List of departures from the second May ministry


This is a list of resignations from the Second government formed by Prime Minister Theresa May. After forming a Conservative minority government on 11 June 2017, Theresa May faced a significant number of front bench resignations. These included 16 departures from the Cabinet, including three from the Great Offices of State. She experienced 60 ministerial departures with 42 of these being resignations due to disunity regarding Brexit discord. Lastly, Theresa May herself resigned on 24th July, with Boris Johnson being appointed Prime Minister by Queen Elizabeth II shortly after.

Prime Minister Theresa May chaired meetings of the British Cabinet in her second government from 2017 to 2019

Context and implications for government


The Cabinet table

The pace and amount of resignations was described as 'unprecedented' by the Institute for Government,[1] with resignations impacting the civil functioning of the government. For example, in March 2019 fifteen posts had been left vacant due to resignations and a lack of MPs willing to fill positions. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd had to take on Sarah Newton's responsibilities as Minister of State for Disabled People as the position was left unfilled two weeks after her resignation.[2] In less than three years, Theresa May saw more resignations than Thatcher or Blair.[3] The resignations also occurred amid a break down of cabinet collective responsibility, with Chief Whip Julian Smith describing May's Cabinet as exhibiting the 'worst cabinet ill-discipline in history',[4] as well as various MPs resigning the whip, including three to join The Independent Group of MPs.

2017


Colour key
Minister
(Cabinet members shown in bold)
Office Date of resignation Reason
Rt Hon The Lord Bridges of Headley[note 1] Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12 June Differences between May's approach to Brexit and his own.[5]
Andrew Percy MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth 14 June Decided to "pursue other challenges" and resigned despite being invited to remain in government.[6]
Rt Hon The Lord Price[note 1] Minister of State for Trade Policy 3 September Wanted to pursue ‘business and writing interests’.[5]
Rt Hon The Baroness Anelay of St Johns PC[note 1] Minister of State for Exiting the European Union 27 October Resigned on health grounds, due to an injury sustained in 2015.[5]
Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP Secretary of State for Defence 1 November Allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour.[note 2][7]
Christopher Pincher MP Comptroller of the Household 5 November Allegations of sexual assault and harassment.[note 2][8]
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP Secretary of State for International Development 8 November Conflict of interest arising from secret meetings with the Israeli government.[9]
Rt Hon Damian Green MP First Secretary of State
Minister for the Cabinet Office
20 December Found to have lied about the presence of pornographic images on his office computer.[note 2][10]

2018


Colour key
Minister
(Cabinet members shown in bold)
Office Date of resignation Reason
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 8 January Resigned on health grounds, due to an upcoming lung operation.[11]
Rt Hon Justine Greening MP Secretary of State for Education 8 January Refused to accept a new position at DWP during the 2018 cabinet reshuffle.[12]
Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP Home Secretary 29 April Misled the Home Affairs Select Committee during a hearing on the Windrush scandal.[13]
Phillip Lee MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice 12 June Opposition to the government's approach to Brexit. Lee later defected to the Liberal Democrats due to the Brexit policy of Boris Johnson.[14]
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP Minister of State for International Trade 21 June Opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport; voted against the Airports National Policy Statement.[15]
Rt Hon David Davis MP Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 8 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[16]
Steve Baker MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 9 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[17]
Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 9 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[18]
Conor Burns MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Office 9 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[19]
Chris Green MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Transport 9 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[20]
Andrew Griffiths MP Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 13 July Allegations of sexual misconduct.[21]
Robert Courts MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Office 15 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[22]
Scott Mann MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to HM Treasury 16 July Opposition to the Chequers Agreement.[23]
Guto Bebb MP Minister for Defence Procurement 16 July Opposition to government-backed amendments to the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill.[24]
Tracey Crouch MP Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness 1 November Opposition to policy rollout delays announced in the 2018 budget.[25]
Jo Johnson MP Minister of State for Transport
Minister for London
9 November Opposition to the government's handling of Brexit negotiations.[26]
Shailesh Vara MP Minister of State for Northern Ireland 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.[27]
Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.[28]
Rt Hon Esther McVey MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.[29]
Suella Braverman MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.[30]
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Education 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.[31]
Ranil Jayawardena MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Work and Pensions 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.
Rehman Chishti MP Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Pakistan 15 November Opposition to the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and the government's handling of the Asia Bibi blasphemy case.
Sam Gyimah MP Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation 30 November Opposition to the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.[32]
Will Quince MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Defence 8 December Opposition to the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.[33]
Rt Hon The Lord O'Shaughnessy[note 1] Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 31 December Resigned due to "family circumstances."[34]

