Dozens of Tory MPs urge the Government to reverse £2bn cuts to Universal Credit and 'protect benefits'

Arch Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees Mogg are teaming up with Europhile Tory backbenchers like Heidi Allen to demand action to shore up benefits for some of the poorest people in the country.

It came as former Chancellor George Osborne defended his welfare cuts – saying you couldn’t pay for everything through higher taxes.

He cut billions from the Universal Credit budget in 2015.

The calls for a u-turn are being led by Iain Duncan Smith – the former Pensions Secretary who is a key member of the Tory European Research Group of Brexiteers.

One source told The Sun: “Iain commands a big following and almost everyone in the ERG is now backing his call.”

The push comes a week after Eurosceptic Bernard Jenkin warned Brexiteers could pull support for the Government in the Commons if Theresa May conceded any more ground in EU discussions.

Sources claimed Philip Hammond may axe plans to up the tax allowance for higher rate payers to find more money for UC.

Ex-Chancellor George Osborne defended his cuts by saying it was impossible to find money for everything from tax.

Speaking to Channel 4, he said: “If you want to really increase substantially the amount of money going to Universal Credit, the health service, whatever – you can either borrow more. Or you have to increase your income tax, your national insurance, you VAT.

“The idea that somehow there’s a load of money lying around –it’s just not the case, and never was and never is going to be, and we know that.

“If the country learned one thing over the last 15 years it’s that there’s not easy answers to these problems.”

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