Glum faces of the cabinet as PM under pressure over Pincher sleaze scandal

5 July 2022, 17:03 | Updated: 5 July 2022, 17:24

Glum faces round the Cabinet table
Glum faces round the Cabinet table. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

The cabinet appeared to be in a glum mood today amid another scandal engulfing Boris Johnson's Premiership.

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Secretaries of state sat glum-faced while the prime minister was accused of a "cover up" on what he knew and when about Chris Pincher, who resigned as deputy chief whip last week after being accused of groping two men at a private members' club for Tories in central London.

Pictures from inside the Cabinet Room show some of Mr Johnson's most loyal allies appearing to look somewhat distracted, lacking enthusiasm for what the boss had to say.

Boris Johnson tried to put a brave show on it, talking about a change to National Insurance that will give people more money in their pay packets.

Glum faces around the Cabinet table
Glum faces around the Cabinet table. Picture: Alamy

But the glum faces of the politicians he considers those closest to him show how much trouble he is really in.

Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, appeared to be gazing into space at the other side of the room as Mr Johnson attempted to rally the troops after another difficult few days.

Sat next to her is Jacob Rees-Mogg, the government efficiencies minister and Suella Braverman, the attorney general, both of whom were struggling to manage a smile.

Footage from the meeting showed Mr Johnson updating the cabinet on the latest developments with the cost of living crisis, putting on an optimistic front for his colleagues.

But even when giving a nod to Thérèse Coffey's recent success in her role as Work and Pensions secretary, the laboured response did not go amiss.

Liz Truss and Ben Wallace
Liz Truss and Ben Wallace. Picture: Alamy
Steve Barclay and Priti Patel
Steve Barclay and Priti Patel. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Boris 'was told' about Chris Pincher sleaze allegations but 'forgot', minister admits

Read More: Tory MP Chris Pincher seeking 'professional medical support' after 'groping' allegations

The meeting came as Lord McDonald of Salford, the ex-permanent secretary at the Foreign Office, said the account given by Downing Street of how Mr Pincher came to be made deputy chief whip was "not true".

On Thursday, June 30, Chris Pincher, the Conservative MP for Tamworth, resigned as deputy chief whip saying he had “embarrassed himself” the evening before at a private members' club in central London and Downing Street said at the time he would face no further action and would remain a Conservative MP because he had "done the right thing" in acknowledging what he had done and quitting.

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