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Here Are The Previous Political Scandals Of Theresa May's New Cabinet

Some members of the new government are no strangers to controversy. Here's a quick refresher.

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Theresa May spent her first 24 hours as the UK's prime minister appointing a new cabinet – a radically different one from the one assembled by her predecessor David Cameron.Many key figures in Cameron's government are out entirely, including chancellor George Osborne, justice secretary Michael Gove, work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb, and education secretary Nicky Morgan.New faces around the cabinet table include Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, Liam Fox as international trade secretary, and David Davis as Brexit secretary.No one goes through politics without accumulating a collection of scandals, crises, and gaffes – which sometimes end in resignation. We've accumulated some of the lowlights here.
Wpa Pool / Getty Images

Theresa May spent her first 24 hours as the UK's prime minister appointing a new cabinet – a radically different one from the one assembled by her predecessor David Cameron.

Many key figures in Cameron's government are out entirely, including chancellor George Osborne, justice secretary Michael Gove, work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb, and education secretary Nicky Morgan.

New faces around the cabinet table include Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, Liam Fox as international trade secretary, and David Davis as Brexit secretary.

No one goes through politics without accumulating a collection of scandals, crises, and gaffes – which sometimes end in resignation. We've accumulated some of the lowlights here.

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary

Unusually, Boris Johnson's scandal-chequered past begins long before his political career began: He was sacked from his first job in national journalism at The Times for fabricating a quote.This usually career-ending move caused Johnson little difficulty – this will soon become a pattern – and before long he became Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, where he was accused more than once of simply inventing Eurosceptic stories for the newspaper with little or no basis in fact.Johnson's election to parliament didn't dampen his reputation for scandal. In 2004, he was exposed in the press for having an affair with a columnist of a magazine he edited, a charge he had publicly dismissed – but which was true. For publicly lying about the affair, Johnson was sacked as a junior shadow minister by then Conservative leader Michael Howard.Johnson was exposed by the press two years later for a second affair.He is now responsible for the UK diplomatic service, as well as the MI6 and GCHQ intelligence agencies.
Wpa Pool / Getty Images

Unusually, Boris Johnson's scandal-chequered past begins long before his political career began: He was sacked from his first job in national journalism at The Times for fabricating a quote.

This usually career-ending move caused Johnson little difficulty – this will soon become a pattern – and before long he became Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, where he was accused more than once of simply inventing Eurosceptic stories for the newspaper with little or no basis in fact.

Johnson's election to parliament didn't dampen his reputation for scandal. In 2004, he was exposed in the press for having an affair with a columnist of a magazine he edited, a charge he had publicly dismissed – but which was true. For publicly lying about the affair, Johnson was sacked as a junior shadow minister by then Conservative leader Michael Howard.

Johnson was exposed by the press two years later for a second affair.

He is now responsible for the UK diplomatic service, as well as the MI6 and GCHQ intelligence agencies.

Liam Fox, secretary of state for international trade

Liam Fox was forced to resign in disgrace from his last government role, as defence secretary, in 2011 after a series of revelations about his close friendship with Adam Werrity, a lobbyist.Werrity was revealed to be operating a charity from Ministry of Defence offices, handing out official-looking business cards saying he was an adviser to Fox, accompanying the defence secretary on official business, regularly making undisclosed visits to the ministry, and even sitting in on official meetings with foreign leaders with the defence secretary.Fox initially denied many of the claims, only to be subsequently shown to be lying by hotel records and other documentation. He resigned nine weeks after the first revelations.He is now responsible for securing Britain's new trade agreements in the wake of the UK's impending exit from the European Union.
Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Liam Fox was forced to resign in disgrace from his last government role, as defence secretary, in 2011 after a series of revelations about his close friendship with Adam Werrity, a lobbyist.

Werrity was revealed to be operating a charity from Ministry of Defence offices, handing out official-looking business cards saying he was an adviser to Fox, accompanying the defence secretary on official business, regularly making undisclosed visits to the ministry, and even sitting in on official meetings with foreign leaders with the defence secretary.

Fox initially denied many of the claims, only to be subsequently shown to be lying by hotel records and other documentation. He resigned nine weeks after the first revelations.

He is now responsible for securing Britain's new trade agreements in the wake of the UK's impending exit from the European Union.

Damian Green, work and pensions secretary

Damian Green, who served until 2014 as a junior minister in the Home Office under Theresa May, was controversially arrested in 2008 amid allegations he had abetted "misconduct in public office" for receiving embarrassing leaked material relating to the then Labour-run Home Office. The arrest was controversial as it involved a search of his House of Commons offices, a move supporters argued was an encroachment on the rights of parliament.A Home Office civil servant was sacked for leaking documents to Green but neither Green nor the civil servant faced prosecution in the matter, owing to a lack of evidence.Speaking after the decision not to prosecute him, Green said: "This has been an extraordinary period. One of my jobs as Conservative immigration spokesman is to expose the many failings of the government's immigration policy."That's precisely what I was doing in this case and that's why ministers were so embarrassed."
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Damian Green, who served until 2014 as a junior minister in the Home Office under Theresa May, was controversially arrested in 2008 amid allegations he had abetted "misconduct in public office" for receiving embarrassing leaked material relating to the then Labour-run Home Office.

The arrest was controversial as it involved a search of his House of Commons offices, a move supporters argued was an encroachment on the rights of parliament.

A Home Office civil servant was sacked for leaking documents to Green but neither Green nor the civil servant faced prosecution in the matter, owing to a lack of evidence.

