Andrea Jenkyns’ exit from Department for Education confirmed

Sector awaiting third minister this year following departure of controversial MP

十月 31, 2022

UK universities were awaiting the appointment of their third minister in the Department of Education this year, after it was confirmed that Andrea Jenkyns was no longer covering the sector.

The department said that Ms Jenkyns was no longer minister for skills following the appointment of three new ministers to the DfE last week as part of Rishi Sunak’s first reshuffle as prime minister. But it was yet to be confirmed who would take on the brief covering universities.

Ms Jenkyns was first appointed minister for skills, further and higher education in July, replacing Michelle Donelan in the dying days of the Boris Johnson government, before becoming minister for skills, which included responsibility for higher education, last month.

The new ministers at the DfE are Nick Gibb, previously a long-serving schools minister; Robert Halfon, formerly the chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee; and Claire Coutinho, the East Surrey MP who had spent the last month as parliamentary undersecretary of state for disabled people.

Mr Gibb was widely expected to resume the schools brief that he held between 2014 and 2021, but the DfE said that ministerial portfolios, including who will oversee universities, were still being finalised.

If the broader skills brief is left intact Mr Halfon may appear a likely candidate to take it on, given that the Harlow MP served as minister for skills under Theresa May. He has long-running interests in this area, particularly relating to apprenticeships, and following his five-year term as chair of the education committee.

The ministerial appointments followed the installation of Gillian Keegan as education secretary – the fifth appointee in just four months, following Kit Malthouse, James Cleverly, Ms Donelan’s 36-hour tenure, and Nadhim Zahawi.

And they come alongside continuing uncertainty over the other ministerial portfolios that relate heavily to universities in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Boris Johnson appointee George Freeman has returned as minister for science, technology and innovation, but it is yet to be confirmed what will happen to the science and investment security brief held in Liz Truss’ administration by Nusrat Ghani, who remains a minister in the department.

Ms Jenkyns instantly hit the headlines following her initial appointment in July when footage emerged of her raising her middle finger at a crowd of spectators who had gathered outside Downing Street on the day Mr Johnson announced his departure.

Defending her action, she said she had reached the “end of her tether” after years of abuse and seven death threats and that a “baying mob” had been “insulting” MPs at the gates of Downing Street.



  • 注册是免费的,而且十分便捷
  • 注册成功后,您每月可免费阅读3篇文章
  • 订阅我们的邮件
Please 登录 or 注册 to read this article.

Reader's comments (1)

Ah yes - isn't this the alt-right one who claimed that UK universities ran Harry Potter degrees and were being hijacked by “politically-motivated campaigners”.... (Ironically - the only politically motivated interference I see is from her party and allied thinktanks). They're irrelevant in two years time - good good.