Boris Johnson’s reshuffle: who is in and who is out?

Liz Truss promoted to foreign secretary as Dominic Raab demoted in cull of big names

Former Conservative education secretary Gavin Williamson
Gavin Williamson was the first to face the chop as Boris Johnson reshapes his top team
(Image credit: Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

Gavin Williamson and Robert Buckland have been axed from the prime minister’s top team - while Liz Truss is celebrating a promotion - as part of Boris Johnson’s long-awaited cabinet reshuffle.

Truss, the former international trade secretary, replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary, with the latter being demoted to justice secretary and deputy prime minister.

Williamson, who in recent months has faced “intense criticism over his handling of disruption to schools and exams during the pandemic”, was the first to be sacked from his post yesterday as education secretary, reported the BBC.

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He was replaced by former vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, who “moves up a grade” having impressed during his “victorious vaccine rollout scheme”, The Telegraph said.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland was the second minister to face the chop, confirming his departure with a tweet: “It has been an honour to serve in Government for the last 7 years, and as the Lord Chancellor for the last 2. I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure.”

Robert Jenrick also lost his post as housing secretary, a move that had been predicted by political pundits. His position had been “precarious for some time” after he was forced last year to admit that his decision to grant planning permission to a controversial development had been unlawful, said The Independent.

Jenrick was replaced in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by Michael Gove, who will also be tasked with securing Johnson’s “political legacy”, namely overseeing his “levelling up agenda”, The Times reported.

Priti Patel will remain in post as home secretary and Rishi Sunak will stay as chancellor.

Amanda Milling was sacked as Conservative Party co-chair, tweeting: “It’s been a privilege and an honour to be the co-chairman of the Conservative Party.”

She will be replaced by Oliver Dowden who will also hold the position of minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office. Nadine Dorries has taken on the culture minister role.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been promoted to international trade secretary, replacing Truss after her promotion. Trevelyan had previously served as the international development secretary, but lost her job when her department was merged with the Foreign Office in June 2020.

John Whittingdale, the former media minister, was also sacked, while Penny Mourdant was moved to the Department of International Trade and Greg Hands moved to the Department of Business to replace Trevelyan.

Raab is said to be “very angry” after being demoted from foreign secretary to justice secretary and lord chancellor, and handed the title of deputy prime minister, reported Sky News.

Colleagues had told The Times that Raab had been “looking miserable” having been dogged by allegations that he was “missing in action” during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said Raab had “either fought a hard bargain with Boris Johnson, or the prime minister feels bad about removing him from the Foreign Office”. He added: “The title of deputy prime minister is not much used and it can either be a sop to a senior minister a PM wants to demote, or a job with real power.”

Johnson views Truss, however, as “someone whose stock is high and who is a reformer”, said Katy Balls in The Spectator last month.

That verdict appears to be shared by the Daily Express, which tipped the move, proclaiming that “In Liz we Truss” and adding that, despite “attracting the ire of the woke Twitterati”, Truss appeals to the “common-sense ideology of the vast majority of Britons”.

The Times noted that when the prime minister was asked by Conservative backbenchers about a potential reorganisation of his cabinet last week, Johnson “laughed”. But “few members of the cabinet joined in his amusement” amid suggestions that he had been holding out on announcing a date for the reshuffle as “an act of management”.

The paper suggested that he had kept “ministers and MPs in line to quell any rebellion” over his planned increase to National Insurance.

Sacked from cabinet

  • Gavin Williamson, previously education secretary
  • Robert Jenrick, previously housing secretary
  • Robert Buckland, previously Lord Chancellor and justice secretary
  • Amanda Milling, previously co-chair of the party and minister without portfolio

Moved within cabinet

  • Foreign Secretary and Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss, previously international trade secretary and women and equalities minister
  • Party Co-chair Oliver Dowden, previously culture secretary
  • Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, previously foreign secretary
  • Housing Secretary Michael Gove, previously chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office

New to cabinet

  • Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, previously vaccines minister
  • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office Stephen Barclay, previously chief secretary to the Treasury
  • International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, previously a business minister
  • Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, previously a health minister

Remaining in post

  • Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace
  • Health Secretary Sajid Javid
  • Work and Pensions Secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey
  • COP26 President Alok Sharma
  • Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng
  • Environment Secretary George Eustice
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps
  • Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis
  • Scotland Secretary Alister Jack
  • Wales Secretary Simon Hart
  • Leader of the Lords Natalie Evans
  • Brexit Minister David Frost

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