Theresa May seeks to bolster position with ‘deputy PM’ role for Damian Green
The Prime Minister is reshuffling her Cabinet ministers following the snap election.
Theresa May has sought to bolster her position following last week’s disastrous showing at the General Election, effectively making one of her closest Cabinet allies deputy prime minister.
Damian Green, who was the work and pensions secretary, becomes First Secretary of State – a title held by William Hague under David Cameron – as well as Minister for the Cabinet Office.
In other moves David Gauke – who was the Treasury chief secretary and has long been regarded as one of the Government’s strongest performers – is promoted to take over at the Department for Work and Pensions.
David Lidington, the leader of the Commons, also gets a step up as the new Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary.
He replaces Liz Truss who becomes Treasury Chief Secretary “attending Cabinet”, in a move that will be seen as a demotion.
There had been speculation she could be axed altogether following fierce criticism from the judiciary over her failure to speak out in support of judges who were criticised over the Article 50 High Court ruling.
The decision to keep her in the Government will be seen as an indication of Mrs May’s weakness following the loss of her Commons majority in the General Election.
The Prime Minister had already announced that her five most senior ministers – including Chancellor Philip Hammond and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – were carrying on in their current positions.
Mr Hammond in particular had been widely tipped for the chop in a post-election reshuffle and the announcement that he was carrying on at the Treasury underlined her limited room for manoeuvre.
A number of other ministers were confirmed in their existing positions including International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Welsh Secretary Alan Cairns.
Ms Greening, who stays at Education despite differences with Mrs May over the Prime Minister’s flagship programme for more grammar schools in England, told reporters she was “very happy” to be carrying on as she left No 10.
Jeremy Hunt also continues as Health Secretary, despite having become a hate figure for many in the NHS.
Gavin Williamson, who has been in Belfast conducting negotiations with the Democratic Unionists on supporting a minority Conservative Government, remains as Chief Whip.
Chris Grayling continues as the Transport Secretary, No 10 said.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel continues in her position.
No 10 said that James Brokenshire would be continuing as Northern Ireland Secretary.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom becomes the new Leader of the Commons while Karen Bradley continues as Culture Secretary.