Liz Truss rewards allies Coffey and Kwarteng after sacking Sunak supporters

06/09/2022

Liz Truss rewards allies Coffey and Kwarteng after sacking Sunak supporters

High profile casualties include Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps and Steve Barclay

Liz Truss rewarded close allies Kwasi Kwarteng and Therese Coffey with top Cabinet jobs as she culled a number of prominent Rishi Sunak supporters during a major reshuffle of the Government.

The new Prime Minister appointed Mr Kwarteng as Chancellor and Ms Coffey as Deputy Prime Minister and Health Secretary, as she made James Cleverly her successor as Foreign Secretary on Tuesday.

Former attorney general Suella Braverman was appointed Home Secretary, replacing Priti Patel after she pre-emptively resigned.

The appointments mean that for the first time in history none of the great offices of state are held by white men.

First Ms Truss despatched former deputy PM Dominic Raab and cabinet colleagues Grant Shapps, George Eustice and Steve Barclay to the backbenches after they supported her rival in the Tory leadership contest.

Ms Coffey, the former work and pensions secretary who is regarded as the Prime Minister’s closest friend in Westminster, replaced Mr Raab as the second in command after he described Ms Truss’s tax plans as an “electoral suicide note”.

And she took on Mr Barclay’s health brief after he too came out in support for Mr Sunak, the former chancellor who Ms Truss beat in a poll of Tory members.

Mr Kwarteng, a long-term ally of Ms Truss’s, entered the Treasury to replace Nadhim Zahawi, who was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Cabinet Office.

Brandon Lewis, whose resignation as Northern Ireland secretary piled pressure on Boris Johnson to resign from No 10, replaced Mr Raab as Justice Secretary. Mr Lewis ultimately backed Ms Truss in the leadership contest.

Penny Mordaunt, who failed to make it into the final stage of the leadership contest after a jump in support for Ms Truss among Tory MPs, was appointed Leader of the House of Commons.

Ben Wallace will continue in the role of Defence Secretary, as he plays a vital role in supporting Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine’s fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Former transport minister Wendy Morton will attend Cabinet as chief whip, making her responsible for party discipline in the Commons.

Ms Truss began the sackings in her House of Commons office shortly after making her first speech outside Downing Street as she formally replaced Mr Johnson.

She then headed to No 10 to remake the top of the Government in her own image.

Mr Raab, who was justice secretary as well as second in command to Mr Johnson, had not expected to continue his run in Government, having been a vocal critic of Ms Truss.

The MP for Esher and Walton said: “I look forward to supporting the Government from the backbenches.”

Mr Shapps also tweeted his own exit as Transport Secretary but did not make the same remarks of support for the new Tory leader.

Instead, the Welwyn Hatfield MP said he looks forward to being “a strong, independent voice on the backbenches”.

Mr Eustice pledged to “offer scrutiny” from the backbenches as the Camborne and Redruth MP was sacked as environment secretary.

Shailesh Vara, another Sunak backer, was out as Northern Ireland Secretary, with the North West Cambridgeshire MP saying he would support the Government from the backbenches.

Mr Barclay, the MP for North East Cambridgeshire who had been health secretary for Mr Johnson’s final months in office, wished Ms Truss “every success for the future”.

Ms Patel, who did not endorse any candidate, announced her departure on Monday before Ms Truss entered No 10 after her Home Office job was publicly linked with Ms Braverman.

Johnny Mercer, who did not say who he was backing in the race, said he was “disappointed” to be sacked as veterans’ affairs minister, but accepted the Prime Minister is “entitled to reward her supporters”.

The Plymouth Moor View MP also suggested he could quit the Commons, saying: “I have to accept that I will never possess the qualities required for enduring success in politics as it stands, and to be fair to my wonderful family, I must consider my future.”

Greg Clark said he was out as levelling up secretary, a role he was appointed to as Mr Johnson prepared to announce his own resignation after a series of scandals.

Andrew Stephenson, who remained publicly neutral during the contest as Conservative Party chairman, also said he was leaving the role.

Earlier, Nadine Dorries, who had backed Ms Truss, confirmed that she had been asked to stay on as Culture Secretary but had decided that she also would be returning to the backbenches.

Mr Sunak, the former chancellor whose resignation helped trigger the downfall of Mr Johnson, has also made clear he does not expect to be offered a new job.

His supporters, however, have been urging Ms Truss to appoint an “inclusive” Cabinet and not simply surround herself with loyalists in the way that Mr Johnson was accused of doing.

Published: by Radio NewsHub


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