Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst has struggled to explain during a live television interview what the point of Theresa May’s government was other than Brexit.
The MP for Rochester & Strood, who was appointed a government Whip on Tuesday, was sent to represent the government on BBC Newsnight following the prime minister’s two day long reshuffle.
Presenter Evan Davis asked: “Apart from Brexit, what are you going to do?”
Tolhurst said the government was “committed to delivering Brexit” and that was “still the focus”.
“But also what we have said, and Theresa May has been very clear, we can’t forget the domestic agenda and are there are things like the NHS, the environment.”
Davis pressed the newly promoted MP: “What are you going to do? You are struggling to say what the big mission is. Has the party been told ‘this is what our priority is’?”
Tolhurst replied: “One of the things we are doing is focussing, we have been speaking about the NHS, and the winter crisis over the last couple of days is something we are looking at.
“The prime minister has been very clear about what she wants to deliver, it’s not just Brexit. It is around working towards those things that matter to people domestically.
She told Davis: “I think maybe you’re being unfair. We have been clear about what we want to do.”
May moved to reshuffle her ministerial team this week, but her plans to shake-up the cabinet were derailed when Justine Greening resigned and Jeremy Hunt demanded to stay in post as health secretary.
And despite May’s claims the reshuffle ensured the government “looks more like the country it serves”, just six of the 23 cabinet ministers are women, and only one comes from a non-white ethnic group.
The prime minister also undertook a substantial reshuffle of the junior ranks with the aim of presenting a fresher face to the country.