Brexit minister quits for health reasons two years after helicopter injury

PUBLISHED: 16:39 27 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 27 October 2017

Baroness Anelay

$image.copyright

A Brexit minister today quit citing health reasons, two years after suffering an injury leaping out of a helicopter.

Baroness Anelay, who was only appointed minister of state at the Brexit Department in June, said she was "calling time" on her career.

The 70-year-old injured her ankle in an accident getting out of a Black Hawk helicopter during a diplomatic trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

She will be replaced by the former MEP Lord Callanan.

Writing for grassroots website conservativehome, she said she would remain an active member of the House of Lords. She had voted to remain in the EU.

She said: "It was the Black Hawk helicopter that did it.

"As a Foreign Office minister, I was touring Bosnia and Herzegovina, meeting victims of war and terror for whom British overseas power had been a ladder out of oppression.

"Unfortunately for me, that particular ladder hadn't materialised when it came to getting out of the helicopter.

"One ill-judged leap later, and I sustained an uncomfortable injury that has called time on my ministerial career after two decades on the front bench."

But not everybody was convinced by her explanation, with the former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis tweeting: "Lady Anelay’s accident was 2 yrs ago. She took this post 4 mths ago. The ‘accident’ causing her departure was Brexit."

She is the third minister in four months to leave the department, following David Jones and Lord Bridges, and leaves it without a female minister.

She said the UK was in "the best possible position to grasp the opportunities that Brexit can provide".

She added: "I campaigned to remain in the referendum and would vote against another one happening.

"But I leave the department certain that the negotiations surrounding our exit, and our future relationship with the EU, will be successful.

"We are getting more control of our borders, our money and our laws, and at the same time the course the European Union is taking – bold as it may be – is deeply integrationist, and increasingly unpalatable."

Her replacement, Lord Callonan, was MEP for North-East England from 1999 to 2014, when he became becoming the first sitting chair of a European parliamentary group to lose his seat. He was previously best-known in the region for campaigning against the Angel of the North, which he described as a "vast eyesore".

Since this year's general election he had been serving as a minister and parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Transport.

Figures released by the department last month showed that more than 20% of its civil servants had left in the previous 14 months, more than twice the average 9% turnover across the civil service.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy