Iain Duncan Smith insists he is in good company with Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher after it was alleged the Chancellor said he was not clever enough.
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The Work and Pensions Secretary said both former Conservative prime ministers were told they were not bright enough in their lives but were determined individuals.
Mr Duncan Smith was responding to claims that his clashes with George Osborne had reportedly resulted in the Chancellor claiming he was “not clever enough”.
The allegation appeared in Matthew d’Ancona’s book, In It Together.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World At One, Mr Duncan Smith said: “Well, the Chancellor George Osborne, a very good friend of mine, he was on the radio and television I think yesterday morning saying this is all completely untrue, he never said anything of the sort.
“But you know honestly it’s a rough engagement in politics because you debate and argue behind the screens about what you want to do.”
When told one of the arguments was Mr Osborne wanted to move him from his job, Mr Duncan Smith replied: “Who knows?”
Again told that Mr Osborne did want to move him from his position, Mr Duncan Smith said: “Well, I’m still here.”
Asked if he won the battle with Mr Osborne, he said: “George and I are good friends. The point I would simply make is we get on, we’ve delivered the best welfare outcomes of any government.”
And Mr Duncan Smith said he was in good company.
He continued: “And I will simply say, I don’t mind what he’s ever said, although he says he’s never said it and I absolutely agree with that, but you know you say at one time Winston Churchill was not bright enough, Margaret Thatcher was told she wasn’t bright enough. They had determination.”