Politics

Education secretary Michelle Donelan resigns after less than two days

'No way' Boris Johnson can remain in post, says Donelan

'No way' Boris Johnson can remain in post, says Donelan

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Newly appointed education secretary Michelle Donelan has resigned after just 35 hours in the job, making her the shortest-serving in the history of the role.

Donelan was promoted from universities minister to the top role on Tuesday evening, after Nadhim Zahawi was made chancellor.

But this morning she tweeted that she has handed in her resignation.

She told prime minister Boris Johnson: “I see no way that you can continue in post, but without a formal mechanism to remove you it seems that the only way that this is only possible is for those of us who remain in cabinet to force your hand.”

Donelan added: “While I remain very worried about the prospect of no ministers in the department as we approach results day – the impact on students is real – as you know yesterday I pleaded with you to do the right thing and resign for the sake of our country and our party, both are more important than any one person.”

This leaves only one education minister left – academies minister Baroness Barran – after the rest resigned yesterday.

Meanwhile, Zahawi says he took on the chancellor role “out of loyalty” but now the country “deserves a government that is not only stable, but which acts with integrity”.

“Yesterday, I made clear to the Prime Minister alongside by colleagues in number 10 that there was only one direction where this was going, and that he should leave with dignity.

“Out of respect and in hopes that he would listen to an old friend of 30 years, I kept this counsel private.

“I am heartbroken that he hasn’t listened and that he is now undermining the incredible achievements of this government at this late hour.”

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