By Claire West

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has called on work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to apologise for "outrageous spin" over allegations jobcentre staff are being forced to stop people's benefits to meet targets, saying:

"When this story broke Mr Duncan Smith described it as 'claptrap' and a 'conspiracy', but faced with the overwhelming evidence that these targets are still in place, his department has been forced to backtrack.

"The secretary of state should issue a full and public apology for what was a piece of outrageous spin when he must have known what was happening. When MPs return from their Easter break, he should also be asked to explain to parliament why he tried to mislead the public in his TV interview.

"We fundamentally oppose the use of targets for welfare sanctions and we call on the Department for Work and Pensions to put an immediate stop to this abuse of the system."