Steve who? Unknown MP named as new Brexit Secretary

Lamar Ellis
November 18, 2018

Barclay joins Amber Rudd in the cabinet, the latter replacing Esther McVey as Work and Pensions Secretary.

Rudd's appointment, confirmed this afternoon (16 November), came a day after McVey resigned the office in protest of the government's draft Brexit agreement.

She has been out of cabinet since the end of April, when she quit as home secretary after inconsistencies in her account of her handling of the Windrush scandal.

A statement on Rudd's website shows that she is a supporter of the pensions dashboard, but believes there should not be any transitional arrangements to help women born in the 1950s who have seen their state pension age increase, as represented by the Women Against State Pension Inequality or Waspi campaign.

She has suffered the loss of four ministers and faces continued speculation that a vote of no confidence in her leadership could be triggered by Tory MPs within days.

It said that due to a series of confused email exchanges and crossed wires, Rudd was given the wrong information before, during and after the crucial committee hearing that cost her her job.

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The prime minister has also announced that health minister Stephen Barclay will replace Dominic Raab as Brexit Secretary, Environment Secretary Michael Gove having reportedly turned down the job on Thursday.

John Penrose will join the Northern Ireland office, replacing Shailesh Vara, and Kwasi Kwarteng will go to the Department for Exiting the European Union, replacing Suella Braverman.

Mr Barclay becomes the third Brexit Secretary since the role was created, after Mr Raab and David Davis - who resigned over Mrs May's Brexit plans in July.

She had faced growing pressure to resign amid claims she misled parliament over targets for removing illegal migrants.

'She will be the sixth DWP secretary since March 2016. Asked what Mrs May would say to victims of the Windrush scandal who might feel the Hastings & Rye MP's rehabilitation had come too soon, the PM's official spokesman said: 'Amber Rudd took responsibility for what happened but you saw in the Alex Allan report that she was not supported as she should have been in her role.

The rehabilitation of Ms Rudd, who quit in a row over immigration targets, comes after a report concluded she had been let down by her officials.

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