Nicky Morgan 'put aside differences' to serve under Boris Johnson

16 January 2020, 21:24

Nicky Morgan said she was willing to "put aside differences" to serve under Mr Johnson
Nicky Morgan said she was willing to "put aside differences" to serve under Mr Johnson. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has said she was willing to "put aside differences" to serve in Boris Johnson's government.

The baroness had previously ruled out working under the current prime minister in the run-up to last year's general election.

However, the former MP for Loughborough accepted a role as head of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, despite standing down from her seat.

The former education secretary was sworn in as a member of the House of Lords on Monday in order to continue her Cabinet role.

The baroness was sworn into the House of Lords on Monday
The baroness was sworn into the House of Lords on Monday. Picture: PA

Ms Morgan defended her decision to take a seat at the Downing Street table, telling The House magazine that members of the public expected "politicians to be able to put aside their differences and get things done."

"My view is that I took the role in Cabinet when the Prime Minister offered it on the basis that I think it's really important to have a variety of voices around the table with different views on the Conservative Party, different views on Brexit, and the Prime Minister understands and respects that," she said.

"I also think that if you're asked to serve your country and Parliament then you should say yes, unless there's a very good reason to say no.

"The lesson from the last three-and-a-half years, and from the general election, is the country expects its politicians to be able to put aside their differences and get things done on their behalf. I hope that I've been able to show that this is possible."

Baroness Morgan took on the job as head of the DCMS
Baroness Morgan took on the job as head of the DCMS. Picture: PA

When pressed on whether she was just "keeping the seat warm" for her successor, she replied: "I'm not sure that the department would think that it's a holding pattern.

"The expectation is that he [Boris Johnson] will want to have a refresh of his team in February - that's obviously a matter for the Prime Minister."

Mr Johnson is reportedly planning a Cabinet reshuffle once Brexit is delivered on 31 January.

The baroness also used the interview to criticise judges at the Oscars for not nominating a single female as Best Director.

She urged bosses at the Academy Awards: "They need to be specifically saying, 'We want there to be more women'."

Ms Morgan then spoke about how betting "might well be" too intertwined with football.

Her comments were in response to fans having to set-up a Bet365 account and deposit money in order to watch certain FA Cup games.

The deal is being investigated by the Gambling Commission.

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