UK Politics

Theresa May denies rift with ex-minister Neville-Jones

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Media captionTheresa May: "Pauline Neville-Jones did an excellent job... and I'm looking forward to carrying on working with her"

Home Secretary Theresa May has denied a rift with former security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, saying they had a "good working relationship".

She denied reports that she was once refused an update on counter-terrorism because the peer told her she did not have sufficient security clearance.

Mrs May told the BBC it was "absolutely not the case" that they had not got on.

Baroness Neville-Jones quit her government role last week and will take up a job advising on cyber security.

She said she had told Prime Minister David Cameron in January she wanted to stand down from the Home Office job at around the time of the local elections.

But there have been newspaper stories that personality clashes between the peer and Mrs May led to her departure.

The Sunday Telegraph and News of the World both report that Baroness Neville-Jones had told the home secretary she did not have sufficient security clearance when she asked for a counter-terrorism update.

Asked if the stories were true, Mrs May told BBC One's Andrew Marr programme: "No, I can tell you one of the first things that happens to a home secretary when they arrive in the job, is that they are given a briefing about security matters they will be dealing with."

She denied anything had been kept from her, adding: "Pauline Neville-Jones did an excellent job as security minister and I'm looking forward to carrying on working with her in her very important new role that she will be doing, in dealing with cyber security."

She denied they had not got on adding: "I had a good working relationship with Pauline."

Baroness Neville-Jones, who was Joint Intelligence Committee chairman between 1993 and 1994, joined the Conservative front bench in opposition in 2007 - and was made a Home Office minister after the coalition was formed last May.

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