Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith says Theresa May will 'betray' those in need if she fails to boost Universal Credit budget

Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of the benefits programme, said it was the “single best instrument” to help Britain’s poorest workers.

And he urged the PM and Chancellor to reverse cuts to the scheme made by ex-Chancellor George Osborne in 2015.

It came as Tory backbencher Johnny Mercer tore into Ministers for failing to support UC in public – and renewed calls for the extra £2billion to be found.

He stormed: “Ministers must earn their Government pay roll, and not leave backbenchers like me and a few others dangling in the wind on this.”

It is understood Mr Duncan Smith is backed by dozens of MPs including campaigners such as Heidi Allen and Brexit-backing Tories.

They want the Chancellor to freeze plans to raise the tax allowance to raise the money for the programme.

Speaking to Sky yesterday, Mr Duncan Smith said: “Theresa May stood on the steps of Downing Street and said, I want to look after those who are just about managing.

“Universal Credit is the single best instrument to get to those who are just managing. It’s better than the tax system, it’s better than charitable giveaways.”

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