A high profile Conservative MP has denied claims that he supports a controversial report recommending raising the state pension age - and underlined that it is not government policy.

The controversy started when MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, Iain Duncan Smith tweeted concerning his thoughts on a report from The Centre for Social Justice think tank.

The Think Tank, which also came up with Universal Credit and is chaired by Mr Duncan Smith, recommended that the state pension age should be raised to 75 by 2035. This is partly a response to the ballooning cost of the pension system, which has risen from £17 billion in 1989 to £92 billion today.

The report and the MP were subjected to a media firestorm with stories in left-wing papers the Independent, Guardian and the Mirror.

One source of criticism came from Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green Faiza Shaheen, who has condemned raising the state pension age.

She said: “This policy would be a devastating blow not only to the older population, but those currently in their late 40s and 50s. From cuts to benefits for disabled people to the disastrous Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith’s policy ideas have stripped many people of their dignity. Now he wants to strip us of our right to retire rather than work until we die.

“Under this Tory government, thousands of our older residents in Chingford & Woodford Green will lose their TV licences, many are being pushed into poverty and women born in the 1950s saw their state pension age increased at short notice. The Tories have shown they have no respect for our elderly population.

“As your local Labour candidate, I am fighting not only to represent my hometown in parliament, but to also stop heartless policies like these.”

When contacted, Mr Duncan Smith said that he does not support a rise in the pension age, and that the report is not actual policy.

He said: “The suggestion of raising the State Pension Age is not government policy and it also does not represent my personal views - this was made clear at the time. The Conservative Party and Government have no plans whatsoever to change the present programme for the retirement age, and this is also my view.

“The Centre for Social Justice is an independent think tank and this report was a policy discussion paper, part of a series of 6 called the Future of Work, looking at many ideas across all employment ages. This paper included supporting and protecting people in work as they get older.

“It’s worth noting that the Mirror published an article ­— shared on Facebook Sunday August 18 by the Labour Party candidate ­— stating the Government will raise the state pension age from 67 to 75 2035 and has since had to correct the inaccuracies.

“The Conservative Government, of which I was a part, raised the state pension by bringing in the triple lock which means the state pension rises every year by inflation, 2.5 per cent or average earnings – whichever is higher. The 2018-19 state pensions as a result is more than £1,450 a year higher than under Labour in 2010.”