politics

Who is Justine Greening? Brexit remainer calling for a second EU referendum


FORMER Cabinet big-hitter Justine Greening has caused a headache for Theresa May by calling for a second EU referendum.

Here’s all you need to know about the Tory MP for Putney and her incendiary Brexit intervention.

 Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening has called for a second EU referendum

Reuters

Former Cabinet minister Justine Greening has called for a second EU referendum

Who is Justine Greening?

Justine Greening, 49, has been at the forefront of Conservative politics for much of the last decade.

David Cameron brought her into his front bench team in 2009 as shadow minister for London.

The following year she became Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and a year after that she was promoted to Transport Secretary.

She then served four years as International Development Secretary.

When Theresa May took over in Downing Street in July 2016 she promoted Ms Greening to Education Secretary. She was also Minister for Women and Equalities.

In January 2018 she quit the government after refusing a move to the Work and Pensions brief as part of a reshuffle. She said she would return to campaigning from the backbenches.

Mrs May’s chief of staff Nick Timothy later claimed she was sacked because she had blocked a cut in university tuition fees.

Ms Greening, elected MP for Putney in South West London in 2005, has long been opposed to a third runway at Heathrow.

She has also campaigned on social mobility, suggesting in May 2018 that applicants from sink schools should get jobs ahead of Old Etonians.

Ms Greening went to a comprehensive school in Rotherham and qualified as an accountant before entering politics.

In June 2016 she revealed she was in a same-sex relationship.

Referring to the referendum two days earlier, she said on Twitter: “I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you’re better off out!”

 Ms Greening held three Cabinet posts and campaigned to stay in the EU

Reuters

Ms Greening held three Cabinet posts and campaigned to stay in the EU

Why has Justine Greening called for a second referendum?

Justine Greening, who campaigned for Remain in 2016, has sided with pro-EU Tory rebels such as Dominic Grieve and NIcky Morgan in the Commons since she quit the Cabinet.

In July 2018 she used a newspaper article to attack the Prime Minister’s Chequers agreement on a “soft” Brexit with common standards with the EU on goods.

The deal sparked open warfare in the Tory party as two senior Cabinet minsters and a host of junior ministers and aides quit, leaving Mrs May’s government on the brink of collapse.

Ms Greening waded into the row to say the Chequers deal is a “fudge” and politicians were in “stalemate” over what to do.

She wrote in The Times: “The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people.”

She suggested a fresh referendum offering three choices: accept a deal that will be brokered with Brussels later this year; reject the deal and make a clean break with the EU next March; or stay in the EU.

Ms Greening is said to have the support of other Remain-backing Tories including Amber Rudd, the former Home Secretary.

Downing Street said such a vote was not on the cards.

Mrs May’s spokesman said: “The British public have voted to leave the European Union. There is not going to be a second referendum under any circumstances.”

Justine Greening says PM’s ‘fudge’ Brexit deal is ‘unworkable’


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