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Monday, 14 July 2014

Cameron statement on ministerial resignations

The Prime Minister has accepted the resignations of the following Ministers:
  • The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP (Minister without Portfolio)
  • The Rt Hon David Willetts MP (Minister of State, BIS)
  • The Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP (Minister of State, DFID)
  • The Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP (Minister of State, FCO)
  • The Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt MP, (Chief Whip and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
  • The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP (Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office)
  • The Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP (Minister of State, DECC)
On these resignations, the Prime Minister wrote to the Ministers saying:

i) To the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “Since you first entered Parliament in 1970, and over forty years since your first Front Bench role as a PPS, your passion for getting things done and the energy you have brought to your Cabinet posts has not diminished one bit. Indeed, it is now a quarter of a century since your first Cabinet position. To have that level of experience at my own Cabinet table has been incredibly helpful – both to me as Prime Minister and to the whole Cabinet. You have never been timid to raise issues of importance or to stand up for causes that matter to you, but you have also brought a keen sense of humour to the Cabinet table – and you will be hugely missed.”

ii) To the Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “You stepped into the breach as Chief Whip at a very sensitive time and have given exemplary service in this role, as I knew you would. I remain incredibly grateful to you for agreeing to return to Government and for the further contribution you have made. You have been the most loyal and dependable of colleagues, a calm and knowledgeable presence at the heart of our Government. I will always appreciate your sage and reliable advice.”

iii) To the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “I was delighted when you agreed to join my Shadow Team in 2005 and the Government in 2010. I have been proud to have “two brains” at the heart of my team, both in Opposition and in Government and you, in turn, can take enormous pride in the contribution you have made. Your work championing the Eight Great Technologies, the space industry, and long-term capital has truly solidified the UK as the best place in the world to do science and innovation. You have also been integral to our Higher Education reforms, particularly by leading our removal of the student numbers’ cap, which will have a transformative effect on the sector.”

iv) To the Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “You have continued your service on the Conservative Front Bench with a number of significant portfolios, making an outstanding contribution, both in Opposition and – over the past four years – in Government at the Department for International Development. This has been a perfect fit and your enthusiasm and commitment to the role has shone through. In particular, I have greatly admired the passion and expertise you have brought to our work in the Middle East, which has done much to enhance the UK’s reputation in the region. It is a legacy to be proud of.”

v) To the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “You have served our Front Bench continuously for over a decade, and made an outstanding contribution, both in Opposition and – over the past four years – in Government. No more so than your pivotal role helping to organise the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. You were able to participate in the preparations of the greatest sporting event in the world from bid to completion, and the start of the legacy beyond. But that in itself does not do justice to the role you played, helping ensure that London 2012 was the most spectacular and well-organised Olympics in history. More recently, I would like to recognise the calm and sensitive way in which you have dealt with the many complex and dangerous challenges we have faced in the Middle East.”

vi) To the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “I have been proud to have you on my Front Bench, loyally serving as Deputy Chief Whip in Opposition and, in Government, as a Minister in two challenging portfolios where you have been able to bring your steady hand and experience of military service to bear. You can be enormously proud of your achievements in Government and your contribution to our country.”

vii) To the Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: “You have served continuously on the Conservative Front Bench for over a decade and I hope you can be enormously proud of all you have achieved over the years covering the related briefs of Environment and, more recently, Climate Change. In particular, you have led successful investment into our energy infrastructure, making the UK a world-leader in renewable technology. You have established the Green Investment Bank, and mobilised over £3 billion investment into our renewables sector last year alone.”

Details of new appointments will be made tomorrow.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Dugher, responding to the Government reshuffle, said: “This speaks volumes about David Cameron’s leadership. Four years of failure to promote women and now we have the massacre of the moderates. Britain’s foreign policy is now set to be led by a man who has talked about taking us out of the EU. The Tories are now retreating out of Europe with all the threat that poses to jobs and business in Britain. This reshuffle shows how weak David Cameron is, running scared of his own right wing. That’s why he cannot focus on the big challenges facing families up and down the country.”