Iain Duncan Smith hit with 455,000 petition to live on £53 a week

Iain Duncan Smith has been delivered a petition signed by over 455,000 people demanding that he live on £53 per week.

The Works and Pensions Secretary claimed last week that he could live on the sum after market trader David Bennet told him it was all he'd be left with after his housing benefit was cut.

Musician and part-time shop worker Dominic Aversano delivered the petition to the Department for Works and Pensions' (DWP) offices this morning.

Mr Aversano started the campaign on website Change.org. The 28-year-old said: "When I started this petition I never imagined the level of support it would get, and the amount of encouragement people would give me.

"It has sent a powerful message to this government, showing the level of opposition to their vicious welfare cuts.

"Online petitions have become a powerful democratic tool outside traditional political institutions and can turn the tables on those in power."

Independent reporter Kevin Rawlinson reported on Twitter that the Department intially appeared to lock the doors to the building before reopening them and allowing the petition to be delivered.

The DWP said that the locking of the doors was a standard security measure.

Duncan Smith has previously dismissed the petition as a "complete stunt".

The minister became enraged last week after being criticised for his £53 per week claims and said he was "not going to take any lessons from the Left".

The DWP said it would be not be commenting on the delivery of the petition.