Amber Rudd says it’s unclear who is running country and cabinet is being excluded from Brexit policy

‘If I knew that, I would have perhaps had further conversations with them,’ former work and pensions secretary says

Chiara Giordano
Sunday 08 September 2019 10:10
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Amber Rudd says she doesn't know who is running the country

Amber Rudd has claimed it is unclear who is running the country following her shock resignation from the government.

The former work and pensions secretary said she did not think the cabinet was having “proper discussions about policy”.

When asked who was running the country, if not the cabinet, she told The Andrew Marr Show: “If I knew that I would have perhaps had further conversations with the prime minister or them.”

Ms Rudd, who announced her resignation from the cabinet on Saturday, said she quit because she had not seen enough evidence of planning for a Brexit deal.

She claimed she was shown a “one-page summary” when she asked for evidence of the government’s work in negotiating a deal with the European Union.

“It’s like 80 to 90 per cent of government time going into preparing for no-deal and the absence of trying to get a deal has driven 21 of my colleagues to rebel, and I need to join them,” she said.

Ms Rudd added: “There is no evidence of the deal. There is no formal negotiation taking place.

“I think we should be doing so much more to get the deal.”

Ms Rudd said she thought it was “unfair” to “single out” the 21 Conservative rebels just because they had a different opinion on the EU.

The former secretary of state said prime minister Boris Johnson was “obviously sad” when she spoke to him on Saturday evening about her resignation, adding: “I was very frank about the reasons for it.

“It’s not just 21 individuals; it’s a big symbol that the Conservative Party doesn’t embrace moderate people.”

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The Hastings and Rye MP said she was not leaving politics or the Conservative Party, but added: “I knew I couldn’t carry on in the Conservative Party at such a high level and see so many of my colleagues excluded.”

Therese Coffey MP, an environment minister and MP for Suffolk Coastal, was promoted to work and pensions secretary just hours after Ms Rudd stepped down.

Elected in 2010, Ms Coffey is a former deputy Commons leader and was appointed as environment minister by Theresa May.

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