Theresa May’s week began in the worst possible way following resignations from her Brexit ministers and Boris Johnson.
The cabinet was hastily shuffled, but the replacements have raised eyebrows among commentators today. They remind us that the new Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, has previously called for Britain to use negotiations with the EU to scrap workers’ rights.
It has also emerged that he was responsible for drafting a white paper which called for opt-outs from EU employment regulations, including those that guarantee employees time off and limit the number of hours staff can be made to work.
The Independent also report that he is opposed to giving agency workers the same rights enjoyed by full time workers.
And the replacement junior minister, Chris Heaton- Harris, is the politician who just a few months ago, appallingly wrote to universities across the country demanding to know the names of all lecturers teaching European studies.
He was accused of “McCarthyite” behaviour, following the letter sent to all universities asking them to declare “what they are teaching their students about Brexit and to provide a list of teachers’ names.”
He went on to ask for each universities syllabus and any online lectures on Brexit. This was disgraceful behaviour, but less than a year on from the incident Theresa May has made him her junior minister.
It is a measure of a Prime Minister who offers promotion to someone who displays such shockingly bad political acumen.
Heaton- Harris is a former MEP despite being a Brexiter will have some knowledge of Brussels. Meanwhile Raab who has worked as a lawyer in the Foreign Office has had less direct association with the EU. He is a staunch Brexiter too. Worryingly he is known to be relaxed in the scenario of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Raab was criticised by Theresa May in 2011 following an article in which he described some feminists as “obnoxious bigots”, claimed “men were getting a raw deal” and attacked the “equality bandwagon”. Rebuking him at the time Theresa May who was the then Home Secretary and equalities minister accused him of fuelling “gender warfare”.