Seriously?! Tory turmoil as Boris’s own MP savages new Education Secretary in bitter swipe

Nadhim Zahawi made Chancellor after Rishi Sunak resigns

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Yesterday evening, it was announced that Michelle Donelan had been appointed Secretary of State for Education. Responding to the announcement on Twitter, Conservative MP for Telford Lucy Allan replied: “Seriously”. Ms Donelan’s appointment came after Rishi Sunak resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday evening.

Former Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, was appointed to the position of Chancellor, leaving a gap in the Education department which was filled by Ms Donelan.

She previously served as Universities Minister.

Mr Sunak’s resignation letter told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”.

He added: “I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

The former Chancellor warned the Prime Minister that the UK “cannot continue like this”.

His resignation came just minutes after the resignation of Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who announced he would be stepping down at around 6pm yesterday.

Announcing his decision, Mr Javid said he could “no longer, in good conscience, continue serving in this government”.

He said Mr Johnson’s tone and values reflect “on your colleagues, your party and ultimately the country”.

Mr Javid added: “It is clear to me that this situation will not change under your leadership – and you have therefore lost my confidence too.”

Several junior ministers, along with solicitor general Alex Chalk, also quit their posts yesterday.

Mr Javid was replaced by Steve Barclay.

Their resignations came amid allegations surrounding deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, with Downing Street confirming that it knew about 2019 allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Chris Pincher.

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Mr Johnson had previously denied knowing about the allegations.

But speaking yesterday about the decision to hire Mr Pincher, the Prime Minister said: “Yes, I think it was a mistake and I apologise for it. In hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.”

Mr Johnson is alleged to have referred to the Tamworth MP as “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature”.

When asked whether or not he made the joke, Mr Johnson responded: “What I can tell you is that, when I look at the background of this and why I regret it so much, is that about three years ago there was a complaint about Chris Pincher in the Foreign Office.”

He added: “The complaint was cleared up, he apologised, it was raised with me, orally I was briefed on what had happened and, if I had my time again, I would think back on it and recognise that he wasn’t going to learn any lesson and he wasn’t going to change.”

After allegations about Mr Pincher emerged, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “[The PM] was not aware of any specific allegations.

“In the absence of any formal complaint, it was not appropriate to stop an appointment on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.”

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