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Blue Bitesize #007: Cabinet commentary by Kurtis Prosser and full list of appointments

What conclusions can we draw from the new Johnson cabinet? Are there any early indicators of what to come? Kurtis Prosser answers those questions below, and provides the final view of who is in the Government.


When Boris Johnson officially became PM, it was expected that there would be a significant cleanout of the old cabinet under Theresa May. Many chose to resign before they were sacked – ‘jumped before they were pushed as the old adage goes – and these included senior figures in the government including the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Business Secretary Greg Clarke, and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart.


However, in the hours that followed Johnson’ maiden speech outside the black door to Number 10 and the reshuffle began, it became clear that this would be no ordinary reshuffle, with Penny Mordaunt and Jeremy Hunt being among the names being axed from the cabinet.

On the campaign trail, during the various hustings as well as the TV debates, Johnson made clear that his Brexit strategy would be to take the UK out of the European Union on October 31st, deal or no deal.


Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chancellor Sajid Javid

He made it clear that to serve in his cabinet should he win, then each cabinet member would have to give their support to his strategy, thus minimising the risk of him being undermined in any negotiations between now and the 31st October.


This is essentially what gave us the current cabinet we have now. For the most part, those who did not wholly sign up to the ‘do or die’ approach we cleaved from the herd and sent to the backbenches. Those who supported his leadership campaign and even those who ran against him, and supported the approach were thrown into contention for cabinet positions.


Some of the most notable appointments to the cabinet by Johnson include Priti Patel as Home Secretary, Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM, Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Michael Gove to the position of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and head of the Cabinet Office.


So, what can we learn from this new cabinet, and where can we expect it to go post-Brexit? One thing that we can gather that in the grand scheme of things, it is arguable that the Cabinet has shifted to the ideologically right of the party, with the few exceptions being Gove, Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan, although the appointments of Raab, Patel, etc. could be a more strategic move by Boris to surround himself with allies in the great offices of state.


(L-R) James Cleverly, Rishi Sunak and Kwasi Kwarteng


The new cabinet seems to be one that is going to be geared toward full-scale preparations for a no-deal scenario, although this isn’t government policy, with a deal still being preferable. It signals a shift away from the old cabinet, which in some respects was overly cautious in some areas, and in others, it was completely inadequate for the task at hand. Whether this new cabinet will change the latter is yet to be seen, but on the former, there has been a tangible shift in mood.


Policy-wise, especially post-Brexit, there is little to read into thus far. There have been some announcements on policy, including an immigration policy outline from Priti Patel and some moves by Dominic Raab in relation to the crisis in the Persian Gulf. However, with Javid being appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the autumn statement (dependent on what kind of Brexit we leave with) could be one that could see some of his own policies come in to play, especially those he outlined in the leadership race of lower taxes for the lower earners, and reforms of business rates for small and medium-sized businesses.


The new cabinet certainly has a mountain to summit. With the deadline of the Brexit extension rapidly approaching once Parliament returns in September, the government now has to prepare not only for any negotiations that may happen between then and the deadline but also begin to rapidly move along preparations for no deal. What is more, Dominic Raab has inherited a situation of increased tensions in the Persian Gulf between the West and Iran, with neither side willing to back down.


International Trade Secretary Liz Truss meets her new team

Post-Brexit, the cabinet needs to begin to address the issues that led to the Brexit vote in the first place, something that was lacking in the previous government, which was utterly consumed by negotiations for three years and then failed to bring Parliament onside when it needed them most.


Whilst it is not certain what the near future holds for the new government, the next few months will be crucial to see whether Brexit can be finished off, once and for all, and we as a country can begin to address the concerns of the poorest in society, or whether Boris somehow fails to deliver on his promise and an administration that is arguably on its knees before its begun is shut down within months of it being formed.


Kurtis Prosser


Blue Bitesize is a weekly article written by our members, for our members, and looks to explain complex political concepts from both the left and right wings of our party.


