“What can we do to make you reconsider?” the Prime Minister asked.
“I don’t want anything,” Mr Duncan Smith replied. “This is not a bargaining chip, it’s my resolved position.”
Mr Duncan Smith’s bolt from the blue clearly angered Mr Cameron. “I am the Prime Minister,” he said. “The least you could have done is come to see me to discuss this.”
Back in Downing Street, the Prime Minister held crisis talks with his aides before calling Mr Duncan Smith a second time.
But this conversation, at around 7pm, was short. Mr Duncan Smith told him that he would not travel in to Westminster to discuss the issue face to face, and would not be reconsidering his decision. A furious Prime Minister told Mr Duncan Smith he was “behaving dishonourably” and ended the call.