Liz Truss has unveiled her new cabinet, one very much populated by her closest political friends and allies. The new top team includes a number of MPs who represent nearby constituencies in East Anglia, some who have previously worked under Liz Truss in other government departments, and a few who have lived close to her in south east London.
Kwarsi Kwarteng, who lives on the same south London street as Liz Truss and her husband, has become the UK’s new chancellor of the exchequer.
Truss’ former deputy at the foreign office, James Cleverly, has been appointed foreign secretary. With the top tier of the government already being nick-named as the ‘Greenwich set’, Mr Cleverly also lives in close proximity to Ms Truss and Mr Kwarteng in south east London.
Meanwhile, Therese Coffey, Liz Truss’ campaign manager and one of her closest friends in politics, becomes health secretary and deputy prime minister. Truss and Coffey both entered parliament together in 2010, and the pair represent constituencies that are close to each other in East Anglia. Coffey is a fan of the band, the Muse, as well as a strong supporter of Liverpool football club.
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Another Truss ally, Ranil Jayawardena, who previously served as a deputy to Liz Truss at the Department for International Trade, has received a significant promotion, being appointed to the cabinet as secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Conversely Truss has been quick to sack those cabinet ministers who supported her leadership opponent, Rishi Sunak. These include the former deputy prime minister, Dominic Raab; the former health secretary, Steve Barclay; former environment secretary, George Eustice; former leader of the House of Commons, Mark Spencer; and the former transport secretary, Grant Shapps.
Hinting at displeasure in his dismissal, Mr Shapps quickly took to Twitter to suggest he will be an “independent” voice from the backbenches.
The comments by Mr Shapps look comparatively mild compared to those made by the wife of former veterans minister, Johnny Mercer. Mr Mercer was also sacked by Liz Truss prompting his wife to take to Twitter to tweet, “Best person I know, sacked by an imbecile”.
In her approach to top ministerial appointments, Truss appears to be mirroring that taken by Boris Johnson back in 2019. Rather than forming a balanced top team, Johnson undertook something of a purge from government of all those who had supported his then opponent Jeremy Hunt.
Only one member of the new Cabinet, the Attorney General Michael Ellis, is known to have voted for Rishi Sunak in the recent Conservative party leadership election.
Amongst other cabinet appointments, Suella Braverman, succeeds Priti Patel as Home Secretary. Braverman came sixth in the summer’s Conservative leadership election before transferring her backing to Liz Truss. The backers of Ms Braverman played a key role in helping Liz Truss make it through to the final stage of that contest. Braverman sits on the right of the Conservative party and is expected to take a tough line on channel migrant crossings.
A full list of Cabinet appointments is detailed below. Liz Truss is expected to finalize appointments in the lower levels of government throughout Wednesday, punctuated by her first clash in the Commons at lunchtime with labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer.
The composition of the new cabinet is as follows:
Prime Minister – Liz Truss MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer – Kwasi Kwarteng MP
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs – James Cleverly MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department – Suella Braverman QC MP
Secretary of State for Heallth, and Deputy Prime Minister – Therese Coffey MP
Secretary of State for Defence – Ben Wallace MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
Secretary of State for Education – Kit Malthouse MP
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade – Kemi Badenoch MP
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Chloe Smith MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Ranil Jayawardena MP
Secretary of State for Transport – Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – Michelle Donelan MP
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Chris Heaton-Harris MP
Secretary of State for Scotland – Alister Jack MP
Secretary of State for Scotland – Robert Buckland MP
Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Chris Philp MP
Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice – Brandon Lewis CBE MP
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister for Equalities – The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP
Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons – The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP
COP26 President – Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up – Simon Clarke MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip – Wendy Morton MP
Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords – Lord True CBE
Minister without Portfolio – Jake Berry MP
Attorney General – Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP
Minister of State (Minister for Development) at the Foreign Office -Vicky Ford MP
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office – Edward Argar MP
Minister of State (Minister for Security) in the Home Office – Tom Tugendhat MBE MP
Minister of State for Defence (Minister for the Armed Forces and Veterans) – James Heappey MP
Minister of State (Minister for Climate) in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Graham Stuart MP