9 genuinely interesting facts about new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb


A turbulent first day for the new secretary of state

Stephen Crabb has been appointed Work and Pensions Secretary, and already made a huge U-turn.

Crabb revealed a Tory policy of further cuts for disabled people would not go ahead, after a firestorm of criticism.

Iain Duncan Smith’s replacement will now need to find £4.4bn of savings elsewhere.

Here’s what we know about Crabb:

1. He was born in Scotland but brought up on a council estate in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and was state-educated.

2. His mother was dependent on benefits when he was growing up. He said: “The most powerful thing to me, looking back, is the way that my mother went through a crisis in her life and became welfare dependent. She started working just a few hours each week, increasing her hours and then moving to a position where with extra training she was able to move into full-time work, become a car owner, and reach full economic independence.”

3. His political career began with an internship in parliament secured for him by Christian Action Research Group (CARE), a Christian advocacy group which is against equal rights for LGBT people.

4. He has accepted interns from the same group in 2010 for his parliamentary office and is still a practising Christian, having spoken at meetings for the Conservative Christian Fellowship and voted against gay marriage.

5. Earlier this month, his office was vandalised with the words “Why do you hate the sick”, after he voted to cut Employment and Support Allowance for disabled people.

6. This vote also led to a 38degrees campaign demanding he resign as a patron of learning disabilities charity Mencap, which has had more than 10,000 signatures.

7. In 2009, during the expenses scandal, it was revealed Crabb claimed £8,049 on the refurbishment of his London flat, including “£500 for a goose down duvet and corner TV unit”.

8. It was then discovered he sold the flat for a profit and “flipped” his second home so that he could claim £9,300 in stamp duty and £1,325 per month in mortgage interest, in a practice which is now banned.

9. He employs his wife as a secretary.