The Prime Minister has appointed his brother Jo Johnson to the fresh Cabinet as the Minister for Universities and Science.
To counter charges of nepotism, Jo Johnson has previous experience in this role, as he served as Universities and Science Minister from July 2016 until January 2018. Following this, he was appointed as Transport Minister. In November 2018 he resigned from his ministerial position in response to Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement from the European Union, when he called for a People’s Vote on Brexit. Therefore, his entry into the new cabinet, which is committed to securing Brexit ‘do or die‘, has prompted accusations of careerism at the sacrifice of his Remainer principles.
Delighted to be appointed unis & science minister (for the 4th time…by a 3rd consecutive PM). Really looking forward to working again with our world-class unis, scientists and innovators – our greatest national asset + key to our future as a knowledge economy https://t.co/jqcwgxPgyX
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) July 26, 2019
Johnson was resistant to former Prime Minister May’s decision to review Higher Education funding and he voiced opposition to Augar’s recommendation that tuition fees should be reduced from £9250 to £7000. This is due to his doubts that the Treasury would be able to set aside sufficient funds to compensate Universities. Furthermore, Johnson argued that extending loan repayment by 10 years was a “regressive” recommendation, as that would hit lower and middle earning graduates.
Gavin Williamson also made a return to the Cabinet in the new Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle, as the fifth Education Secretary in as many years. Williamson was fired from his position as Defence Secretary earlier this year due to concerns that he leaked conversations from the National Security Council.