osborne after he linked the Mick Philpott case with the welfare system.

The Prime Minister insisted that the case did raise "wider questions" about the welfare system and echoed Mr Osborne's comments, saying society had to consider what "signals" benefits sent.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

However, the Chancellor's Liberal Democrat deputy Danny Alexander said he did not believe the case should be linked to the welfare system.

Philpott was handed a 15-year minimum term sentence after being convicted of the manslaughter of six of his children.

Watch: Mick Philpott's sister says 'he deserves to die'.

He lived in a council house in Derby, claimed thousands of pounds in benefit and refused to get a job.

On a visit to Derby yesterday, Mr Osborne was asked if the Philpotts were a product of Britain's benefit system.

Mr Osborne's remarks drew a furious response from shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who called the link between Philpott and the welfare system "cynical, nasty and divisive."

Watch: Tory chairman says Chancellor 'not exploiting' deaths of children.