DWP universal credit architect Lord Freud resigns

FreudMinister for welfare reform Lord Freud, who has been instrumental in the design and implementation of Universal Credit, will be retiring from his ministerial position at the Department for Work and Pensions at the end of December.

Having overseen the inception, development, and introduction of Universal Credit, Lord Freud is described by the DWP as ‘the architect of welfare reform’.

Lord Freud has been at the DWP since 2010, making him the government’s longest serving Minister in the same role.

Before becoming a minister, David Freud had a career as a journalist, writing for the Financial Times. He then worked in the City for 20 years, becoming vice-chairman of investment banking at UBS. He was CEO of the Portland Trust foundation for 3 years.

He was appointed shadow Minister for Welfare Reform in February 2009, having previously advised the Labour government on how to reform the welfare system. In 2010, he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions, and was reappointed as Minister of State for Welfare Reform in May 2015.

The appointment of a successor DWP Minister in the House of Lords is yet to be announced.

Lord Freud says: “At the heart of our reforms is desire to give people independence to improve their lives. For too long, people have been trapped by a byzantine benefits system, leaving them powerless. This has always been my driving force – to give people back control over their own lives; to give support in times of need, but also to give a clear route out of the benefits system and into independence.

“That’s what Universal Credit does, and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved. It’s a testament to the support I’ve received both from my ministerial colleagues and civil servants in the DWP that we are now well on the way to achieving our goal of a truly modern, responsive welfare system which is already transforming lives.

“As I retire from my ministerial position, I leave with full confidence in the future of Universal Credit.”

Work and pensions secretary Damian Green says: “Everyone comes into government to make a difference, but David’s contribution to transforming the welfare system has been outstanding. As the architect of Universal Credit, he combines vision with an impressive attention to detail. Moreover, he cares greatly about improving the lives of some of the poorest people in our country.