James Cleverly: MP for Braintree appointed new education secretary

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James Cleverly, the new education secretary, said he was keen to work with the sector to “realize people’s potential”.

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After the resignation of a wave of junior ministers, the Department of Education underwent rapid change, leaving unfinished business, including the passing of the Schools Bill at report stage, decisions on the teachers’ remuneration and the conclusion of the green paper on special educational needs.

So, does Cleverly measure up?

Here’s everything you need to know about him.

What did James Cleverly say about his new role?

In a statement following his appointment to the post, he said: “As someone whose grandfather was a teacher and whose children are currently in the education system, I am incredibly passionate about education and proud to be appointed Secretary of State.

There is “a huge amount of work to be done”, he added, on everything from childcare and impending GCSE and A-Level results to schools white paper and T-Levels.

“I look forward to engaging with our brilliant nurseries, social workers, schools, colleges, universities and all staff working in these sectors to realize the potential of people – whatever their background or wherever they come from. “, did he declare.

James Cleverly arriving at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall in March 2020 (Photo: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Who is he?

Cleverly has been MP for Braintree in Essex since 2015 and was also Conservative Party Co-Chairman alongside Ben Elliot from 2019-2020, and London Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley from 2008-2016.

He was born in Lewisham in 1969 and received a private education at Riverston School and Colfe’s School, both in London.

After school, Cleverly completed military training, which was cut short in 1989 due to a leg injury. Later, he graduated from the University of Thames Valley (now the University of West London) with a bachelor’s degree in hotel management.

In 2010, in response to Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes’ suggestion that backbench MPs should have the power to veto coalition policy, Cleverly posted a tweet in which he called Hughes an “asshole”.

“We may be coalition partners, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking Simon Hughes is a jerk,” he said. He then apologized.

Cleverly married Susannah Sparks in 2000, and the couple have two sons. In 2019 he allegedly damaged another driver’s car while driving on the M11; according to the other driver, Cleverly was using his phone while speeding.

What is his electoral record?

The Labor Party proposed an amendment in parliament in 2016 requiring private landlords to make their properties “suitable for human habitation”, but they were unsuccessful.

Cleverly was one of 72 Tory MPs who opposed the amendment and who also personally made money from renting properties, according to the Register of Interests kept by Parliament.

James Cleverly and Health Secretary Matt Hancock leave 10 Downing Street in 2019 (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In the same year, Cleverly was asked to step down as patron of the south-east England-based charity Advocacy for All.

Because he had voted to cut Employment and Support Allowance (the benefit paid to disabled people unable to work), the charity decided he was no longer qualified for the job.

In 2018, Cleverly defended Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey against accusations he made anti-Hindu and anti-Islamic remarks in a pamphlet that also claimed young black men were becoming increasingly more involved in crime after learning more about religions. than “their own Christian culture”.

In 2019, Cleverly posted a video on social media in which he incorrectly identified William Wilberforce, an independent MP and anti-slavery campaigner, as a “conservative”.

Will he run for the head of the Conservatives?

As he left Downing Street on Thursday July 7, Cleverly ignored questions from the media about whether he would run for the lead.

Cleverly told Sky News: “I put myself out there last time, I don’t regret it, I really enjoyed it.

“As you know, my wife has gone through cancer treatment and while it’s progressing, well, it’s not over. It’s not the right time for me.

Asked if it was tenable for someone who has voiced his criticism of Johnson to become the next Prime Minister, he told BBC Breakfast: ‘Anyone who comes forward, we will have to explain the reason for doing what they did and my colleagues will judge.

“Some people will, I’m sure, want to support someone who has remained in the Prime Minister’s team for the past few days and there will be others who may want to support someone who has criticized the Prime Minister. minister.”

He told Times Radio: “He said he would stay until the process is complete, he hasn’t set a timeline on that.

“The timetable for this will be set by the 1922 committee in terms of the parliamentary stadium and by the Conservative party in terms of the party stadium.”

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