Who’s who in the new Cabinet

By Henry Meadows |

The cabinet of previous Prime Minister Theresa May|Flickr

Prime Minister: Boris Johnson

Theresa May`s replacement needs no introduction; a controversial politician Johnson began his career directly from studying classics at Balliol College Oxford. After working as a journalist Johnson became an MP in 2004, before serving as mayor of London from 2008-2016.  He was elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015. One of the most prominent figures of the Leave campaign in 2016, he served as foreign secretary from 2016 until his resignation in 2018.  Throughout his career he has become well known for making controversial comments, as well as a number of false claims. Nonetheless he has been arguably the most notable conservative politician of this decade, and current opinion polling shows that he has higher personal ratings than opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chancellor of the Exchequer: Sajid Javid

Replacing Philip Hammond as Chancellor is 49-year-old Exeter graduate Javid. Born in Rochdale to Pakistani parents he is the first British Asian to hold the role. His first job was at Deutsche Bank, before becoming MP for Bromsgrove in 2010.  Javid worked at the treasury before taking up cabinet roles such as Business Secretary in 2015, most prominently serving as Home Secretary from 2018-2019. Javid was a “soft-Remainer” in the EU referendum and is seen by many Brexiters as a full-blooded Brexit conversion ready for a no-deal come October the 31st.


Foreign Secretary: Dominic Raab

Raab replaces Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary. the 45-year-old has been tipped for major success since becoming MP for Esher and Walton in 2010. A longstanding Brexiteer and a key ally of Boris, Raab has been a key advocate for a no-deal Brexit. He studied at St Margret Hall, Oxford, before becoming a lawyer. His first ministerial post came in 2015, but his most prominent role was as Brexit Secretary in 2018. Raab has also taken up the role of Deputy Prime Minister, making him one of Johnson’s closest allies in cabinet.

Home Secretary: Priti Patel

Patel has been one of Johnsons more controversial cabinet appointments, being against same-sex marriage and in favour of capital punishment. Patel grew up in London before studying economics at Keele university. After lobbying for the tobacco and alcohol industries Patel became MP for Witham in 2010. She resigned as International Development Secretary in 2017 after having unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials. Patel has been an ardent Brexiter and Johnson backer, and will be one of the key no-deal advocates in the cabinet.

Defence Secretary: Ben Wallace:

A newcomer to cabinet, Wallace has served as Security Minister prior to replacing Penny Mordaunt as Defence Secretary. Wallace served in the army before entering politics, training at Sandhurst before joining the Scots Guards. He became MP for Lancaster and Wyre in 2005 and campaigned to remain in the EU in 2016. He has previously warned against no-deal but has also been an outspoken supporter of Boris Johnson.

Brexit Secretary: Stephen Barclay

Barclay is one of few cabinet ministers to keep his job, having backed Boris in the leadership contest. Barclay was educated at Cambridge after serving five months in the Royal Fusiliers. He became MP for north east Cambridgeshire in 2010 after leaving the financial sector becoming a minister as Theresa May became Prime Minister in 2016, as well as earning a reputation for loyalty having never rebelled against his party. He replaced Dominic Raab as Brexit secretary in 2018, and has been an ardent Brexit supporter, whilst also being a key backer of Theresa Mays Brexit deal.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Michael Gove

After a controversial leadership campaign in which he admitted to taking cocaine, Michael Gove has taken on the role as one of the PM’s key policy advisers. Gove was an adopted child in Edinburgh before studying at Oxford He became MP for Surrey Heath in 2005 and was a key ally of David Cameron, entering cabinet in 2010 as Education Secretary. He was Chairman of the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, and famously torpedoed Boris Johnson’s first bid to become Tory leader. He is a keen Brexiter but has spoken out against no-deal.

International Trade: Liz Truss

Truss was one of the most vocal Johnson supports of the leadership campaign and has championed the idea of keeping no-deal on the table in negotiations with the EU. She studied PPE at Merton College, Oxford after living in Canada for a year.  Truss served as Environment Secretary from 2014-2016 after being elected to parliament in 2010. She co-authored the book “Britannia Unchained” in 2012, arguing for less red tape and for greater de-regulation of the British Economy. Truss voted remain in 2016, but has since become a hard Brexiteer.

Health and Social Care: Matt Hancock

Hancock retains his post after his defeat in the conservative leadership race Hancock backed Boris Johnson. The 40-year-old PPE graduate became MP for West Suffolk in 2010, after a career at the Bank of England. After a short spell as Culture Secretary he was promoted to Health Secretary by Theresa May in 2018. He voted remain in 2016 but has spoken favourably about keeping no-deal on the table. Hancock is renowned for his tech savvy approach to politics and was the first MP to launch his own app.

Environment: Theresa Villiers

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has been a long-time ally of Boris Johnson. She was elected MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005, previously serving as an MEP from 1999. Villiers has been a longstanding Brexiteer and was one of the original members of Vote Leave in 2016.

