Theresa May warns ‘there’s no such thing as an unsackable minister’

Simon Coveney will be in London on Thursday for meetings about Brexit

 Theresa May in the House of Commons in London on Wednesday. She said all her ministers were safe in their posts for the moment but warned she would sack those who leaked persistently

Theresa May in the House of Commons in London on Wednesday. She said all her ministers were safe in their posts for the moment but warned she would sack those who leaked persistently

 

Theresa May has warned her cabinet after a week of leaks, infighting and briefing against one another that no minister is unsackable. Speaking a day before MPs leave Westminster until September, the British prime minister said all her ministers were safe in their posts for the moment but warned she would sack those who leaked persistently.

“There’s no such thing as an unsackable minister. But at the moment the team is together and we are getting on with the job of delivering what we believe the British people want us to do,” she told LBC’s Iain Dale.

“I have to say, if you look back over the years, this is not the first time this has happened. It shouldn’t happen. It’s not for ourselves – we’ve got a job to do delivering for the public.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who was the target of many of the cabinet leaks, last weekend blamed hardcore Brexiteers who disliked his push for a substantial transitional arrangement after Britain leaves the EU in 2019. Ms May confirmed that she gave ministers a dressing down over the leaks at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

“The flavour of it was that being in government is a huge privilege, but it also brings responsibility and part of that is about doing the job we need to do,” she said. “It’s a very simple approach in this country that things said at those cabinet meetings should not be reported publicly in that way and people should accept collective responsibility because when those decisions are taken they are government decisions.”

‘Squabbling cabinet’

Earlier, during prime minister’s questions, Jeremy Corbyn mocked the prime minister for presiding over a “squabbling cabinet” while Britain faces the challenge of negotiating Brexit.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, will be in London on Thursday for a series of meetings about Brexit, including engagements at the international affairs think tank Chatham House and with the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce.

“I am very much looking forward to this opportunity to hear directly from people who are involved with dealing with the impact of the Brexit decision in the UK. I believe that it is very important that there is a broad range of views and voices in the Brexit debate and I hope to gain perspectives on the situation in the UK at present from my conversations today. I know it will help me in my work and that of the Government,” he said.

“It is valuable for those influencing policy in the UK to hear the perspectives from Ireland on the shared challenge we face when it comes to the Border and protecting the gains of the peace process. I will be clear during my visit to London that Ireland remains fully committed to our membership of the EU and is equally intent on preserving our strong relationship with the UK.”