Two factions of our beleaguered Government are angry about Ruth Kelly’s leaked resignation – for different reasons.
The Transport Secretary told Gordon Brown in the Spring that she wanted to step down at the next Cabinet reshuffle, but somehow the news became common knowledge and at 3.15am yesterday, it was confirmed to journalists.
Critics of Brown accuse Downing Street of leaking the news of Kelly’s resignation to undermine a potential rebel.
Brown responded by saying that the “toxic timing” of news of the resignation was devised by Blairites to suggest “dirty tricks” by Number Ten.
In her speech to Conference yesterday, Ruth Kelly excused herself for departing from her script for a while and said:
“As you may have heard on the news this morning this will be my last time addressing you as a member of the Cabinet. I told Gordon before the summer of my decision to leave the Government for family reasons at the next reshuffle.”
Ruth Kelly wants to leave the Government to spend more time with her four young children, which I respect her for enormously, if this is the true reason, although she should have thought about it earlier, but better late than never I suppose.
As a member of the Roman Catholic Opus Dei, it surely must have been awful at times to have been part of a Government that cares so little about the sanctity of life.
Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London says on her blog:
“Ms Kelly is at last doing the decent thing and going because she cannot support the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill due to come before the House of Commons soon for its third reading. It is well known that Kelly not only opposed but forced a free vote during the second reading on three of the Bill’s most important clauses: screening embryos for diseases to allow “saviour siblings”, the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for vital medical research and ending the requirement for a father in IVF treatment.”
I commented: “Why the heck should she if it is against her conscience? Should there not be voices in the Government to echo the feelings of the millions of others who share her view on this? As for “ending the requirement for a father in IVF treatment”. That disgusts me. To me that is child abuse, but that’s Labour’s forte thanks to mountains of anti-children and anti-family legislation.”
Ruth Kelly is right to put her children first, says Melanie Reid in the Times and adds “As Ritalin increasingly takes the place of proper parenting, let’s praise a politician with the correct priorities.”
And let’s condemn an infighting Government that doesn’t truly give a damn about children, their self-esteem, their future.