New education minister criticised over gesture

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Education minister Andrea Jenkyns has been criticised after footage of her making a gesture was published on social media (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)
Education minister Andrea Jenkyns has been criticised after footage of her making a gesture was published on social media (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)

A new education minister has been criticised after appearing to make a rude gesture while entering Downing Street.

Andrea Jenkyns was filmed making the gesture with her hand as she walked through the black gates.

Ms Jenkyns was appointed to the role of parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Education on Friday in a reshuffle by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The footage, shared on social media on Thursday evening, appears to have been taken shortly before Mr Johnson announced he was stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party, prior to her appointment as a minister.

Ministers aren’t expected to be perfect. But is it really too much to ask that they don’t treat the public like this?

Bridget Phillipson, shadow education secretary

It is unclear who the gesture was aimed at.

In response to the video, shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson tweeted: “Ministers aren’t expected to be perfect. But is it really too much to ask that they don’t treat the public like this?”

Ms Jenkyns and the Department for Education have been contacted for comment.

The education minister was one of the MPs to show support for Mr Johnson outside No 10 on Thursday as he announced his resignation.

A timetable for the Conservative Party leadership contest is expected to be drawn up next week after the election to the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee.

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