Theresa May will be back in the Home Office. Photo: Getty
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Reshuffle: Who will be in David Cameron's new all-Conservative cabinet?

David Cameron has re-appointed some key figures, and reached out to his backbenchers, in forming the new Conservative majority government.

Tory government appointments so far...

George Osborne stays Chancellor and also appointed First Secretary of State.
Theresa May reappointed Home Secretary.
Philip Hammond remains as Foreign Secretary.
Michael Fallon reappointed Defence Secretary.
Michael Gove reshuffled from Chief Whip to Justice Secretary.
Chris Grayling reshuffled from Justice Secretary to Leader of the Commons.
Nicky Morgan stays as Education Secretary.
Mark Harper will be appointed Chief Whip.
Iain Duncan Smith remains Work and Pensions Secretary.
Baroness Stowell promoted to a full cabinet role as Leader of the House of Lords.
Amber Rudd promoted in the department from Climate Change Minister to Energy Secretary.
Boris Johnson will be Minister Without Portfolio.
Priti Patel moved from Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury to Employment Minister at the DWP (which will be a cabinet role).
John Whittingdale promoted from chair of the culture select committee to Culture Secretary.
Sajid Javid reshuffled from Culture Secretary to Business Secretary.
David Gauke moved from Financial Secretary to the Treasury to Pensions Minister.
Robert Halfon, formerly George Osborne's PPS, will be the party's Deputy Chairman.
Alistair Burt, reshuffled out of the Foreign Office in 2013, will become Health Minister.
Penny Mordaunt promoted to Defence Minister.
Mark Francois appointed to Communities and Local Government Minister.
Edward Timpson will become Minister for Children and Families.
Teresa Villiers remains as Northern Ireland Secretary.
Anna Soubry reshuffled from MoD to Minister for Small Business (attending cabinet).
Jeremy Hunt remains Health Secretary.
Greg Clark will be Communities and Local Government Secretary.
Liz Truss will remain Environment Secretary.
Patrick McLoughlin stays Transport Secretary.
Oliver Letwin will become a full member of Cabinet and will be in overall charge of the Cabinet Office.
Stephen Crabb continues as Welsh Secretary.
David Mundell promoted to Scottish Secretary.
Matt Hancock becomes Cabinet Office Minister (he will attend cabinet).
Ros Altman appointed Pensions Minister.
John Hayes assigned Security Minister at the Home Office.
Jo Johnson is Universities and Science Minister.
Philip Dunne promoted to Minister for Defence Procurement.
Nick Boles stays Skills Minister at BIS.
George Eustice appointed DEFRA Minister.


David Cameron has appointed existing top ministers to their positions in his new cabinet, with a few new faces.

After winning a majority of 12 (with 331 seats overall), the Prime Minister can now have an all-Conservative cabinet, with those pesky Lib Dems out of the way.

So, with such freedom and power, has he executed a drastic reshuffle? Not really.

'Steady as she goes' was essentially the Tory campaign message, and it has extended into the make-up of Cameron's next executive. He has re-appointed Theresa May as Home Secretary, George Osborne as Chancellor, Philip Hammond as Foreign Secretary, Michael Fallon as Defence Secretary, Nicky Morgan as Education Secretary, and Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary. Osborne has also been made First Secretary of State, which effectively makes him Cameron's deputy.

Cameron has made a few more appointments, but they're still mainly familiar faces. Michael Gove will become Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling will move to Leader of the House of Commons, and Mark Harper (former Immigration Minister) will be appointed Chief Whip. Boris Johnson, while he's still Mayor of London, will have a non-departmental, roving role as Minister without Portfolio.

While the legal community will be relieved to see Grayling shuffled out of the MoJ, Gove may not inspire them with much confidence. His drastic education reforms angered almost the entire British education establishment, and it's likely he will be just as ruthless with penal reform. He will preside over the Tories' policy of a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, a subject he has encountered as Education Secretary when dealing with the thorny issue of religion in schools.

If this sounds more like a shuffle then a reshuffle to you, watch out for new appointments over this week. The chairman of the influential backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, has revealed that the PM has made a "very open offer" to his backbenchers to give them a role in policy-making.

If we're, as I believe we are, getting a very open offer from the party leadership to seek to involve us in decision making and policy making then I'm sure colleagues will rise to that and try to respond in a constructive way . . . 

I hope that there will be a much wider conversation and starting much earlier in the policy development process, so that we ought to be able to anticipate problems and difficulties and work together to make sure that we can be as harmonious as possible in the obviously quite difficult confines of a very small parliamentary majority.

With such a slim majority, Cameron will have to be very careful to keep his backbenchers on side, particularly the right-wingers who caused such havoc for the government last parliament. I expect there will be some sort of symbolic cabinet appointment to reflect this.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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Expressions of sympathy for terror's victims may seem banal, but it's better than the alternative

Angry calls for "something to be done" play into terrorists' hands.

