Iain Duncan Smith petition signed by nearly half a million people is handed into his government department

MP Iain Duncan Smith

MP Iain Duncan Smith - Credit: Archant

Nearly half a million petition signatures calling for Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith to undertake life on £53 a week, for a year, were delivered to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on Monday.

In an interview last week, Mr Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said he could live on the amount, which markter trader David Bennett told the BBC he has to manage on.

The petition, organised on Change.org, was delivered by organiser Dominic Aversano and supporters.

The delivery took the DWP by surprise and Mr Aversano was locked out for 15minutes until they agreed to accept the petition.

Mr Duncan Smith has described the petiton as a “complete stunt”.

He said: “[It] distracts attention from the welfare reforms which are much more important and which I have been working hard to get done”.