His leadership style motivated his team of twelve saboteurs destroying many enemy targets. Although mission-focused, they had a blatant disregard for traditional military discipline.
In the film The Dirty Dozen undertake a mission to attack a French chateau ahead of the D-Day invasion to disrupt the enemy’s chain of command. This got me thinking about a dozen ministers Boris Johnson has in his cabinet team.
First Secretary of State Dominic Raab has refused to abandon a nondisclosure agreement as part of a bullying settlement with a former woman colleague. While working as chief of staff to David Davis, the two men entered into a “compromise agreement” with a woman who had worked in their office.
Home Secretary Pritti Patel had meetings with Israeli officials in 2017 without telling the Foreign Office and subsequently resigned as International Business Secretary. More recently the most senior civil servant in the home office resigned stating that her bullying led to his resignation.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove spent thousands of his Commons allowance furnishing his London home before “flipping” then moving to a new property in his constituency and claiming £13,000 in moving costs.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was accused of breaching the ministerial code by endorsing a private healthcare company in a sponsored newspaper supplement.
In April he was accused of fiddling figures to reach his 100,000 coronavirus tests a day target. One ex-colleague said: “He’s as slippery as a bar of soap.”
Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace was identified in the Telegraph newspaper expenses scandal for claiming £29,000 a year to employ his wife as a part-time research assistant.
Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss in 2009 faced a de-selection vote over her affair with MP Mark Field. In 2012 she said: “The UK rewards laziness and British workers are among the worst idlers in the world”.
Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson was sacked as defence secretary last year after an inquiry into a leak from a National Security Council meeting. Downing Street said the PM had “lost confidence in his ability to serve.”
Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick flouted the coronavirus lockdown travelling 150 miles to his country home despite having a £2.5m flat in London. He also billed the taxpayer for around £100,000 in rent and council tax for this country house, claiming it is his main family home.
Environment Secretary George Eustice has been a recipient of subsidies from the EU for his farm in Cornwall. John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s executive director, said: “This certainly raises questions about a potential conflict of interest by profiting financially from government policies.”
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps was found out using the names Michael Green and Sebastian Fox in 2012. In 2015 he admitted to having had a second job whilst being an MP, and practising business under a pseudonym. In 2018, the Financial Times reported that he had pay deal with OpenBrix, a blockchain property portal company. Potentially he could be paid in cryptocurrency tokens with a future value of up to £700,000.
Secretery of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis defended in 2015 claims of £31,000 for London hotel stays, despite owning a home in Essex, 32 miles away. He spent £15,000 in 2014 and £16,000 the previous year, The Sunday Times reported.
Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Jack was criticised in 2017 for owning £70,000 of shares in Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH) registered in Bermuda described as the world’s “worst” tax haven.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart employed his wife Abigail as an office manager on between £25,000 and £30,000 after criticising MPs who employ their family members.
I wonder if this dozen will succeed in their mission as the Dirty Dozen did in the 1967 film.
Gordon is the former president and chief executive of BMMI. He can be reached at [email protected]