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11 Cabinet ministers to go, as Sunak puts his own team in place

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By Politics.co.uk staff

The new prime minister, Rishi Sunak has this afternoon begun working to appoint his new cabinet.

So far, some eleven cabinet ministers are known to be leaving their positions.  This is more than previously expected, making this in relative terms, now a very substantial government reshuffle.

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The departure of this many cabinet ministers has provided Mr Sunak with the opportunity to create a top team that is in his own image.  In doing so he has appointed Dominic Raab as justice secretary and deputy prime minister, the same role that he had under Boris Johnson.

Jeremy Hunt is to remain as chancellor of the exchequer, James Cleverly as foreign secretary, Ben Wallace as defence secretary.  Nadhim Zahawi has moved to a new role as chair of the Conservative party chairman.

Simon Hart, the former welsh secretary, has been given the job of government chief whip.

Those departing cabinet minister include the former business secretary, Jacob Rees Mogg; the conservative party chairman, Sir Jake Berry; and the education secretary, Kit Malthouse.  All three men were known for their closeness to the former prime minister, Boris Johnson.

The levelling up secretary, Simon Clarke, has also left his post. Mr Clarke previously served as Mr Sunak’s deputy in the treasury during the covid pandemic, but he subsequently and quickly endorsed Liz Truss in the summer’s conservative leadership race.

The largely unknown environment secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, another Johnson loyalist who was appointed by Mr Johnson in the summer, has also resigned from the government.

Two close allies of Liz Truss, work and pensions secretary, Chloe Smith, and the government chief whip, Wendy Morton, are both leaving the cabinet.

Brandon Lewis who has had a sustained career at the top of the conservative party, having previously served as conservative party chairman under Theresa May has also resigned.  Alok Sharma, will retain his role as President of the COP26, but is now not going to attend cabinet.

The international development minister, Vicky Ford, who attended cabinet, has also tweeted to say that she is leaving the government.

Finally, welsh secretary, Robert Buckland is said to be standing down at his own request.  Mr Buckland was thought a likely casualty of any Sunak reshuffle, given how he defected from Mr Sunak’s team to that of Liz Truss during the summer’s conservative party leadership contest.

As with any government reshuffle, the business of dismissing ministers is an activity that happens first and behind closed doors.

Mr Sunak’s newly appointed cabinet ministers are likely to be seen walking up Downing Street later this afternoon.     It is thought likely that former cabinet ministers and Sunak loyalists, Dominic Raab, Oliver Dowden, and Mel Stride, will all now return to the top of government.

Source: Politico.co.uk.

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