Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey endured a torrid spherical of broadcast interviews this morning as she was quizzed on the Chris Pincher affair.
Until Downing Avenue can give you a believable line on what the prime minister knew and when, she gained’t be the final minister to endure the identical destiny.
It got here after The Sun reported he allegedly drunkenly “groped” two males following a reception for the Conservative Associates of Cyprus.
After initially refusing to strip the Tamworth MP of the Tory whip, Boris Johnson bowed to the inevitable late on Friday afternoon when it was introduced that Pincher had been suspended by the social gathering.
Throughout a briefing for journalists on Friday morning, a Quantity 10 spokesman insisted the PM had not been conscious of any “particular allegations” towards Pincher earlier than making him deputy chief whip in February.
The spokesperson stated Pincher couldn’t be blocked from being given a job on the idea of “unsubstantiated allegations”.
However right now’s papers have been awash with contemporary allegations concerning the MP’s behaviour – which he denies – in addition to what Johnson knew about them and when.
The PM was even accused by the Mail on Sunday of claiming: “Pincher by identify, Pincher by nature.”
If true, this slightly blows a gap within the line that the prime minister knew nothing concerning the rumours surrounding his Tory colleague.
Requested about these claims, a Quantity 10 supply would solely say: “Propriety and ethics didn’t increase any objection to appointing [Pincher].”
It is a reference to the background checks carried out previous to Pincher formally getting the job.
However pressed on the particular claims about what the PM knew, the No. 10 supply was unusually tight-lipped.
Which means that whichever minister is put up by Downing Avenue on the printed rounds tomorrow, he or she will most certainly endure the identical ignominy Coffey did this morning.
At a time when Boris Johnson wants all the buddies on the Conservative benches he can get, this isn’t a scenario which will be sustained for lengthy.