Justine's fragile bones settled next to the Tory Che Guevara: QUENTIN LETTS sees the former Education Secretary return to the backbenches at PMQs

Mail Online | 1/11/2018 | Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail
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On Monday morning, Justine Greening was a member of the Cabinet. On Monday night, she was given the heave-ho. On Wednesday, she sat on the backbenches in the top corner of the Chamber, surrounded by pro-EU Tory rebel plotters who have made that part of the House their area.

How they treated her like a princess! Pats on the arm. Solicitous expressions. Sad smiles and doleful nods of the head as they attempted to feel her pain.

Group - Help - Brexit - Enemy - Mrs

We love you, Justine! We want you! I should perhaps clarify that second one. ‘We want you to join our little group and help try to block Brexit and thus topple your new enemy, Mrs May,’ might be more accurate. Miss Greening (Putney), a Yorkshirewoman, was once thought solidly Eurosceptic. She was certainly content to let that impression spread.

I had a cuppa with her at the Tory Party conference in October 2015 and she was sphinx-like when I asked how she would vote in the EU referendum.

December - David - Cameron - Cabinet - Newspaper

Even as late as December 2015, when she was in David Cameron’s Cabinet, she was described by The Guardian newspaper as a probable Brexiteer. In the event she supported ‘In’, arguing that ‘for me, it boils down to opportunity and influence’.

For her, that may well have been true. Mr Cameron and George Osborne would not have taken kindly to Miss Greening supporting Leave.

Disservice - Remain - Principles - Argument - Messrs

I may be doing her a disservice. She may have supported Remain simply on the principles of the argument. But it helped Messrs Cameron and Osborne that she – youthful, urban, zippy, with minorities reach – decided to back their side.

When Theresa May became PM, Miss Greening (who had been one of the May candidacy’s two proposers) was promoted. She found it possible to adapt her views and support ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Loyalist that we must presume...
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