Universities minister celebrates ‘promotion to be better dad’ after being axed in Cabinet reshuffle

Chris Skidmore says dismissal will allow him to spend time with baby daughter Ottolie

Colin Drury
Thursday 13 February 2020 15:07 GMT
Chris Skidmore ahead of his promotion
Chris Skidmore ahead of his promotion

A minister sacked by Boris Johnson in Thursday’s brutal government reshuffle has announced his dismissal by telling Twitter followers he has been promoted to be a “better dad”.

Chris Skidmore, the departing universities minister, posted a picture of himself with baby daughter Ottolie, who was born in November.

“Got a promotion in the reshuffle to be a better Dad with more time to spend with this gorgeous little one,” he wrote. “Thanks everyone who I've had the chance to work with and the civil service teams that have supported me - you have all been amazing.”

It is unclear how his two older children, Clementine and Henry, feel about the Kingswood MP – who has been in the cabinet for four years – not taking such a promotion earlier.

Either way, the 38-year-old’s tweet had been liked more than 2,000 times by early Thursday afternoon.

“That’s the best job in the world Chris,” replied fellow Tory MP Jason McCartney.

“Far far more satisfying than any govt job title,” another respondent wrote.

On a morning of ministerial bloodshed, Mr Skidmore was just one of several sackings.

Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith became the first casualty of the overhaul, with business secretary Andrea Leadsom, housing minister Esther McVey and environment secretary Theresa Villiers all ousted soon afterwards. Attorney general Geoffrey Cox was also shown the door.

In the most surprising announcement, chancellor Sajid Javid announced he was quitting – reportedly after being told to sack all his advisors or face dismissal. No tweets about whether he holds ambitions of becoming a better father have so far been forthcoming.

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