9 ways David Cameron’s new cabinet is seriously problematic

Here are the things that could cause huge problems for the PM

As a country we’ve been largely underwhelmed by David Cameron’s cabinet announcements. Many people have kept the positions they held before the election, positions in which they were seen as generally competent.

But here are nine ways in which the cabinet and other ministers are seriously problematic.

1. The minister for disabled people voted against disabled people’s rights

Justin Tomlinson, who was given the minister for disabled people role at the Department of Work and Pensions, voted against disabled people being entitled to some benefits.

The MP voted against people who were sick and disabled from birth receiving as much money in Employment and Support Allowance as those who have paid National Insurance contributions. He voted against allowing benefits to increase with prices and against exceptions for those undergoing cancer treatment. He also voted against setting the Universal Credit rate for disabled children at two thirds of the higher rate.

2. George Osborne is the only northern English MP in the cabinet (and he’s not actually northern)

Sad George Osborne

The chancellor is the only MP in David Cameron’s cabinet to represent a northern constituency. Not only that, he is a native Londoner who doesn’t live in Tatton, his constituency – he actually lives at 10 Downing Street after (sort of) swapping with the prime minister.

3. The minister for equalities voted against equal marriage

At the time of the gay marriage vote, Caroline Dinenage said the state had “no right” to redefine marriage and voted against the change. Thankfully, because of cross-party support, the measure went through.

Others who voted against gay marriage include culture secretary John Whittingdale and Welsh secretary Stephen Crabb.

4. Department of Education ministers mostly went to private schools

Of the seven ministers in charge of the Department of Education, only two (Caroline Dinenage and Sam Gyimah) went to state schools.

5. The cabinet is seven times more likely to be privately educated than the rest of us

Half of Cameron’s cabinet was privately educated – compared with 7% of the UK. Research from the Sutton Trust found not only that, but half the cabinet also went to either Oxford or Cambridge. However, this is actually an improvement on the coalition cabinet of 2010, which featured 62% privately educated individuals, and Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, which was 90% privately schooled.

6. The justice secretary called for a return to hanging

Michael Gove

Michael Gove, who was appointed justice secretary, called for a return to hanging in an article he wrote in 1998, according to The Times. He said abolishing the death penalty had “led to a corruption of our criminal justice system, the erosion of all our freedoms and has made the punishment of the innocent more likely”. We’d like to know whether he still thinks this, considering his new position.

7. The women’s minister agreed with restricting women’s rights to abortion

Education secretary and women’s minister Nicky Morgan said she personally supported reducing the abortion limit from 24 weeks to just 20. She also voted against gay marriage, with some people calling her the “minister for straight women”.

8. The culture secretary was pretty vocal about abolishing the BBC licence fee

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has in the past described the BBC licence fee as “worse than a poll tax” and said it was “draconian”. We’ve written about it here.

9. The housing minister is against building more homes

Despite the UK’s soaring property prices which are leaving thousands unable to afford a home, housing minister Brandon Lewis has come out against an award-winning plan to expand a town to hold double the number of people.

Thanks to TheyWorkForYou.com for providing the ability to access the information for this article. If you’ve never used it before, look up your MP to see how they have voted.

Do you have any more examples? Let us know in the comments below.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • 'The culture secretary was pretty vocal about abolishing the BBC licence fee'
    a man of good sense

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  • This tells you everything you need to know about the Tories. They have zero interest in making life better for the vast majority. Their only interest is in protecting the wealthy, the privileged and the pampered.

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