July 27, 2019
MP who led calls for time limit on abortions to be cut is made under-secretary of state
Nadine Dorries joins Department of Health and Social Care
Controversial MP Nadine Dorries has been made a parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department of Health and Social Care.
The appointment is likely to put her previous positions on abortions under scrutiny, after the longtime backbencher led calls in 2006 to cut the time limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 21, while more recently she attempted to amend laws and strip abortion providers of their role in counselling women.
She has also proposed introducing compulsory sex education lessons at schools for teenage girls which espoused the benefits of abstinence.
Last year, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown accused the MP for Mid Bedfordshire of racism after she told her to “appreciate just a little the country and the people you have chosen to live, work and benefit from all of your life”.
Dorries has also been criticised for sharing a tweet by Tommy Robinson, and was accused of Islamophobia for suggesting the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was responsible for dealing with grooming gangs in Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, Zac Goldsmith has been appointed as a parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for International Development.
Goldsmith has campaigned against the expansion of Heathrow and is well known as a keen environmentalist. Last year, he warned ministers that their plans to fast-track fracking could spark a backlash and turn whole regions of the UK against the Tories, after criticising government proposals to forego local planning decisions on shale gas wells.
However, he was accused of exploiting anti-Muslim prejudices during his campaign against Khan to become mayor of London in 2016. Goldsmith denied employing “dog-whistle” politics during the election.
In other ministerial appointments, Luke Hall has become a parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Simon Clarke is the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, and James Duddridge is a parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
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