Education: Gavin Williamson

Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson returns to cabinet after the infamous Huawei leak cost him his job earlier this year. Williamson was educated at the University of Bradford and became MP for South Staffordshire in 2010. He served as Chief Whip from 2016-2017 and backed remain in the EU referendum.  He has been a vocal Boris Johnson supporter and backer of a no-deal Brexit.

Culture, Media and Sport: Nicky Morgan

After losing her post as Education Secretary in 2016, Morgan returns to cabinet after winning over many ERG members in the struggle to pass May`s deal through parliament. Morgan is seen as a compromise appointment and has been described as a soft Brexiteer. She is one of the most senior female MP`s in parliament.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Andrea Leadsom

After unexpectedly making the runoff for the Conservative leadership in 2016, Leadsom held two senior cabinet positions under Theresa May, first as Environment Secretary and then as Leader of the House. Educated at the University of Warwick, she worked as an investment banker before becoming an MP in 2010. Leadsom resigned in protest of Theresa May’s leadership in 2019 and has been an ardent backer of Boris Johnson and no-deal.

Housing and Communities: Robert Jenrick

A long-time Johnson backer, Jenrick has been seen as a prominent member of the right of the Tory Party. He was present at Donald Trump`s inauguration in 2017 and has been a vocal Brexit convert after voting remain in 2016. He became MP for Newark in a by-election in 2014.

Work and Pensions: Amber Rudd

Rudd was forced to resign from her post as Home Secretary as a result of the Windrush scandal. A Remainer who has spoken negatively about no-deal, Rudd returned to cabinet in 2018 as Work and Pension Secretary. she was elected MP for Hastings and Rye in 2010 and only scraped by in 2017, retaining the seat after a recount. She is also Women and Equalities Minister.

Justice: Robert Buckland

Buckland has been a supporter of Boris Johnson since his appointment as Prisons Minister in 2019. The former solicitor was elected as the MP for South Swindon in 2010, taking the seat from Labour. He voted remain in 2016 but has since become a Brexit convert, and is unlikely to rally against a no-deal Brexit.

International Development: Alok Sharma

Before becoming MP for Reading West in 2010, Sharma worked as an accountant and in banking. He was educated at the University of Salford. In 2016 he voted remain but has since argued for a no-deal Brexit and stated that Boris Johnson is the only candidate that can beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Transport: Grant Shapps

Returning to Cabinet after 4 years, Shapps has been appointed Transport Secretary. Shapps was another backer of Boris and was elected MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005 after a career running his own printing business. He voted remain in 2016 but now backs a no-deal Brexit.

Wales: Alun Cairns

Cairns was appointed Welsh Secretary by Theresa May and will be staying in post. He was elected as a member of the Welsh Assembly in 1999 after a career in banking. He studied at the University of Wales, Newport. Cairns voted remain in 2016, but now backs a hard Brexit.

Credit: Flickr

Scotland: Alister Jack

Jack replaces David Mundell as Scottish Secretary. After a career in business Jack has become a notable dairy farmer. He became MP for Dumfries and Galloway in 2017 winning the seat from the SNP. He backs a no-deal Brexit and has spoken out against the Irish Backstop.

Northern Ireland: Julian Smith

Smith has served as Chief Whip from 2017-19 and was a key ally of both Theresa May and Boris Johnson. He has become a trusted member of the party after becoming MP for Skipton and Rippon in 2010. Smith is a soft Brexiteer and is unlikely to support a no-deal Brexit, calling for a close relationship with the EU after Britain’s departure. He takes over from Karen Bradley

Chief Whip: Mark Spencer

Spencer has been MP for Sherwood since 2010 and has a reputation for loyalty to party leadership. He was educated at Shuttleworth Agricultural College and worked in his family farming business prior to becoming an MP. Spencer campaigned to remain in 2016 but has since changed his mind to align with leadership policy. This is his first government position. 

Credit: Twitter

Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Rishi Sunak

Sunak is new on the scene in the Tory Party, elected as MP for Richmond in 2015. He supported Leave in the 2016 referendum and this is his first senior government job

Leader of the House of Commons: Jacob Rees-Mogg

Prominent Brexiteer and Johnson backer Rees-Mogg has finally entered the cabinet after spending his entire parliamentary career on the backbenches. Son of the former editor of the Times, Rees-Mogg was educated at Eton and Oxford before entering parliament as MP for North East Somerset in 2010. He quickly became a prominent member of the Tory right and was a leading Brexiteer in 2016.

Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Evans

First appointed as leader of the House of Lords in 2016, Baroness Evans will keep her role. A prominent supporter of Free Schools, Evans was educated at Cambridge University. She is seen by many in the Lords as a competent leader and a safe pair of hands.

MP portraits credit to Wikimedia Commons (Cairns and Spencer excepted)

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