Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Justine Greening: I’d run for Tory leader to make sure there’s a centrist candidate

  • Watch the Acting Prime Minister podcast above
  • Or listen and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify

Former Conservative Cabinet minister Justine Greening has told ITV News that she will enter the race to replace Theresa May as prime minister if another Tory from the moderate wing of the party doesn't run.

Speaking on the Acting Prime Minister podcast, the former education secretary said: "I'd consider it...I don't know when the leadership contest will happen but for me it's always been a vehicle for changing Britain for the better, simple as that."

Asked by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand if Greening looked at the field of leadership candidates and thinks there isn't someone who believes what she believes in, would she throw her hat into the ring, she said "that would be one of the reasons why I might do it."

Justine Greening told ITV News Acting Prime Minister podcast the circumstances in which she'd run for Tory leader Credit: ITV News

'Cabinet woeful and May-Corbyn talks a mess'

In the wide-ranging interview, Ms Greening was asked who she would sack from the Cabinet. In response, she said the Cabinet had "all been pretty woeful in their judgement calls on Brexit" and that ministers seem to be thinking more about ""their careers than...the country."

"This is the biggest challenge facing Britain and they've either taken bad decisions or no decisions", she said.

She called the talks between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May to find a way forward on Brexit "a bit of mess" and criticised the decision to approach the Labour leader.

Justine Greening thinks the cross-party Brexit talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are ‘a bit of a mess’

I think it's a bit of a mess. I'm not convinced it's going to succeed. I think it's pretty toxic for Conservative candidates out there busting a gut on local elections right now. This is somebody we've said isn't fit to be near the levers of power and now we've invited him in to shape our Brexit strategy. I think most Conservative MPs and activists are actually staggered that the Cabinet felt this was a sensible approach.

– Justine Greening

On Saturday, Theresa May warned Brexit could "slip through our fingers" unless a compromise can be found.

Ms Greening backed Remain in the EU referendum and says she "will support any deal Parliament votes for as long as it's given to the people for them to have their say."

Brunei anti-LGBT laws 'totally unacceptable'

Ms Greening strongly criticised Brunei's new anti-LGBT laws, where people who have gay sex could be punished with death by stoning, calling on the Commonwealth to meet to discuss whether to expel the southeast Asian nation from the association.

"I think what's happening in Brunei is totally unacceptable and out of kilter with the values of the Commonwealth and I think the Commonwealth should meet to discuss what our consistent agenda on this needs to be”, she said.

"It's a good example of how in any other time I think we would be playing a much stronger role on the world stage fighting for human rights including LGBT rights than we are able to at the moment because we are simply consumed by our own internal struggles on Brexit."

On LGBT issues closer to home, Ms Greening thinks the government should support headteachers who are implementing LGBT lessons, amid protests at some schools in Birmingham which has led to some heads withdrawing the lessons.

Parkfield Community School in Birmingham faced protests over its LGBT lessons Credit: PA

The bottom line is young people need to understand about a modern Britain and LGBT issues cut across religions and cultures - we can't really have one cohort of young people not able to get the benefit of RSE (relationships and sex education) when the rest of their peers are.

For a whole generation of LGBT young people growing up in our schools who frankly deserve better than to be given the impression that the future relationships they're going to go on and have in their lives are somehow bad and wrong.

We owe it to them to make sure our schools are able to do a proper approach, a modern approach, on relationships and sex education.

– Justine Greening

Listen to the podcast to hear why Ms Greening:

  • Would put improving social mobility at the heart of her government
  • Why she'd make Mark Zuckerberg one of her first phone calls as PM
  • Why she'd scrap university tuition fees
  • Why she'd have Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in her cabinet

Catch up with past episodes of Acting Prime Minister: