The Work and Pensions Secretary has hit out at the new film I, Daniel Blake for its "monstrously unfair" portrayal of job centre staff.

The Ken Loach film tells the story of a 59-year-old joiner, who is plunged into extreme poverty and confronted by a faceless bureaucracy when his benefits are stopped.

The film has won rave reviews and was given the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival but it has sparked an emotional debate about just how accurate it is.

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Damian Green waded into the row while speaking in the House of Commons, insisting it has "no relationship" to the current benefits system.

Speaking during a statement on a Government green paper proposing changes to get more disabled people into work, he said: "I haven't seen the film yet, I've seen quite a lot of trailers from it.

"It is, I would point out, a work of fiction. It is not a documentary. It bears no relationship to the modern benefits system.

"And in particular, as I understand it, it is monstrously unfair to job centre staff who are hugely conscientious people doing a job, sometimes in difficult conditions, and doing it very well indeed."

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He made the comments after being questioned by fellow Conservative MP Philip Hollobone (Kettering) about whether he thought the film was an "accurate portrayal of the benefits system".

It comes after former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith also criticised the film.

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He earlier told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: "The film has taken the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody, lump it all together and then say 'absolutely, this is life as it is lived by people'.

"And I don't believe that."

But Mr Loach hit back at Mr Green, linking to a story about the comments with the mocking message "Well, he has seen the trailers after all".

He later encouraged his tens of thousands of Twitter followers to get in touch with the Work and Pensions Secretary to tell him their views on the benefits system.