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Female representation in Cabinet falls after PM’s reshuffle

The number of women attending the meeting of Boris Johnson’s top team is down from eight to seven.

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Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey (PA)

Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey (PA)

Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey (PA)

The number of women attending Cabinet has fallen after Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

Out of 26 ministers attending the meeting of the PM’s top team, just seven are women – down from eight – and there are fewer women in the most senior roles.

This equates to women filling 27% of Cabinet positions.

Andrea Leadsom, Theresa Villiers and Esther McVey were all sacked in Thursday’s remoulding of the Cabinet, while former culture secretary Baroness Morgan left her role.

Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Therese Coffey and Baroness Evans kept their jobs – and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Amanda Milling and Suella Braverman were promoted.

Mrs Trevelyan has been appointed International Development Secretary, Ms Milling will now be Conservative Party chairman and minister without portfolio and Mrs Braverman has been made Attorney General, attending Cabinet.

  • Sajid Javid resigned as chancellor
  • Julian Smith was sacked as Northern Ireland secretary
  • Andrea Leadsom was sacked as business secretary
  • Theresa Villiers lost her job as environment secretary
  • Geoffrey Cox was sacked as attorney general
  • Esther McVey lost her job as housing minister

But the posts of Business Secretary, Environment Secretary and Culture Secretary were all given to men.

The total number of ministers attending Cabinet has shrunk from 32 to 26.

Meanwhile, analysis by the Sutton Trust suggested almost two-thirds of the Cabinet (62%) attended independent schools – more than twice the proportion of Theresa May’s 2016 cabinet.

The education charity said 31% of Mr Johnson’s new Cabinet went to a comprehensive school – up from 27% in 2019, while 8% attended a grammar school.

Half of the Cabinet studied at the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, compared to 27% of all Conservative MPs.

Today’s findings underline how unevenly spread the opportunities are to enter the elites and this is something Boris Johnson must addressSir Peter Lampl, Sutton Trust

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “December’s election led to a seismic shift in the political landscape.

“The falling of the red wall means Conservative MPs now represent a much more diverse range of constituencies than before, with constituents from many different socio-economic backgrounds.

“Yet in terms of educational background, the make-up of Johnson’s cabinet is still over 60% from independent schools.

“Today’s findings underline how unevenly spread the opportunities are to enter the elites and this is something Boris Johnson must address.”

PA