Politics

Reshuffle: Mordaunt back as Boris Johnson reshuffles non-cabinet ministers

Penny MordauntImage copyright Reuters

Former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has made a return to the government, six months after being sacked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

She takes on the role of paymaster general, as part of Mr Johnson’s ongoing ministerial reshuffle.

James Brokenshire, another ex-cabinet member, becomes a Home Office minister.

James Cleverley is demoted from Conservative Party chairman to being a joint Foreign Office and international development minister.

Mr Johnson sacked a string of ministers from his cabinet and replaced them with new ones, before turning his attention to the lower and middle ranks of the government, who do not sit around the cabinet table.

It is the first such restructuring of his team since becoming prime minister last July, after which he fired Ms Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, from his top team.

Mr Brokenshire previously served in the cabinet as Northern Ireland secretary and housing, communities and local government secretary. He was also removed from the government when Mr Johnson entered Downing Street.

In his role as Conservative Party chairman, Mr Cleverley attended cabinet meetings. He is replaced by Amanda Milling, who was previously the government’s deputy chief whip.

Other appointments include Christopher Pincher as a housing, communities and local government minister and Andrew Stephenson as a transport minister.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Helen Whately becomes a health minister

Jeremy Quin becomes a defence minister, with Helen Whately becoming a health minister and Robin Walker a Northern Ireland minister.

Paul Scully has also been named minister for London, and both Chloe Smith and Lord True have become Cabinet Office ministers.

There had been rumours that the Department for International Development could be closed, but while it remains open, No 10 appears to have merged its ministerial team with the Foreign Office.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said there had been two joint ministers ahead of the reshuffle, but by the end of Thursday, there were seven joint posts across the two departments.

They include Baroness Sugg and Nigel Adams, with James Duddridge becoming a parliamentary under secretary (PUS) for both.

Lord Goldsmith adds a foreign affairs brief to his existing roles as a minister for the environment and international development.

Other appointees include:

  • Simon Clarke MP (communities department)
  • Greg Hands (international trade)
  • Michelle Donelan (education)
  • Caroline Dinenage (digital, culture, media and sport)
  • Kemi Badenoch (Treasury)
  • Chris Philp (Home Office)
  • Rachel Maclean (transport PUS)
  • Baroness Berridge (Education PUS)
  • Nigel Huddleston (digital, culture, media and sport PUS)

Earlier on Thursday, Sajid Javid shocked Westminster when he resigned as chancellor, saying he had “no option” after 10 Downing Street asked him to sack his advisers.

He was replaced by Rishi Sunak, who previously served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and became a minister for the first time in 2018.

Big names sacked from the cabinet included Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith.

As the reshuffle continues, Mr Johnson is expected to promote more female MPs to junior ministerial level with the aim of reaching a 50/50 gender balance.

Downing Street is likely to continue making announcements during Thursday evening.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51497160

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