Caroline Flint: Friend or Foe?

09 June 2009

It's been a bad week for Gordon Brown, what with Labour's worst performance at the polls in 30 years and a string of high-profile cabinet resignations. However, the latest attack – from Caroline Flint, the notoriously glam Minister for Europe – has sent shockwaves through Westminster. In a no-holds-barred resignation letter released just as the Prime Minister was about to face the press, the 47-year-old told Gordon Brown (and the global media), 'You have a two-tier Government, your inner circle and then the remainder of Cabinet,' adding: 'Several of the women attending Cabinet – myself included – have been treated by you as little more than female window dressing.'

These explicit allegations of sexism and favouritism must have come as a surprise to Downing Street, considering that only 24 hours prior she had defended his leadership in a radio performance following the resignation of Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell. Commentators have been quick to suggest that the reason for this change of heart might be a cabinet reshuffle in which she was snubbed for a promotion.  

What do you think? Was Caroline Flint right to highlight issues of sexism and cronyism in Westminster? Or is she simply fuelling the cliché that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?


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