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Nicky Morgan gets Cabinet job and peerage despite vowing to quit Parliament

2 min read

Nicky Morgan is to keep her job as Culture Secretary, despite quitting as an MP ahead of the general election.

Downing Street confirmed that Ms Morgan is being made a Conservative peer in order to remain in the post as Boris Johnson carried out a mini-reshuffle.

It is understood that she will keep her job until the Prime Minister carries out a major shake-up of his top team in the New Year.

Zac Goldsmith, who lost his Richmond Park seat to the Lib Dems last Thursday, is also expected to enter the House of Lords so that he can continue to attend Cabinet as environment minister.

Meanwhile, Simon Hart has been appointed Welsh Secretary, replacing Alun Cairns, who stood down at the start of the election campaign.

Ms Morgan announced in October that she would not be contesting the Loughborough seat she had held since 2010, claiming "the abuse for doing the job of a modern MP" was one of the reasons for her decision.

In a letter to the chairman of the Loughborough Conservative Association, the former Education Secretary said: "The clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involced in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do - represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate and make decisions in the overall national interest."

In 2018, she also said that she would "not serve in a Boris Johnson Cabinet" after he accused Theresa May of strapping the UK to a "suicide vest" over the Brexit deal she agreed with Brussels.

Critics were quick to hit out at Ms Morgan's appointment.

Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted: "It stinks. You abandon your constituents, eschew the tough work of representing a constituency but remain in the Cabinet. That really is two fingers up to democracy."

And SNP MP Pete Wishart said: "The Tories' disdain for democracy knows no bounds as Boris Johnson moves to fill his Cabinet with unelected and rejected Tory members.

"It seems as though that Tories don’t even need to bother standing in an election and be held to account by the public in order to keep the perks of ministerial posts.

"Serving in government is something that should be earned – instead Boris Johnson is creating his own private club in government and the House of Lords, who will have a say over laws that will impact on the livelihoods of people across Scotland and the UK. The House of Lords has to go."

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