Iain Duncan Smith has said controversial Channel 4 programme Benefits Street reveals a “ghetto” reality.

The Chingford and Woodford Green MP said in a speech this morning that the middle-class majority is aware of problems in poor communities but “largely unaware of the true nature of life on some of our estates”.

His remarks came during an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Centre for Social Justice thinktank, which he formed before becoming Secretary Of State for Work and Pensions. 

Benefits Street has been criticised for misrepresenting residents and labelled ‘poverty porn’.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “For too long we let these problems be ghettoised as though they were a different country.

“Even now, for the most part they remain out of sight – meaning people are shocked when they are confronted with a TV programme such as Benefits Street.”