Cabinet reshuffle: Lord Bethell – a peer who was vetted for using private messaging in a ministerial role – leaves Boris Johnson’s top team | Politics News


A minister who came under scrutiny for using his personal email account in a professional capacity has left Boris Johnson’s cabinet.

Former health minister Lord Bethell was called on to resign earlier this year amid growing scrutiny of his use of private correspondence channels in his former department.

Downing Street said Lord Bethell was using his own account, but it was by the rules.

Lord Bethell has always maintained that he has done nothing wrong and that he has sought to uphold the ministerial code “in everything I do”.

Lord Bethell and former Health Secretary Matt Hancock have been claimed to be using private accounts to discuss government business during the pandemic – including coronavirus-related contracting.

And in August, officials confirmed that an investigation into the use of private communication channels by Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) staff would also include WhatsApp and other similar messaging apps.

Number 10 confirmed Lord Bethell’s departure from the cabinet on Friday afternoon.

Shortly after, Lord Bethell posted on Twitter: “It is sad to step down, but I want to thank Boris Johnson for the opportunity to serve my country during this terrible pandemic.

“It was a privilege to work with wonderful colleagues from DHSC (and healthcare in general) during these times.”

Later on Friday afternoon, the government announced that Lord Kamall, professor of politics and international relations and research director at the think tank Institute of Economic Affairs, had taken the vacant post of Minister of Health.


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