Boris Johnson appoints Thérèse Coffey Work and Pensions Secretary to replace Amber Rudd

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Thérèse Coffey has been appointed Work and Pensions Secretary to replace Amber Rudd.

Amber Rudd sensationally quit the Cabinet and the Conservative Party last night in protest at Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit .

The Hastings and Rye MP quit her post as Work and Pensions Secretary and said she was relinquishing the Tory whip after the Prime Minister sacked 21 rebels this week.

Ms Rudd declared: “I cannot stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled.

Ms Coffey, the MP for Suffolk Coastal, has accepted the job, which oversees some of the most government’s most controversial policies.

The Women and Equalities brief, which was also held by Ms Rudd, is still to be announced.

Boris Johnson’s government has been rocked by resignations this week

 

In January 2016, Ms Coffey voted to reject a proposed rule that would have required private landlords to make their homes “fit for human habitation”.

According to Parliament’s register of interests, 72 of the MPs who voted against the amendment were landlords who derive an income from a property – including at the time Ms Coffey.

Elected in 2010, Ms Coffey is a former deputy Commons leader and was appointed as environment minister by Theresa May.

The devout Liverpool FC fan backed Remain during the EU referendum in 2016.

Ms Rudd has already congratulated her successor, tweeting: “Congratulations to my good friend @theresecoffey on her appointment as Secretary of State @DWP. I know she will do an excellent job in a first rate department.”

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss called it an “absolutely brilliant appointment”.

Dr Coffey, an avid fan of Devon rock band Muse, comes to the Cabinet amid deep political turmoil with Downing Street at loggerheads with Parliament over the future on Brexit.

The PM is in a stand-off with the Opposition and is threatening to disobey a new law demanding that the divorce negotiations are extended until January 2020.

Dr Coffey, having served in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for the past three years, will be well-versed in Brexit and no-deal planning.

Ms Rudd’s resignation came after she claimed Boris Johnson began ignoring the advice of Cabinet ministers and behaving aggressively.

Amber Rudd resigned last night

 

In an interview with the Sunday Times she has revealed the chaotic reality at the heart of Boris Johnson’s government.

And the former Home Secretary said she had spoken to Mr Johnson about the government’s “aggressive” behaviour and worries that Mr Johnson’ rhetoric could lead to violence.

She said: “The constant escalation of the combat between parliament and the people leading to protests is really unwise and will lead to dangerous outcomes.

“I have said that to him and I have been ignored.”

Asked if she feared violence Ms Rudd told The Sunday Times: “I do.”



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