Brexit: We finally have a Cabinet that believes in Brexit – how Boris Johnson’s top team shapes up

Brexit: We finally have a Cabinet that believes in Brexit – how Boris Johnson’s top team shapes up

Need to talk more about Brexit? Well here you go…

Over the last 24 hours we have seen the biggest turnover of Cabinet ministers outside of a post-election change in the party of government that anyone can remember. And unlike Theresa May’s Cabinet, where only 7 of the 30 ministers around the Cabinet table had backed Brexit in 2016, the Johnson Cabinet is approaching a 50:50 Remain/Leave split, with Brexiteers in most of the key positions. Sitting around the new Cabinet table will be 15 ministers who backed Leave at the referendum and 17 who voted Remain.

There have been recalls to the Cabinet for high-profile Vote Leave backers like Priti Patel (Home Secretary), Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary), Theresa Villiers (Environment Secretary), Andrea Leadsom (Business Secretary) and Esther McVey (Housing Minister); promotions for Brexiteers James Cleverly (Conservative Party Chairman), Alister Jack (Scotland Secretary), Rishi Sunak (Chief Secretary) and Kwasi Kwarteng (BEIS Minister); and a first ministerial job as Leader of the Commons for European Research Group Chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Steve Barclay remains Brexit Secretary while Michael Gove takes a key role overseeing all no-deal preparations as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Sajid Javid – an instinctive eurosceptic, despite his backing for Remain in 2016 – takes the helm at the Treasury as Chancellor of the Exchequer, while born-again Brexiteer Liz Truss replaces Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary. Baroness Evans and Geoffrey Cox retain their posts as Leader of the House of Lords and Attorney General respectively.

All ministers appointed have signed up to Boris Johnson’s commitment to leaving the EU on October 31st, “no ifs or buts”, as the new Prime Minister put it in his speech outside Number 10 yesterday afternoon.

Fox was one of no fewer than 17 of those who were members of May’s Cabinet or attendees at Cabinet in her regime who either resigned, refused to serve in the new administration or were sacked.

The full list of those returning to the backbenches from the top table is as follows:

  • Karen Bradley
  • James Brokenshire
  • Greg Clark
  • Liam Fox
  • David Gauke
  • Chris Grayling
  • Philip Hammond
  • Damian Hinds
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • David Lidington
  • Theresa May
  • Penny Mordaunt
  • David Mundell
  • Caroline Nokes
  • Claire Perry
  • Rory Stewart
  • Mel Stride
  • Jeremy Wright

All had backed Remain in 2016 apart from Fox, Grayling and Mordaunt.

The new Cabinet line-up is as follows (2016 Leave backers in bold):

Full Cabinet members

  • Boris Johnson – Prime Minister
  • Sajid Javid – Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Priti Patel – Home Secretary
  • Dominic Raab – Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
  • Steve Barclay – Brexit Secretary
  • Michael Gove – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Ben Wallace – Defence Secretary
  • Liz Truss – Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
  • Matt Hancock – Health & Social Care Secretary
  • Theresa Villiers – Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Secretary
  • Gavin Williamson – Education Secretary
  • Nicky Morgan – Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Secretary
  • Andrea Leadsom – Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Secretary
  • Robert Jenrick – Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government
  • Amber Rudd – Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and Minister for Women & Equalities
  • Robert Buckland – Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
  • Alok Sharma – Secretary of State for International Development
  • Grant Shapps – Secretary of State for Transport
  • Alun Cairns – Secretary of State for Wales
  • Julian Smith – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Alister Jack – Secretary of State for Scotland
  • Baroness Evans of Bowes Park – Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
  • James Cleverly – Conservative Party Chairman and Minister without Portfolio

Attending Cabinet

  • Mark Spencer – Chief Whip
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg – Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council
  • Rishi Sunak – Chief Secretary to the Treasury
  • Geoffrey Cox – Attorney General
  • Oliver Dowden – Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
  • Brandon Lewis – Minister of State at the Home Office
  • Esther McVey – Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
  • Jo Johnson – Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department for Education
  • Kwasi Kwarteng – Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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