Norman Baker has resigned as a Home Office minister tonight. Baker has quit, blaming the difficulties of working with Theresa May and the squeeze that ministerial office has put on his time for his decision to go. Baker describes working with May as like ‘walking through mud’.
Baker’s departure is not to be lamented. At the Home Office he has been pushing for the decriminalisation of drugs, a thoroughly dangerous policy that would be disastrous for society. Baker claims that this is evidence-based policy making, and cites the Tories failure to follow this evidence as one of his reasons for quitting. Indeed, his resignation is, in a way, the logical extension of the Lib Dems’ differentiation policy.
Baker claims that May views the Lib Dems as a ‘cuckoo in the nest’ rather than as governing partners. But I suspect that Baker’s experience as a Home Office Minister was not that different from that of the Tory peer Pauline Neville Jones who quit, in part, in frustration at May’s approach to her junior ministers back in 2011.