2019


Colour key
  •      Opposition to government policy on Brexit
  •      Opposition to the incoming Prime Minister
Minister
(Cabinet members shown in bold)
Office Date of resignation Reason
Gareth Johnson MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Exiting the European Union 14 January Voted against the Withdrawal Agreement in the first meaningful vote.[35]
Craig Tracey MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for International Development 15 January Voted against the Withdrawal Agreement in the first meaningful vote.[36]
Eddie Hughes MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 15 January Voted against the Withdrawal Agreement in the first meaningful vote.[36]
Alberto Costa MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Scotland Office 27 February Asked to resign after tabling an amendment to protect rights of EU citizens.[37]
George Eustice MP Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food 28 February Dissatisfaction with the government acceding to a possible vote on delaying Brexit.[38]
Sarah Newton MP Minister of State for Disabled People 13 March Voted against the government whip and in favour of the "Spelman amendment."[39]
Paul Masterton MP Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Scotland Office 13 March Voted against the government whip and supported the amended motion after the "Spelman amendment" passed.[40]
Richard Harrington MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Industry 25 March Voted against the government whip and in favour of the "Letwin amendment."[41]
Steve Brine MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care 25 March Voted against the government whip and in favour of the "Letwin amendment."[41]
Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa 25 March Voted against the government whip and in favour of the "Letwin amendment."[41]
Nigel Adams MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 3 April Opposition to the Prime Minister's attempt to find common ground on a Brexit deal with Jeremy Corbyn.[42][43]
Chris Heaton-Harris MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3 April Opposition to a further extension of Article 50.[44]
Rt Hon The Lord Bates[note 1] Minister of State for International Development 23 April Wanted the freedom to explore a "process for restoring our national unity."[45]
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP Secretary of State for Defence 1 May Dismissed by PM after National Security Council investigation found Williamson leaked highly classified information, in contradiction to the Official Secrets Act, regarding Huawei's 5G network to a national newspaper.[46]
Rt Hon The Baroness Fairhead[note 1] Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion 7 May Resigned for “personal reasons.”[47]
Rt Hon The Baroness Manzoor[note 1] Baroness-in-Waiting
Government Whip
7 May Resigned for “personal reasons.”[47]
Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
22 May Resigned due to opposition to the Government's Withdrawal Agreement Bill which was set to be introduced.[48]
Margot James MP Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries 18 July Resigned in order to support an amendment seeking to prevent prorogation of Parliament.
Andrew Percy MP Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Canada 22 July Resigned over opposition to how no deal Brexit policies would harm UK–Canada trade.[49]
Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP Minister of State for Europe and the Americas 22 July Resigned in opposition to the incoming Prime Minister's acceptance of a no deal Brexit.[50]
Rt Hon Anne Milton MP Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills 23 July Resigned due to 'grave concerns' over Boris Johnson's Brexit policies.[51]
Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP Chancellor of the Exchequer 24 July Resigned in protest at Boris Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a deal.[52]
Rt Hon David Gauke MP Secretary of State for Justice
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
24 July Resigned in protest at Boris Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a deal.[53]
Rt Hon Rory Stewart OBE FRSL FRSGS MP Secretary of State for International Development 24 July Resigned in protest at Boris Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a deal.[53]
The Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Minister for the Cabinet Office
24 July May's de facto Deputy PM resigned in protest at Boris Johnson's willingness to leave the EU without a deal, as well as believing it was time to leave the frontbench.[52]
Rt Hon The Lord Taylor of Holbeach[note 1] Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords 24 July Resigned independent of the "political situation" having planned to resign for a long time beforehand.[52]

