Greg Hands replaces trade minister sacked over 'serious misconduct' complaint

9 October 2022, 22:33 | Updated: 10 October 2022, 05:57

Greg Hands is the MP for Chelsea and Fulham
Greg Hands is the MP for Chelsea and Fulham. Picture: Alamy

By James Hockaday

Greg Hands has been appointed minister of state in the Department for International Trade, No 10 said, following the sacking of Conor Burns.

In a statement, Downing Street said: “The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as a minister of state in the Department for International Trade.”

The appointment was made after Mr Burns, 50, was sacked from the government over complaint of "serious misconduct" at the Tory party conference.

Allegations made about his behaviour are being investigated - but the Bournemouth West MP has accused the Conservative Party of rushing to judgment.

"Earlier I received a call from the chief whip Wendy Morton," he tweeted. "Ms Morton informed me that a complaint had been received about me and she had passed it to Conservative Campaign Headquarters to investigate.

"I was not given any information about the complaint nor was I asked to provide any information. "On the basis of this complaint Ms Morton told me that the whip was being withdrawn and that I was standing down as trade minister. I will fully cooperate with the party's (inquiry) and look forward to clearing my name.

"I hope the party will be as quick to conduct their (inquiry) as they were to rush to judgment."

A No.10 spokesperson said previously: "Following a complaint of serious misconduct, the Prime Minister has asked Conor Burns MP to leave the government with immediate effect.

"The Prime Minister took direct action on being informed of this allegation and is clear that all ministers should maintain the high standards of behaviour – as the public rightly expects."