The cabinet in full:


HM Treasury


Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP*&**

Financial Secretary to the Treasury – Jesse Norman MP

Economic Secretary to the Treasury – John Glen MP†

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury – Simon Clarke MP†


Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and First Secretary of State – Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP (jointly with the Department for International Development)

Minister of State – Andrew Stephenson MP (jointly with the Department for International Development)

Minister of State – Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Heather Wheeler MP


Home Office


Secretary of State for the Home Department – Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP**

Minister of State – Kit Malthouse MP

Minister of State – Baroness Williams of Trafford (jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions (Minister for Equalities))

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Victoria Atkins MP (jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions (Minister for Women))

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Seema Kennedy MP


Cabinet Office


Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Paymaster General, and Minister for the Cabinet Office – Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP**

Minister of State – Rt Hon Jake Berry MP (jointly with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)**

Parliamentary Secretary – Chloe Smith MP

Parliamentary Secretary* – Kevin Foster MP (jointly with the Wales Office; and Assistant Government Whip (paid))

Parliamentary Secretary – Simon Hart MP

Parliamentary Secretary– Johnny Mercer MP (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)


Ministry of Justice


Lord Chancellor (paid), and Secretary of State for Justice* – Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP

Minister of State – Lucy Frazer QC MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Wendy Morton MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Edward Argar MP


Department for Exiting the European Union


Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – Rt Hon Stephen Barclay MP

Minister of State – Lord Callanan

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – James Duddridge MP


Ministry of Defence


Secretary of State for Defence – Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Mark Lancaster TD MP

Minister of State – Baroness Goldie DL*

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Johnny Mercer MP (jointly with the Cabinet Office)


Department of Health and Social Care


Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

Minister of State – Chris Skidmore MP

Minister of State – Caroline Dinenage MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Jo Churchill MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Nadine Dorries MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford


Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP**

Minister of State – Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP (jointly with the Department for Education)**

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Kelly Tolhurst MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Nadhim Zahawi MP*

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Lord Duncan of Springbank (jointly with the Northern Ireland Office)


Department for International Trade


Secretary of State for International Trade, and President of the Board of Trade – Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

Minister of State – Conor Burns MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Graham Stuart MP


Department for Work and Pensions


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Minister for Women and Equalities – Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP

Minister of State – Justin Tomlinson MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Mims Davies MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Guy Opperman MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Will Quince MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Baroness Stedman-Scott OBE

Minister of State (Minister for Equalities) – Baroness Williams of Trafford (jointly with the Home Office)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Women) – Victoria Atkins MP (jointly with the Home Office)


Department for Education


Secretary of State for Education – Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP (jointly with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)**

Minister of State – Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Kemi Badenoch MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Lord Agnew of Oulton DL*


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Minister of State – Dr Therese Coffey MP

Minister of State – George Eustice MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Zac Goldsmith MP (jointly with the Department for International Development)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Lord Gardiner of Kimble


Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government


Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Esther McVey MP**

Minister of State – Rt Hon Jake Berry MP (jointly with the Cabinet Office)**

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Luke Hall MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Viscount Younger of Leckie


Department for Transport


Secretary of State for Transport – Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

Minister of State – Chris Heaton-Harris MP

Minister of State – George Freeman MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State* – Nusrat Ghani MP (and Government Whip, paid)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Paul Maynard MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Baroness Vere of Norbiton


Northern Ireland Office


Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Rt Hon Julian Smith MP

Minister of State – Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP (and Minister for London)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Robin Walker MP (jointly with Scotland Office)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Lord Duncan of Springbank (jointly with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)


Scotland Office


Secretary of State for Scotland – Rt Hon Alister Jack MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State* – Colin Clark MP (and a Government Whip*)

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Robin Walker MP (jointly with the Northern Ireland Office)



Wales Office

Secretary of State for Wales – Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State* – Kevin Foster MP (jointly with the Cabinet Office; and Assistant Government Whip (paid))


Leader of the House and Chief John Bercow Annoyer

Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons – Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP**


Whips – House of Commons


Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) – Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP**

Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip) – Amanda Milling MP

Comptroller of HM Household (Government Whip) – Jeremy Quin MP

Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Government Whip) – Stuart Andrew MP


Junior Lords of the Treasury


Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) – Rebecca Harris MP

Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) – Michelle Donelan MP

Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) – Mike Freer MP

Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) – David Rutley MP

Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury) – Nusrat Ghani MP (and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport*)

Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)*– Colin Clark MP (and a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office*)


Assistant Whips (Commons)


Assistant Government Whip – Kevin Foster MP (and Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office and the Wales Office*)

Assistant Government Whip – Leo Docherty MP

Assistant Government Whip – James Morris MP

Assistant Government Whip –Tom Pursglove MP

Assistant Government Whip – Nigel Huddleston MP

Assistant Government Whip – Marcus Jones MP

Assistant Government Whip – Iain Stewart MP


Law Officers


Attorney General – Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP**

Solicitor General – Michael Ellis MP

HM Advocate General for Scotland and Ministry of Justice spokesperson for the Lords – Rt Hon Lord Keen of Elie QC


*unpaid

** attends Cabinet

† paid as a Parliamentary Secretary

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