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EU row: Cameron has 'low opinion of British people'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Prime Minister of having "a low opinion of the British people" by downplaying the UK's prospects if it left the EU.

It comes after a Sunday newspaper column in which David Cameron accused MPs backing an EU exit of wanting to take "the gamble of the century" with the country's future.

Amid rising tensions between the pro- and anti-Brexit camps, Mr Cameron has reportedly been threatened with a challenge to his leadership unless he tones down attacks on MPs backing the "leave" campaign.

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Cabinet rebels denied access to Government's EU papers

Civil servants have been ordered to block ministers who are supporting the Brexit campaign from seeing any new Government papers on the EU until after the in-out referendum.

Britain's top mandarin sent a letter to all departments to tell them they may not provide support to ministers who oppose the Government's official position, including through briefings, speech-writing or by providing access to official papers.

(From left) Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Priti Patel, Iain Duncan Smith and John Whittingdale are among the rebel Cabinet members opposing the Government's official position. Credit: PA Wire

Special advisers who want to join a campaign team must seek the Prime Minister's approval and will need to resign their positions until the June 23 referendum is held if they want to work full-time on a campaign, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood wrote.

Special advisers' Government salary will be cut to reflect any part-time work for a campaign, though civil servants will be expected to continue supporting Brexit-backing ministers in their regular Government business.

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