Andrew Marr’s interview with David Cameron on Sunday, in which the death of a claimant was raised, appears to have got the Conservative party spooked when it comes to talking about their record on benefits.{jcomments on}

A disdainful David Cameron showed no humanity or remorse when quizzed by Marr about diabetic former soldier David Clapson, who died after his benefits were sanctioned.

But it seems the experience may have convinced the Conservatives that this isn’t their strongest subject.

Last night Tory minister for disabled people Mark Harper cancelled an appearance on Newsnight. He had been due to take part in a three party debate on benefits.

Because Harper dropped out just two hours before the programme was due to be broadcast live, the BBC cancelled the two other politicians in the interests of impartiality. As a result the BBC had to draft in non-politicians to talk on the same subject.

Iain Duncan Smith is due to appear for a debate about benefits on Andrew Neil’s daily politics show at 2pm on Tuesday 5th May.

He will be appearing on a panel with Labour’s Rachel Reeves , Lib Dem Steve Webb, Suzanne Evans of UKIP and Jonathan Bartley for the Greens.

At least, that’s the plan. But the Conservatives appear increasingly desperate not to talk about either their record on benefits or their plans to cut another £12 billion from social security in just two years.

So Andrew Neil and Alison Holt may yet be talking amongst themselves two days before the election.flyer for welfare debate


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