Newspaper headlines: Iain Duncan Smith fallout and Independent end

The fallout from the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith as work and pensions secretary and its impact on the Conservative Party dominate the Sunday papers.

The Sunday Times says George Osborne's leadership hopes were "shredded" after Mr Duncan Smith "unleashed a bloodbath of mutual recriminations at the top of the Tory party".

The paper reports: "Duncan Smith resigned on Friday night with a lacerating attack on Osborne for demanding £1.3bn of 'indefensible' disability benefit cuts, while handing tax cuts to the middle classes.

"He was replaced yesterday by Stephen Crabb, the Welsh Secretary, a popular figure from a working-class background who has also been tipped as a future leader.

"As the party descended into civil war it emerged that Cameron had let rip with an astonishing four-letter-word "rant" at Duncan Smith for failing to tell him face to face that he was resigning, saying: 'You have behaved dishonourably.'

"The former Tory leader was 'shocked' by the onslaught but is now set to help thwart Osborne's hopes of succeeding Cameron as Tory leader when he stands down."

Serving ministers compared Mr Osborne to the sinister Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and hapless 1970s sitcom character Frank Spencer, adds the Sunday Times.

"Knives out for Osborne in Tory backlash," is the headline in the Sunday Telegraph.

The paper says Downing Street was battling to avert a "full-blown leadership crisis".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Iain Duncan Smith walked over the issue of cuts to disability benefits

"The chancellor was facing calls to be demoted from his colleagues inside government due to his botched handling of the row over cuts to benefits for the disabled," it says.

"Senior MPs warned that Mr Osborne's hopes of succeeding David Cameron had been fatally undermined by the furore, which led Iain Duncan Smith to quit the cabinet on Friday night.

"His resignation ignited an extraordinary new wave of infighting between David Cameron and right-wingers, who are already at war over the EU referendum."

The Observer says Mr Duncan Smith "sensationally quit" in a "bitter row over £4bn of cuts to benefits for the disabled".

"Yesterday, as the Conservative Party descended into a savage war of words over the reasons for the resignation, friends of the prime minister and chancellor tried to undermine efforts by Duncan Smith to occupy the moral high ground, insisting he had personally agreed to the cuts last week and supported them at cabinet on the morning of the budget," says the Observer.

"They also suggested that Duncan Smith - a supporter of Brexit - had been looking for several weeks for an opportunity to resign, and claimed that he wanted to find a moment when he could inflict maximum damage on the campaign led by Cameron and Osborne to keep Britain in the European Union."

The Independent on Sunday says Mr Osborne's leadership hopes were "dangling by a thread amid mounting Tory anger at the 'disastrous' fallout from last week's Budget, and widespread expressions of support for Iain Duncan Smith".


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Boris on 'rampage'

The Sunday Times comments that there is only one winner in this "bloody feud" - and that is Boris Johnson.

"Whether or not Mr Osborne is permanently out of the running to succeed his friend as prime minister, the field is narrowing," it says.

"Sajid Javid, the business secretary, who is perhaps the kind of leader the Tories will need after the Eton-educated Mr Cameron, has disappointed many of his supporters by choosing, through gritted teeth, to campaign to stay in the EU.

"Theresa May, for all her steadiness as home secretary, suffers similarly.

"That leaves Boris Johnson, who this weekend is rampaging on a ski slope in Europe, with an apparently uninterrupted run towards the Tory leadership and Number 10."

The Sunday Telegraph predicts a tough few weeks for David Cameron.

The paper says Mr Duncan Smith's resignation exposes as wishful thinking any hope that the prime minister could call an EU referendum and hold the Tory party together.

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Media captionSunday Times political editor Tim Shipman and Sunday Express political editor Caroline Wheeler join the BBC News Channel to review Sunday's front pages.

The Observer comments: "Iain Duncan Smith's resignation as work and pensions secretary on Friday has heightened the sense of disarray in the Conservative Party that was already becoming evident as the referendum campaigns gathered pace.

"What was most damaging was not the act of resignation itself, but the grounds he set out in his letter to the prime minister.

"He effectively accused the government of politicising economic policy to the detriment of Britain's economic interest and questioned the extent to which it can claim to be putting into practice the oft-rehearsed phrase 'we're all in it together'.

"This risks doing untold damage to George Osborne, a chancellor who has made much of his assertion that he has prioritised the plight of those in low-paid work and that it is the Conservatives more than any other party that have Britain's long-term economic interests at heart."

The Independent on Sunday says the Budget confirmed that the low-paid and disabled will lose over the next four years while top-rate taxpayers will gain.

The Sunday Express blames David Cameron for announcing he would not seek a third term as prime minister.

The Express says the Conservative Party has returned to doing one of the things it does best - tearing itself apart.

The Sun on Sunday says the heady days of general election victory must seem a very long time ago to Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne.

"Neither could have expected last week's Budget - one that was supposed to be 'steady as you go' rather than radically controversial - to have left them reeling," it adds.


Perfect backstory

The Sunday Telegraph profiles the person replacing Mr Duncan Smith as work and pensions secretary, former Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb.

The paper says the Preseli Pembrokeshire MP should hit the ground running - he has a perfect backstory.

His mother Jacqui single-handedly brought him up with his two brothers in a council flat. At school he was bullied for being unable to afford a uniform and would play truant so he could work on a farm to afford trainers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stephen Crabb is tipped as a possible future Conservative leader

The Telegraph continues: "Mr Crabb, 43 and married with two children, knows the need for a welfare safety net but is wary of people being stuck in a cycle of dependency.

"'The most powerful thing to me... is the way that my mother went through a crisis in her life,' he said in a recent interview with the Spectator that could be a blueprint for this role."

It adds: "As Iain Duncan Smith quits and as heavyweight hopefuls argue behind the scenes over who should succeed Mr Cameron, the really interesting wager seems to be: Stephen Crabb."


The End

Finally we say farewell to the print edition of the Independent on Sunday, which is going online, with a "goodbye" letters special page.

Joey Knock from London writes: "I was born only a month after the IoS. My generation tend to have their news filtered by friends and fancy algorithms.

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Image caption It is goodbye to the Independent on Sunday in print form

"Our social networks represent my world, not society or our world. There is no letters page. Where will I read those intergenerational voices now?"

The paper adapts its masthead to spell out The Independent on Sunday.