Theresa May has completed a brutal cull of the Cabinet in her first full day as PM. The media has focussed on the bold move to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary but there have been several other appointments that have caught the eye.
Unexpectedly, Sajid Javid has been made Communities Secretary. Javid was a former Managing Director of Deutsche Bank before becoming the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove in 2010. More recently he served as Minister for Equalities in 2014 and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & skills from 2015 to 2016.
Greg Clark will head up a new department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, as the Department for Energy & Climate Change has merged with the BIS.
The new cabinet in full:
Theresa May - Prime minister
Philip Hammond - Chancellor (promoted - was foreign secretary)
Boris Johnson - Foreign secretary (promoted - was backbencher)
Amber Rudd - Home secretary (promoted - was energy secretary)
Michael Fallon - Defence secretary (no change)
David Davis - Brexit secretary (promoted - was backbencher)
Liam Fox - International trade secretary (promoted - was backbencher)
Liz Truss - Justice secretary (promoted - was environment secretary)
Justine Greening - Education secretary and minister for women and equalities (promoted - was international development secretary)
Gavin Williamson - Chief whip (promoted - was David Cameron’s PPS)
Patrick McLoughlin - Conservative chairman (promoted/moved sideways - was transport secretary)
Jeremy Hunt - Health secretary (no change)
Natalie Evans - Leader of the Lords (promoted - was a Lords whip)
Damian Green - Work and pensions secretary (promoted - was a backbencher)
Andrea Leadsom - Environment secretary (promoted - was energy minister)
Chris Grayling - Transport secretary (promoted/moved sideways - was leader of the Commons)
Sajid Javid - Communities secretary (moved sideways/demoted - was business secretary)
James Brokenshire - Northern Ireland secretary (promoted - was immigration minister)
Greg Clark - Business and energy secretary (promoted - was communities secretary)
Priti Patel - International development secretary (promoted - was employment minister)
Karen Bradley - Culture secretary (promoted - was home office minister)
Alun Cairns - Welsh secretary (no change)
All change at DCLG
The reshuffle has taken many in the industry by surprise, as Javid was not expected to be given the Communities brief, and Brandon Lewis was thought unlikely to be moved from his role as Housing and Planning Minister. Lewis’ replacement is Gavin Barwell, a former PPS to Greg Clark.
Prior to his role as Business Secretary, Sajid Javid served within the Treasury as a PPS and junior minister. As Financial Secretary to the Treasury, he was closely involved in the measures the government took to help first time buyers gain access to mortgages, including the Help to Buy equity loan. He has defended these Treasury measures on a number of occasions, and will likely continue to do so in his role as Secretary of State. In his first parliamentary question time as Communities Secretary, Javid signalled his desire to continue the government’s work in agreeing devolution deals with regions, and to continue to protect green belt land.
New Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell will combine his role with the revived ‘Minister for London’ position. It is possible that, with a Labour Mayor in City Hall, the government needed to create a role for a Conservative politician to have a voice in London’s politics. Barwell will have worked on elements of planning policy as Greg Clark’s PPS, has already stated his desire to see town centre sites developed prior to those on the edge of or outside urban areas. He has objected to plans to build on the green belt in his south London constituency.
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