UPDATED: Thérèse Coffey appointed as W&P Secretary following Rudd's resignation

Thérèse Coffey has been appointed as Work and Pensions Secretary following the resignation of Amber Rudd on Saturday evening (7 September).

Coffey is the MP for Suffolk Coastal and was elected at the 2010 General Election. She was previously Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between July 2019 and September 2019.

She has also served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from July 2016 to July 2019. She served as deputy leader of the House of Commons from May 2015 until July 2016.

She has a PhD in Chemistry from University College London. Coffey worked for the international company Mars. When she qualified as a chartered management accountant, she became finance director for a UK subsidiary of Mars. She has also worked at the BBC.

Rudd resigned from her role as she cannot "stand by" while "loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson expelled 21 Conservative MPs, including two former Chancellors and Winston Churchill's grandson, from his party after they rebelled against the party on a motion designed to pave the way for Brexit to be delayed.

In a letter to Johnson, which she published on Twitter, Saturday 7 September 2019, she also surrendered the Conservative whip.

She said it had been a "difficult decision" and she no longer believes "leaving with a deal is the government's main objective".

"The updates I have been grateful to receive from your office, have not, regretfully, provided me with the reassurances I sought. I must also address the assault on decency and democracy that took place last week when you sacked 21 talented, loyal, one nation Conservatives," she wrote.

"This shortsighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism. Therefore, it is with regret that I am also surrendering the Conservative whip."

"Britain's body politic is under attack from both sides of the ideological debate. I will now play whatever role I can to help return it to a better place," she wrote.

She said it had been an honour to serve in the Department for Work and Pensions, and paid tribute to those who work for the DWP.

She thanked Johnson and Chancellor Sajid Javid for the support in the recent Spending Review.

"I am so pleased that you committed to spend millions more supporting the most vulnerable in society."

Amber Rudd recently ruled out a raise of the state pension age to 75, following a report from right-wing think tank, The Centre for Social Justice.

She commented: “This is not government policy. Government policy is set at young people entering the workforce to retire at 68.

“There is no prospect of raising that age to 75. I would rule it out, yes.”

Elected as the MP for Hasting and Rye in 2010, she was appointed to the position of Work and Pensions Secretary by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, on 16 November 2018, replacing Esther McVey.

She had previously served as Home Secretary.

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