Some MPs are happy to merely be MPs; others aspire to achieve ministerial rank. And some of those who get there want the world to know that in doing so, they are that bit more important, more special. One who is not at all backward in coming forwards to tell of her newly elevated status is Mid Bedfordshire’s representative (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries. She is not only a minister, she is a proper minister.
Is there any substance in this claim? Regrettably not, although it is not a unique occurrence for Ms Dorries to blame “trolls” for calling her out on her occasionally tenuous relationship with factual accuracy. Junior ministers, generally speaking, are those beneath cabinet rank, and both male and female journalists refer to them as such.an article from iNews written by Paul Gallagher, talking about Ken Clarke. “Ken Clarke: ‘Nobody in the NHS had any idea what they were spending money on before I became Health Secretary’ … As a junior minister, Mr Clarke had given virtual autonomy to run the NHS by his old boss, Norman Fowler, who was in charge of the sprawling Department of Health and Social Security for six years”. There is more.
Or a profile of Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary) which discusses his time as Secretary of State for Health, from the BBC, which includes this passage: “The mere fact he has survived so long in one of the most demanding posts in government means speculation about his future is a given. Ahead of the last election, reports surfaced that Ben Gummer, who has served as a junior minister under Mr Hunt, had been earmarked as the next health secretary. But Mr Gummer lost his seat” Nick Triggle was the author.describing a member of the then Irish Government: “A junior minister has been reprimanded after he said he had ‘no ideological objection’ to Fine Gael entering a coalition with Sinn Féin … Jim Daly, the minister for older people, said he had no issue with Sinn Féin being part of government, despite it being contrary to his party’s position”.
Two female journalists at the Guardian, Rowena Mason and Kate Proctor, discussing the fallout from Dominic Cummings’ drive to Durham, told readers “Another Tory MP said they expected more junior ministers to quit over Cummings’ lockdown breaches”, after describing the resignations of some, er, male junior ministers.
But, as so often, that thought would have been badly misplaced. Another self own.