Iain Duncan Smith splashed out £75,000 of taxpayers' money on media training for gaffe-prone junior minister Lord Freud and officials at the Department of Work and Pensions, a Freedom of Information Request by the Huffington Post UK has revealed.{jcomments on}

Critics seized on the revelation to condemn the DWP's "ridiculous waste of money" as the department revealed that it spent £74,074 since May 2010 on teaching 253 people how to look good on camera and to handle journalists.

The DWP confirmed that the people who received media training included local Jobcentre district managers and "external relations" staff, but they were unable to break down how much was spent on training millionaire Lord Freud to handle the media. The minister last received a media training session back in 2011.

Labour MP Teresa Pearce, member of the Commons Work and Pensions committee, told HuffPostUK that the DWP's £75,000 bill for media training was a "waste of money".

In response to the revelation that Lord Freud was among those who received training, Pearce said: "I hope he kept the receipt."

"I have seen no presence in my local press of Jobcentre Plus spokespeople and as the department has fully staffed Press and Media office, I think this is a waste of money."

Read the full story in the Huffington Post


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