New role for Fareham MP in PM reshuffle criticised by pro-EU MPs

THREE MPs from the Portsmouth area have been given new positions in the cabinet reshuffle.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 5:53 am
Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, with prime minister Theresa May
Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, with prime minister Theresa May

They include Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, who was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).

Her new role, which has been criticised by pro-EU MPs, comes after she was made chairman of the European Research Group in June.

The Tory group is made up of ‘hard’ Brexiteers who are holding the government to account over leaving the EU and pushing for it continue the current position.

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Miss Fernandes said: ‘Our aim is now to work hard to deliver the best possible Brexit that works for the whole country – this means preparing Britain for a smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU.

‘Brexit is a great opportunity for our country as we embrace the world and regain control of our laws, borders and money.’

But the decision by prime minister Theresa May has been criticised by Labour’s Alison McGovern, a leading supporter of Open Britain.

She said: ‘This looks like yet another capitulation by the Prime Minister to the Brextremists in her party.

‘Suella Fernandes is the second chair of the hard Brexit-supporting European Research Group to be appointed as a DExEU minister in the past seven months.

‘During that time, five ministers have departed from the Brexit and Trade departments, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.’

Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman added: ‘Theresa May has chosen to use this reshuffle to appoint yet another extreme voice to the Brexit department.’

Meanwhile, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has been moved from the Department for Work and Pensions to the Department of Health.

She said: ‘I am delighted to have been promoted into health and social care.

‘It is a department that impacts on the lives of every single person in this country.

‘I’m looking forward to the challenge.’

East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds was appointed as the education secretary on Monday, replacing Justine Greening.

He posted on Twitter: ‘Delighted to be appointed Education Secretary – looking forward to working with the great teachers and lecturers in our schools, colleges amd universities giving people the opportunities to make the most of their lives.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt remains as development secretary.