The new cabinet: who’s made it in?

All the new cabinet posts as they come in.

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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

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Scotland's vast deficit remains an obstacle to independence

Though the country's financial position has improved, independence would still risk severe austerity. 

For the SNP, the annual Scottish public spending figures bring good and bad news. The good news, such as it is, is that Scotland's deficit fell by £1.3bn in 2016/17. The bad news is that it remains £13.3bn or 8.3 per cent of GDP – three times the UK figure of 2.4 per cent (£46.2bn) and vastly higher than the white paper's worst case scenario of £5.5bn. 

These figures, it's important to note, include Scotland's geographic share of North Sea oil and gas revenue. The "oil bonus" that the SNP once boasted of has withered since the collapse in commodity prices. Though revenue rose from £56m the previous year to £208m, this remains a fraction of the £8bn recorded in 2011/12. Total public sector revenue was £312 per person below the UK average, while expenditure was £1,437 higher. Though the SNP is playing down the figures as "a snapshot", the white paper unambiguously stated: "GERS [Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland] is the authoritative publication on Scotland’s public finances". 

As before, Nicola Sturgeon has warned of the threat posed by Brexit to the Scottish economy. But the country's black hole means the risks of independence remain immense. As a new state, Scotland would be forced to pay a premium on its debt, resulting in an even greater fiscal gap. Were it to use the pound without permission, with no independent central bank and no lender of last resort, borrowing costs would rise still further. To offset a Greek-style crisis, Scotland would be forced to impose dramatic austerity. 

Sturgeon is undoubtedly right to warn of the risks of Brexit (particularly of the "hard" variety). But for a large number of Scots, this is merely cause to avoid the added turmoil of independence. Though eventual EU membership would benefit Scotland, its UK trade is worth four times as much as that with Europe. 

Of course, for a true nationalist, economics is irrelevant. Independence is a good in itself and sovereignty always trumps prosperity (a point on which Scottish nationalists align with English Brexiteers). But if Scotland is to ever depart the UK, the SNP will need to win over pragmatists, too. In that quest, Scotland's deficit remains a vast obstacle. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.