Petition calling for Iain Duncan Smith not to get a knighthood hits nearly 200,000

PUBLISHED: 17:07 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 30 December 2019

Iain Duncan Smith. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Iain Duncan Smith. Photograph: Parliament TV.

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Almost 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government not to give Iain Duncan Smith a knighthood in the new year’s honours.

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The petition, which only started on Friday, said that Duncan Smith as an architect of austerity is "responsible for some of the cruellest most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen".

Giving him a knighthood would be "an insult to the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals across this country who are suffering as a result of his policies and to those who have tragically lost loved ones as a direct result," stated the petition's author, Mona Kamal.

MORE: The runaway top petitions of 2019 backed anti-Brexit causes

As minister for work and pensions Duncan Smith presided over reforms that resulted in a United Nations enquiry which concluded that the government had made "grave and systemic violations of the rights of disabled people".

Kamal, who says she is an NHS psychiatrist, wrote that she has seen the worst effects of the "callous and humiliating" work capability assessments set up for people with disabilities.

"This has only intensified with the chaos and uncertainty of Universal Credit, a system known to be causing hardship to millions and for which Iain Duncan-Smith is again culpable," wrote Kamal.

Labour's Faiza Shaheen had high hopes of removing Duncan Smith from his Chingford and Woodford Green seat in the general election, eventually gaining just 1,262 fewer votes.

Reacting to the news of his knighthood, Shaheen called it "abhorrent".

The petition, which was posted to Change.org, can be seen here.

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