See also


References


  1. "Ministers". The Institute for Government. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  2. Political Correspondent, Henry Zeffman (27 March 2019). "Brexit: Struggle to fill seats of power left empty by rebellious MPs". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  3. Reid, David (27 March 2019). "Theresa May to resign as UK prime minister should Brexit deal happen". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. "Chief whip Julian Smith attacks ministers for 'worst cabinet ill-discipline in history'". Sky News. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. "A Whopping 30 Government Ministers Have Now Resigned Under Theresa May – Here's A List". Huffington Post. 3 April 2019.
  6. PoliticsHome.com (14 June 2017). "Blow for Theresa May as Northern Powerhouse minister quits government". PoliticsHome.com. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. "Fallon resigns as Defence Secretary over behaviour claims". BBC News. 1 November 2017.
  8. Laura Hughes and Christopher Hope (5 November 2017). "Tory Whip Chris Pincher refers himself to the police after claim of unwanted pass at former Olympic rower". Daily Telegraph.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. "Priti Patel quits over Israel meetings row". BBC News. 8 November 2017.
  10. Greenfield, Patrick (20 December 2017). "Damian Green resigns as first secretary of state after porn allegations". The Guardian.
  11. "James Brokenshire: Northern Ireland Secretary resigns". BBC News. 8 January 2018.
  12. George Parker (8 January 2018). "Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle goes off course". Financial Times.
  13. "Amber Rudd resigns as home secretary". BBC News. 29 April 2018.
  14. Kate Proctor; Peter Walker; Heather Stewart (3 September 2019). "Phillip Lee quits Tories, leaving government without a majority". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  15. "Greg Hands quits as minister over Heathrow expansion". BBC News. 21 June 2018.
  16. Heather Stewart (9 July 2018). "Brexit secretary David Davis resigns plunging government into crisis". The Guardian.
  17. "UK Brexit department minister Steve Baker resigns: government source". Reuters. 8 July 2018.
  18. Heather Stewart, Pippa Crerar and Dan Sabbagh (9 July 2018). "Boris Johnson resigns as foreign secretary - Senior Conservative becomes third minister to walk out over Theresa May's Brexit plan". The Guardian.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  19. Sarah Cartlidge (10 July 2018). "Conor Burns stands down from role after Boris Johnson resignation". Bournemouth Daily Echo.
  20. Alex McIntyre (9 July 2018). "Bolton West MP Chris Green quits Department for Transport role over Brexit". Bolton Daily News.
  21. "MP Andrew Griffiths quits ministerial post after 'sex texts' to two barmaids are revealed". Daily Telegraph. 14 July 2018.
  22. Greg Heffer (15 July 2018). "May suffers yet another resignation as Robert Courts quits over her Brexit plan". Sky News.
  23. "Cornwall MP Scott Mann resigns from Government role over Brexit". ITV News. 16 July 2018.
  24. Nicola Bartlett (16 July 2018). "Defence minister Guto Bebb resigns to vote against the Government after Theresa May accepted Brexiteer amendments to customs bill". Daily Mirror.
  25. "Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigns over 'delay' to betting crackdown". BBC News. 1 November 2018.
  26. "Jo Johnson quits as minister over Theresa May's Brexit plan". The Guardian. 9 November 2018.
  27. Georgia Chambers (15 November 2018). "Shailesh Vara MP: Who is the former Northern Ireland minister and why has he resigned over Theresa May's Brexit deal?". Evening Standard.
  28. Dan Bloom (15 November 2018). "Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit Secretary over Theresa May's deal in crushing blow". Daily Mirror.
  29. Tom Herbert (15 November 2018). "Esther McVey's savage resignation letter in full: It's obvious to everyone Brexit deal doesn't honour referendum". Evening Standard.
  30. Joe Gamp (15 November 2018). "Dominic Raab's under-secretary Suella Braverman resigns as knives out for May". Daily Express.
  31. "Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan resigns from Government over Brexit deal". ITV News. 15 November 2018.
  32. Kevin Rawlinson and Dan Sabbagh (30 November 2018). "Sam Gyimah resigns over Theresa May's Brexit deal". The Guardian.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  33. ITV News (9 December 2018). "Essex ministerial aide resigns in growing Brexit rebellion". ITV News.
  34. Alex Morales (3 April 2019). "Theresa May's Ministerial Resignations Pile Up at Rate of 1.5 a Month". Bloomberg.
  35. "Tory whip quits government ahead of May's Brexit deal vote". Evening Standard. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  36. Webber, Esther (16 January 2019). "How did your MP vote over May's Brexit deal?". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  37. correspondent, Lisa O'Carroll Brexit (27 February 2019). "Confusion reigns over Brexit amendment as Tory MP quits post". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  38. "Junior minister George Eustice resigns over article 50 vote".
  39. Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor, Henry Zeffman, Political Correspondent | (13 March 2019). "Cabinet revolt over no-deal Brexit vote". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  40. Chorley, Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor | Matt (14 March 2019). "Brexit chaos: Defiance from cabinet delivers a fresh blow to May's authority". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  41. Sparrow, Andrew (25 March 2019). "MPs back indicative votes by majority of 27 to take control of Brexit process – live news". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  42. Nigel Adams [@nadams] (3 April 2019). "I've been to Downing Street & resigned my position as UK Govt Minister for Wales & Govt Whip" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  43. Bruno Waterfield, Sam Coates, Oliver Wright, Kate Devlin (3 April 2019). "Nigel Adams resigns over Theresa May's 'grave error' to hold talks with Jeremy Corbyn". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  44. Sparrow, Andrew (3 April 2019). "Brexit: May faces second ministerial resignation in protest over her refusal to embrace no-deal - live news". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  45. Michael Bates [@BatesLord] (23 April 2019). "I have decided to step down from my ministerial role at @DFID_UK but delighted to be succeeded by Baroness Sugg" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  46. "Gavin Williamson sacked over Huawei leak". 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  47. Laura Hughes (7 May 2019). "Rona Fairhead and Zahida Manzoor quit government". Financial Times.
  48. Sparrow, Andrew; Sparrow, Andrew (22 May 2019). "Andrea Leadsom resigns from the government as May refuses to quit – live news". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  49. "UK trade envoy quits in protest over no-deal Brexit threatening £800m Canada agreement". The Independent. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  50. "Minister resigns in protest against Johnson". 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  51. Sparrow (now), Andrew; Badshah (earlier), Nadeem; Sparrow, Andrew; Mason, Rowena; Stewart, Heather (23 July 2019). "Skills minister Anne Milton resigns ahead of Boris Johnson's expected election as new UK PM – live news". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  52. Busby (earlier), Andrew Sparrow (now); Mattha (24 July 2019). "May uses last PMQs to tell Corbyn to quit as Johnson prepares to become prime minister – live news". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  53. "Rory Stewart and David Gauke resign ahead of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 24 July 2019.

Notes