Portsmouth City Council leader denies business secretary opposes appointment of minister for the city

Rae Bryden, manager at Joules in Gunwharf Quays, who was the Manager of the Year winner and was runner-up in the Fashion Store of the Year category at The News's Retail and Leisure Awards in 2016.  Picture: Sarah Standing (170883-5016)

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PORTSMOUTH’S council leader has defended Vince Cable after a web report suggested he was against the city getting its own minister.

The report said Mr Cable, the government’s business secretary, dismissed the position created for MP Michael Fallon as ‘tokenism.’

But Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said it would be ‘nonsensical’ for Mr Cable to oppose Mr Fallon’s appointment since he is a junior minister who works for him in the department of business, innovation and skills.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson also said Mr Cable had been completely supportive of the idea.

‘If the secretary of state thought this was a bad idea, then it would be nonsensical for him to give the post to one of his ministers,’ he said.

‘Ministers rule their departments.’