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Donelan quits government days after appointment

Image: Gareth Milner [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Education secretary’s departure means no MPs remain as ministers at the DfE

Michelle Donelan, who was promoted from universities minister to education secretary just two days ago, has quit the government.

Donelan posted her resignation letter at around 9am on 7 June, shortly before it was reported that the prime minister Boris Johnson will resign as Conservative leader today.

He will remain prime minister until autumn, after a leadership contest has taken place over the summer.

Donelan, who had been the minister responsible for universities since 2020, accepted a promotion to education secretary on 5 July. She has now left that job, saying in her resignation letter that the prime minister had put members of the government in “an impossible situation”.

“I am deeply saddened that it has come to this, but as someone who values integrity above all else, I have no choice,” she added.

‘Impact on students is real’

Donelan’s departure means that the Department for Education now has no secretary of state and no ministers in place in the Commons.

“While I remain very worried about the prospect of no ministers in the department as we approach [GCSE and A-level] results day—the impact on students is real—as you know, yesterday I pleaded with you to do the right thing and resign for the sake of our country and our party,” Donelan wrote to Johnson.

Research Professional News has asked Donelan if Johnson standing down might lead her to reconsider her decision.

More to follow