Speaking after the decision not to prosecute him, Green said: "This has been an extraordinary period. One of my jobs as Conservative immigration spokesman is to expose the many failings of the government's immigration policy.

"That's precisely what I was doing in this case and that's why ministers were so embarrassed."

Andrea Leadsom, environment secretary

Andrea Leadsom, who until Monday was May's rival for the leadership of the Conservative party, was given her first cabinet role by her former opponent on Thursday.Leadsom's relatively low profile before the contest meant her record faced a career's worth of media vetting in the space of a week – resulting in a slew of media scandal stories that were seen as a large factor in her decision to drop out of the contest.The most prominent of these was her interview with The Times in which she said being a mother gave her a greater stake in the UK's future than Theresa May. She then angrily claimed she was misquoted, only for the newspaper to release the full transcript.The row was seen by many as fatal to her leadership chances.Today the newspaper published further comments from Leadsom suggesting male nannies were likely to be paedophiles.Her exact words, according to The Times, were: "Let’s face it – most of us don’t employ men as nannies, most of us don’t. Now you can call that sexist, I call that cautious and very sensible when you look at the stats. "Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man. We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I’m sorry but they’re the facts.”Leadsom's financial affairs were also the subject of multiple stories. Leadsom's close ties with her offshore investment banker brother-in-law – a major Tory donor – attracted scrutiny, as did her family's use of a company holding buy-to-let properties, part-owned by a inheritance tax-efficient trust structure in her children's names.Leadsom also faced multiple charges of exaggerating her CV.BuzzFeed News also revealed that a schools exchange project set up by Leadsom worked closely with a centre co-run by a US-based "gay cure" group.
Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Andrea Leadsom, who until Monday was May's rival for the leadership of the Conservative party, was given her first cabinet role by her former opponent on Thursday.

Leadsom's relatively low profile before the contest meant her record faced a career's worth of media vetting in the space of a week – resulting in a slew of media scandal stories that were seen as a large factor in her decision to drop out of the contest.

The most prominent of these was her interview with The Times in which she said being a mother gave her a greater stake in the UK's future than Theresa May. She then angrily claimed she was misquoted, only for the newspaper to release the full transcript.

The row was seen by many as fatal to her leadership chances.

Today the newspaper published further comments from Leadsom suggesting male nannies were likely to be paedophiles.

Her exact words, according to The Times, were: "Let’s face it – most of us don’t employ men as nannies, most of us don’t. Now you can call that sexist, I call that cautious and very sensible when you look at the stats.

"Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man. We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I’m sorry but they’re the facts.”

Leadsom's financial affairs were also the subject of multiple stories. Leadsom's close ties with her offshore investment banker brother-in-law – a major Tory donor – attracted scrutiny, as did her family's use of a company holding buy-to-let properties, part-owned by a inheritance tax-efficient trust structure in her children's names.

Leadsom also faced multiple charges of exaggerating her CV.

BuzzFeed News also revealed that a schools exchange project set up by Leadsom worked closely with a centre co-run by a US-based "gay cure" group.

Chris Grayling, transport secretary

The new transport secretary returns to the cabinet two years after losing his job as justice secretary following a series of gruelling rows with the legal profession that saw his successor, Michael Gove, revoke most of Grayling's reforms.Grayling was among the MPs targeted for criticism by the Daily Telegraph during the Westminster expenses scandal.Grayling, the newspaper revealed, was charging the taxpayer for a flat in Pimlico despite owning a home just 17 miles away and four other buy-to-let properties within the M25, which surrounds London. In the wake of the scandal he agreed to stop claiming for the flat. Grayling also caused a huge row in 2010 – when he was shadow home secretary – after being recorded at a public meeting saying Christian B&B owners should have the right to refuse accommodation to gay couples."I took the view that if it's a question of somebody who's doing a B&B in their own home," he said in the recording, "that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn't come into their own home."Grayling added that if it was a hotel, rather than a B&B, it should not have the right to refuse service. The remarks provoked outraged responses from gay rights groups, including Conservatives, and Grayling later publicly apologised.The remarks and backlash were seen as one of the major reasons Grayling was not picked as home secretary when the Conservatives entered government in 2010.Theresa May, the new prime minister, was given the role by David Cameron instead.
Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

The new transport secretary returns to the cabinet two years after losing his job as justice secretary following a series of gruelling rows with the legal profession that saw his successor, Michael Gove, revoke most of Grayling's reforms.

Grayling was among the MPs targeted for criticism by the Daily Telegraph during the Westminster expenses scandal.

Grayling, the newspaper revealed, was charging the taxpayer for a flat in Pimlico despite owning a home just 17 miles away and four other buy-to-let properties within the M25, which surrounds London. In the wake of the scandal he agreed to stop claiming for the flat.

Grayling also caused a huge row in 2010 – when he was shadow home secretary – after being recorded at a public meeting saying Christian B&B owners should have the right to refuse accommodation to gay couples.

"I took the view that if it's a question of somebody who's doing a B&B in their own home," he said in the recording, "that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn't come into their own home."

Grayling added that if it was a hotel, rather than a B&B, it should not have the right to refuse service. The remarks provoked outraged responses from gay rights groups, including Conservatives, and Grayling later publicly apologised.

The remarks and backlash were seen as one of the major reasons Grayling was not picked as home secretary when the Conservatives entered government in 2010.

Theresa May, the new prime minister, was given the role by David Cameron instead.

James Ball is a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. PGP: here

Contact James Ball at James.Ball@buzzfeed.com.

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