The new cabinet: who’s made it in?

All the new cabinet posts as they come in.

60420029

Britain has its first coalition government since 1945 and the Liberal Democrats are expected to secure five posts in the cabinet. Here are the confirmed posts, along with a few rumours. I'll update this throughout the day as appointments are made.

It's notable that, as things stand, we have an all-male cabinet.

UPDATE: We've got a woman! Theresa May will become the second-ever female home secretary. After many criticised the conspicuous lack of women in cabinet, David Cameron obviously felt he had to hand one of the great offices of state to her. No surprise to see that the serial gaffster Chris Grayling has been dropped.

After strong rumours that he would run the Home Office, it looks like Michael Gove will become schools secretary after all. Ken Clarke has lost Business to Vince Cable and will now serve as justice secretary.

UPDATE: The BBC is reporting that Iain Duncan Smith will be appointed as work and pensions secretary. His work at the Centre for Social Justice makes him a natural for the role. Also worth noting that, with William Hague becoming foreign secretary, we could end up with two former Tory leaders in the cabinet.

UPDATE: David Laws has been named chief secetary to the Treasury. That leaves Philip Hammond without a job, as things stand.

UPDATE: I was right about Grayling not making it into the cabinet, but he has been named deputy to Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Prime Minister: David Cameron

Deputy Prime Minister: Nick Clegg

First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary: William Hague

Chancellor of the Exchequer: George Osborne

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary: Ken Clarke

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality: Theresa May

Defence Secretary: Liam Fox

Business Secretary: Vince Cable

Work and Pensions Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith

Energy and Climate Change Secretary: Chris Huhne

Health Secretary: Andrew Lansley

Schools Secretary: Michael Gove

Communities Secretary: Eric Pickles

Transport Secretary: Philip Hammond

Environment Secretary: Caroline Spelman

International Development Secretary: Andrew Mitchell

Northern Ireland Secretary: Owen Paterson

Scottish Secretary: Danny Alexander

Welsh Secretary: Cheryl Gillan

Culture Secretary: Jeremy Hunt

Chief Secretary to the Treasury: David Laws

Leader of the House of Lords: Lord Strathclyde

Minister without Portfolio: Baroness Warsi

Special offer: get 12 issues of the New Statesman for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Picture: ANDRÉ CARRILHO
Show Hide image

Leader: Boris Johnson, a liar and a charlatan

The Foreign Secretary demeans a great office of state with his carelessness and posturing. 

Boris Johnson is a liar, a charlatan and a narcissist. In 1988, when he was a reporter at the Times, he fabricated a quotation from his godfather, an eminent historian, which duly appeared in a news story on the front page. He was sacked. (We might pause here to acknowledge the advantage to a young journalist of having a godfather whose opinions were deemed worthy of appearing in a national newspaper.) Three decades later, his character has not improved.

On 17 September, Mr Johnson wrote a lengthy, hyperbolic article for the Daily Telegraph laying out his “vision” for Brexit – in terms calculated to provoke and undermine the Prime Minister (who was scheduled to give a speech on Brexit in Florence, Italy, as we went to press). Extracts of his “article”, which reads more like a speech, appeared while a terror suspect was on the loose and the country’s threat level was at “critical”, leading the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, to remark: “On the day of a terror attack where Britons were maimed, just hours after the threat level is raised, our only thoughts should be on service.”

Three other facets of this story are noteworthy. First, the article was published alongside other pieces echoing and praising its conclusions, indicating that the Telegraph is now operating as a subsidiary of the Johnson for PM campaign. Second, Theresa May did not respond by immediately sacking her disloyal Foreign Secretary – a measure of how much the botched election campaign has weakened her authority. Finally, it is remarkable that Mr Johnson’s article repeated the most egregious – and most effective – lie of the EU referendum campaign. “Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350m per week,” the Foreign Secretary claimed. “It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS.”

This was the promise of Brexit laid out by the official Vote Leave team: we send £350m to Brussels, and after leaving the EU, that money can be spent on public services. Yet the £350m figure includes the rebate secured by Margaret Thatcher – so just under a third of the sum never leaves the country. Also, any plausible deal will involve paying significant amounts to the EU budget in return for continued participation in science and security agreements. To continue to invoke this figure is shameless. That is not a partisan sentiment: the head of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, denounced Mr Johnson’s “clear misuse of official statistics”.

In the days that followed, the chief strategist of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings – who, as Simon Heffer writes in this week's New Statesman, is widely suspected of involvement in Mr Johnson’s article – added his voice. Brexit was a “shambles” so far, he claimed, because of the ineptitude of the civil service and the government’s decision to invoke Article 50 before outlining its own detailed demands.

There is a fine Yiddish word to describe this – chutzpah. Mr Johnson, like all the other senior members of Vote Leave in parliament, voted to trigger Article 50 in March. If he and his allies had concerns about this process, the time to speak up was then.

It has been clear for some time that Mr Johnson has no ideological attachment to Brexit. (During the referendum campaign, he wrote articles arguing both the Leave and Remain case, before deciding which one to publish – in the Telegraph, naturally.) However, every day brings fresh evidence that he and his allies are not interested in the tough, detailed negotiations required for such an epic undertaking. They will brush aside any concerns about our readiness for such a huge challenge by insisting that Brexit would be a success if only they were in charge of it.

This is unlikely. Constant reports emerge of how lightly Mr Johnson treats his current role. At a summit aiming to tackle the grotesque humanitarian crisis in Yemen, he is said to have astounded diplomats by joking: “With friends like these, who needs Yemenis?” The Foreign Secretary demeans a great office of state with his carelessness and posturing. By extension, he demeans our politics. 

This article first appeared in the 21 September 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The revenge of the left