No sooner had we heard of the dreadful Manchester Arena bombing and before either the identity of the bomber or the number of dead were known, cries of “something must be done” echoed across social media and the airwaves. Katie Hopkins, the Mail Online columnist, called for “a final solution”, a tweet that was rapidly deleted, presumably after she remembered (or somebody explained to her) its connotations. The Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson wanted “a State of Emergency as France has” and “internment of thousands of terror suspects”, apparently unaware that the Nice attack, killing 86, happened after that emergency was declared and that nobody has been interned anyway.

It cannot be said too often that such responses play into terrorists’ hands, particularly if Isis was behind the Manchester bombing. The group’s aim is to convince Muslims in the West that they and their families cannot live in peace with the in-fidel and will be safe only if they join the group in establishing a caliphate. Journalists, striving for effect, often want to go beyond ­banal expressions of sympathy for ­victims. (It’s a mistake I, too, have sometimes made.) But occasionally the banal is the appropriate response.

Pity begins at home

Mark Twain, writing about the “terror” that followed the French Revolution and brought “the horror of swift death”, observed that there was another, older and more widespread, terror that brought “lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heartbreak”. The first, he wrote, we had been “diligently taught to shiver and mourn over”; the other we had never learned to see “in its vastness or pity as it deserves”.

That is true: more children across the world die each day from hunger or disease than could ever be killed in a terror attack. We should not forget them. Nor should we forget that the numbers killed in terrorist attacks in, for example, Baghdad far outnumber those killed in all European attacks of our times combined. In an age of globalisation, we should be more cosmopolitan in our sympathies but the immediacy of 24-hour news make us less so.

When all is said and done, however, pity, like charity, begins at home. We naturally grieve most over those with whom we share a country and a way of life. Most of us have been to concerts and some readers will have been to one at the Manchester Arena. We or our children could have been present.

Cheers from Highgate Cemetery

What a shame that Theresa May modified the Tory manifesto’s proposals on social care. For a few giddy days, she was proposing the most steeply progressive (or confiscatory, as the Tories would normally say) tax in history. True, it was only for those unfortunate enough to suffer conditions such as dementia, but the principle is what counts. It would have started at zero for those with assets of less than £100,000, 20 per cent for those with £120,000, 50 per cent for those worth £200,000, 99 per cent with those with £10m and so on, ad infinitum. Karl Marx would have been cheering from Highgate Cemetery.

Given that most people’s main asset – the value of their home – did not have to be sold to meet their care costs until death, this was in effect an inheritance tax. It had tantalising implications: to secure their inheritance, children of the rich would have had to care for their parents, possibly sacrificing careers and risking downward mobility, while the children of the poor could have dedicated themselves to seeking upward mobility.

The Tories historically favour, in John Major’s words, wealth cascading down the generations. In recent years they have all but abolished inheritance tax. Now they have unwittingly (or perhaps wittingly, who knows?) conceded that what they previously branded a “death tax” has some legitimacy. Labour, which proposes a National Care Service but optimistically expects “cross-party consensus” on how to finance it, should now offer the clarity about old age that many voters crave. Inheritance tax should be earmarked for the care service, which would be free at the point of use, and it should be levied on all estates worth (say) £100,000 at progressive rates (not rising above even 50 per cent, never mind 99 per cent) that yield sufficient money to fund it adequately.

Paul Dacre’s new darling

Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor, is in love again. “At last, a PM not afraid to be honest with you,” proclaimed the paper’s front page on Theresa May’s manifesto. Though the Mail has previously argued that to make old people use housing wealth to fund care is comparable to the slaughter of the first-born, an editorial said that her honesty was exemplified by the social care proposals.

On the morning of the very day that May U-turned, the Mail columnist Dominic Lawson offered a convoluted defence of the failure to cap what people might pay. Next day, with a cap announced, the Mail hailed “a PM who’s listening”.

Dacre was previously in love with Gordon Brown, though not to the extent of recommending a vote for him. What do Brown and May have in common? Patriotism, moral values, awkward social manners, lack of metropolitan glitz and, perhaps above all, no evident sense of humour. Those are the qualities that win Paul Dacre’s heart.

Sobering up

Much excitement in the Wilby household about opinion polls that show Labour reducing the Tories’ enormous lead to, according to YouGov, “only” 9 percentage points. I find myself babbling about ­“Labour’s lead”. “What are you talking about?” my wife asks. When I come to my senses, I realise that my pleasure at the prospect, after seven years of Tory austerity, of limiting the Tories’ majority to 46 – more than Margaret Thatcher got in 1979 – is a measure of my sadly diminished expectations. l

Peter Wilby was editor of the Independent on Sunday from 1995 to 1996 and of the New Statesman from 1998 to 2005. He writes the weekly First Thoughts column for the NS.

This article first appeared in the 25 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Why Islamic State targets Britain

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