IDS accuses foodbank charity of 'scaremongering'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has refused requests to meet the leaders of a major foodbank charity and accused them of "scaremongering", it emerged tonight.

The Conservative Cabinet Minister told the Trussell Trust he denied claims that benefits reforms were linked to the rocketing number of people turning to it for help and suggested the organisation was political.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Since April more than 500,000 people, of which one third are children, have received emergency supplies from the 400 food banks run by the Trussell Trust charity and it has asked on a number of occasions for meetings with Department for Work and Pensions ministers.

But Mr Duncan Smith criticised the "political messaging of your organisation", which "despite claiming to be nonpartisan" had "repeatedly sought to link the growth in your network to welfare reform", according to the Observer.