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Can You Work Out What Would Get You Sacked As A Minister?

Take this quiz to work out if you could survive in Theresa May's cabinet! Please note: this quiz has been updated in light of recent events.

Posted on

Okay, this is a tough one after the last week, but which of these things do you think would get you sacked or make you resign as a minister in the UK government?

  1. 1.

    Make a basic error in a public statement that could condemn a UK citizen to five years in an Iranian jail
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Kept his job!

    That's Boris Johnson, who wrongly said that UK-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran to train journalists (she was actually on holiday). Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in jail for 19 months and now could potentially face a further five years. The Foreign Office insisted in a statement that his remarks were just misinterpreted.

    Kept his job!
    Via PA Wire
  2. 2.

    Oh, and then fail to correct your error for days before eventually giving a begrudging sort-of apology
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Still has job.

    Boris Johnson eventually sort of apologised in parliament, saying that he was sorry if his remarks being taken "out of context" had caused "any anxiety".

    Still has job.
    Via Stefan Rousseau/PA Images
  3. 3.

    Claim to have 58 Brexit impact studies, refuse to make them public, then when you're ordered to release them say that actually they don't exist
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sacked!

    That's David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, who initially refused to release the studies on the impact of Brexit on 58 British industries, was eventually ordered to by MPs and the Speaker, then clarified that this couldn't be done by the deadline because "it is not the case that [they] exist".

    Not sacked!
    Via PA Images
  4. 4.

    Disagree with the prime minister about government policy regarding a manufacturing company in Somerset
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone<br />
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Resigned!

    This isn't from the current government, though. That would be Michael Heseltine, who resigned over the Westland Affair – a weirdly complex cabinet disagreement about the future of a struggling helicopter manufacturer in Yeovil – in 1986. It is not clear if disagreeing with the prime minister is a reason for resigning any more.

    Resigned!
    Via PA Archive
  5. 5.

    Secretly meet with the Israeli prime minister while on holiday without informing the Foreign Office
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    It's complicated
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sacked!

    Okay, so this is now-former International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who met with a range of Israeli officials including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu while on a family holiday. Patel initially claimed the Foreign Office was aware of her meetings, before admitting that actually they weren't. Key point here: she was not immediately fired for this!

    Not sacked!
    Via David Mirzoeff/PA Images
  6. 6.

    Suggest changing British policy following those secret meetings
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Still complicated
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Still not sacked!

    The prime minister's spokesperson then acknowledged that after the secret meetings, Patel suggested changing British policy to provide aid to the Israeli army. This also did not directly trigger her losing her job.

    Still not sacked!
    Via Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment
  7. 7.

    Have unspecified "further details... come to light" about the whole secret meetings thing
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Actually resigned!

    Finally, after a frankly ridiculous day in which she flew back from Nairobi, Priti Patel resigned. In a letter accepting her resignation, the prime minister said that she was right to resign after "futher details [had] come to light".

    Actually resigned!
    Via Steve Parsons / PA Images
  8. 8.

    Tell a journalist something that will be in the budget
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Resigned!

    Chancellor Hugh Dalton resigned in 1947 after casually mentioning some tax details from his imminent budget to a journalist, who published it before it was announced in Parliament. Which now seems, you know, a bit odd given how these days most of the budget is briefed in advance.

    Resigned!
    Via PA Archive
  9. 9.

    Allegedly ask your former assistant to buy sex toys
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Not sacked!

    International Trade minister Mark Garnier did not deny the allegations made by a former staff member that he got her to buy sex toys for both his wife and another woman working in his constituency office, and also called her "sugar tits". His actions are being investigated by the cabinet office.

    Not sacked!
    Via Conservative Party/PA Images
  10. 10.

    Be described by your colleagues as Theresa May's "biggest and probably last mistake"
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Still has a job!

    That's former chief whip and brand new Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, whose appointment last week provoked a storm of anger from other Tory MPs, who viewed him as lacking experience and suspected him of having engineered the move himself.

    Still has a job!
    Via David Mirzoeff/PA Images
  11. 11.

    Decide that on balance you're simply not the best person for the job
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Resigned!

    Education minister Estelle Morris resigned in 2002, in the aftermath of her department missing a target they had pledged to hit, saying "I just do not think I'm as good at it as I was at my other job", adding "I'm not having second best in a job as important as this."

    Resigned!
    Via Chris Young/PA Archive
  12. 12.

    Be someone every Brexiter really wants to get sacked
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Still there!

    That's Chancellor Philip Hammond. He hasn't done anything wrong, unless you're a hardcore Brexiter, in which case you suspect him of trying to sabotage Brexit because he is a Remainer.

    Still there!
    Via Chris J Ratcliffe/PA Images
  13. 13.

    Be accused of inappropriate behaviour by several female journalists
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Actually resigned last week!

    That would be former defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who stepped down following an allegation that he "lunged at" and tried to kiss journalist Jane Merrick – which itself came after allegations that he'd repeatedly touched the knee of journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer. He was also accused of behaving inappropriately towards cabinet colleague Andrea Leadsom, which he denies. At the time of writing, Fallon is the only minister to have resigned or been sacked in the past week.

    Actually resigned last week!
    Via Leon Neal/PA Images
  14. 14.

    Breaking the ministerial code by inviting your friend along to official meetings on foreign trips
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Gone
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Not gone
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Resigned!

    That's Liam Fox, who resigned as defence secretary in 2011 after it emerged that his former flatmate Adam Werrity came along on 18 official trips and attended meetings with foreign officials while claiming to be an adviser to the minister despite having no official role. Liam Fox is now the Secretary of State for International Trade.

    Resigned!

Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Tom Phillips at tom.phillips@buzzfeed.com.

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