Just a few days into the job and it is already being revealed that Justine Greening did not want to be International Development Secretary.
Today Sam Coates at The Times has reported that did not want the International Development brief and told No.10 she didn’t believe in the budget ringfence.
“I’m told the exact phrases used by Justine Greening to express her scepticism about aid and DFID were extremely fruity and sharp.”
Worse still, the Daily Telegraph reports that Greening used:
“rather earthy terms to say that working with foreigners wasn’t her political ambition.”
David Cameron obviously didn’t care he was sending someone with no passion for development into the department, with this commentary from Daniel Finklestein suggesting he was only concerned with chucking her out of Transport:
“[She moved because] in a very important job, she hadn’t proven the easiest colleague to work with, nor the most impressive.”
The news breaks a day after Shadow Secretary Ivan Lewis MP wrote to Greening seeking an assurance that commitments made by her predecessor and the Government will be honoured. In the letter Ivan said:
Serious concerns have been raised that the reshuffle will pave the way for a U-turn on the Government’s promise to spend 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance by 2013. I urge you to allay these concerns at the earliest opportunity. It would also be helpful if you could reiterate the Government’s continued support for Mark Hendrick’s Private Members’ Bill when it returns to the House of Commons. This would deliver on your manifesto commitment and the coalition agreement to enshrine 0.7% in law.I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at the earliest possible opportunity.
What will Greening reply? She certainly has a lot of explaining to do…