Chris Pincher: Cabinet Meeting Full of Pinched Faces As Scandal Grows

·3 min read
All is not well in Downing Street, it seems (Photo: Sky News)
All is not well in Downing Street, it seems (Photo: Sky News)

All is not well in Downing Street, it seems (Photo: Sky News)

Chris Pincher may no longer be in Boris Johnson’s government but he definitely seems to have left a lasting effect judging by footage released on Tuesday.

The prime minister’s top team all had extremely glum faces today during their morning meeting in Downing Street, which was shown on Sky News.

Although Johnson can be heard discussing plans to cut cost of living taxes, few of his ministers seemed to be paying attention during the very short clip.

It comes as No.10′s line of defence over Pincher, the former deputy chief whip who resigned on Thursday evening over sexual misconduct allegations, continues to unravel.

He lost the Conservative whip last week after being accused of groping two men when he had “far too much” to drink, although the prime minister initially tried to stand by him.

Pincher was appointed to enforce party discipline in February this year. He had resigned as a junior whip back in November 2017 following a complaint that he made an unwanted pass at a Conservative candidate.

Despite Downing Street’s initial denials, it has since been claimed that Johnson did know that a formal complaint had been filed against Pincher over his conduct before he gave him a job in government.

This news comes after various ministers – including work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey and minister for children and families Will Quince – were sent out to bat for Johnson over the weekend.

They repeated the No.10 claim that the prime minister was unaware of “specific” allegations against Pincher when he was appointed to government, just hours before Downing Street said otherwise.

With this complicated backdrop, it’s not exactly surprising that there were more than a few pinched faces around the Cabinet Room table this morning.

Michelle Donelan, universities minister, was caught on camera staring into space, along with minister of state Nigel Adams (left).

Michelle Donelan, universities minister (Photo: Sky News)
Michelle Donelan, universities minister (Photo: Sky News)

Michelle Donelan, universities minister (Photo: Sky News)

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey was seen staring at Johnson – it was only on Sunday that she tied herself in knots trying to defend him, after all.

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey (Photo: Sky News)
Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey (Photo: Sky News)

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey (Photo: Sky News)

Nadine Dorries, culture secretary, and Brexit opportunities and government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg both seemed to be gazing into thin air – the two are usually some of the most vocal Johnson supporters.

Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Photo: Sky News)
Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Photo: Sky News)

Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg (Photo: Sky News)

Suella Braverman, attorney-general, and chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris, must have been thinking about something else when Sky News landed on them.

Suella Braverman and Chris Heaton-Harris (Photo: Sky News)
Suella Braverman and Chris Heaton-Harris (Photo: Sky News)

Suella Braverman and Chris Heaton-Harris (Photo: Sky News)

While levelling up secretary Michael Gove also looked distinctly disengaged this from Johnson’s speech this morning as the camera person zoomed in.

Michael Gove, housing secretary (Photo: Sky News)
Michael Gove, housing secretary (Photo: Sky News)

Michael Gove, housing secretary (Photo: Sky News)

Scotland secretary Alister Jack’s face was kept carefully neutral as the camera panned around to him.

Scotland secretary Alister Jack (Photo: Sky News)
Scotland secretary Alister Jack (Photo: Sky News)

Scotland secretary Alister Jack (Photo: Sky News)

And e health secretary Sajid Javid did not look too pleased to be there either this morning.

Sajid Javid health secretary (Photo: Sky News)
Sajid Javid health secretary (Photo: Sky News)

Sajid Javid health secretary (Photo: Sky News)

And people definitely noticed on Twitter, too.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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