LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reshuffled his cabinet and on
Wednesday, he fired Gavin Williamson as education secretary and Robert Buckland as justice secretary. In his biggest shake-up since entering No 10, he also replaced Dominic Raab with Liz Truss as foreign secretary.
This is the second major reshuffle since Mr Johnson became leader of the Conservative party and took over as prime minister from Theresa May in July 2019. The last one took place in February 2020.
Some of the big moves included Liz Truss to foreign secretary, the Tories’ first woman in that role; Nadhim Zahawi moved from leading the vaccine rollout to education – at the expense of Mr Williamson; and Nadine Dorries stepped up from health minister to culture secretary. Rishi Sunak (Chancellor), Priti Patel (Home Secretary) and Sajid Javid (Health and Social Care Secretary) will remain unchanged.
According to BBC, among those moved to more high-profile ministerial roles on Thursday is skills minister Gillian Keegan who joins the Department for Health and Social Care.
Former Brexit and Northern Ireland minister, Robin Walker, has gone to the Department for Education, where he will work with the new Secretary of State, Nadim Zahawi.
Helen Whately, who was the minister for social care has been moved to the Treasury. Earlier on Thursday, Penny Mordaunt left her post as paymaster general at the Cabinet Office to become a minister at the trade department.
And John Whittingdale has confirmed he will be “stepping down” as a data minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The revamp will give the PM an opportunity to reward Conservative MPs elected at the 2019 election with their first jobs in government.
The big winners from the reshuffle include Ms Dorries, who was promoted from junior health minister into her first cabinet-level job as culture secretary.
The Mid Bedfordshire MP is probably best known outside Westminster for her 2012 appearance on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
Ms Truss, who is the Tory party’s first female foreign secretary – and only the second woman to hold the role, following Labour’s Margaret Beckett – said she was delighted by the appointment and would use the role to “promote a positive, outward vision of global Britain”.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi was promoted to education secretary
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was fired and replaced by Michael Gove
Treasury minister Steve Barclay replaced Mr Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Mr Dowden was given the role of minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office, and Conservative Party co-chair
Anne-Marie Trevelyan was promoted to replace Ms Truss as international trade secretary
Mr Raab moved from the Foreign Office to become justice secretary, but he will also have the formal title of deputy prime minister
Robert Buckland’s sacking was greeted with some surprise, with a number of Labour MPs tweeting praise for him and senior Conservative Bob Neill – who chairs the Commons justice committee – saying he “deserved better”.
In a letter to the prime minister after his dismissal, Mr Buckland called for more investment in the justice system, adding that “years of underfunding” had made it harder for it to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
New Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Michael Gove will get the added responsibility of the government’s “levelling up” agenda – spreading wealth and opportunity around the country – while continuing to handle demands for another Scottish independence referendum.