Last week Theresa May set about making her Cabinet with some surprising appointments

Newly Appointed:


  • Chancellor of the Exchequer — Philip Hammond

His new job entails raising revenue through taxation or borrowing, controlling public spending and overall responsibility for the work of the Treasury. Hammond was Foreign Secretary under David Cameron from 2014 to 2016. He previously served as both Defence and Transport secretaries. He campaigned for Remain before the referendum, but was previously seen as a Eurosceptic believing that withdrawal from the EU would be necessary if it did not reform.


  • Foreign Secretary — Boris Johnson

Johnson takes over Hammond’s previous role, putting him in charge of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, particularly focusing on policy strategy, Whitehall liaisons, honours and cyber security. He did not have a ministerial appointment in Cameron’s Cabinet, but had accepted May’s invitation to participate in this one. He is very well known for being the face of the Leave campaign.


  • Home Secretary — Amber Rudd

Rudd is filling the vacancy that Mrs May left, and in that position she will be responsible for all Home Office business, including security and terrorism, the legislative programme and expenditure issues. She served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to previous Chancellor George Osborne, before being promoted to Junior Minister at the Energy and Climate Change department in 2014. She was a Remain campaigner.


  • Defence Secretary — Michael Fallon

Fallon will be in charge of directing operational strategy, defence planning, programme and resource allocation, international relations — including lead for the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO) — defence exports policy, the nuclear programme and communications. He is a former Conservative Party Deputy Chairman, and he was previously Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, and Energy and Business Minister. He described himself as a ‘pretty reluctant Remainer’ after the EU Referendum.


  • Secretary of State for Exiting the EU — David Davis

Davis’ position is an entirely new one that May has created. He will head a new Brexit department that will likely be leading the negotiations for Britain’s departure from the EU and separating EU rules from British law. Davis was previously a Conservative Party chairman, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, and the Shadow Home Secretary between 2003 and 2008. He was a Leave campaigner.


  • Secretary of State for International Trade — Liam Fox

Fox has also been placed in a newly created position. He was previously secretary of state for defence in 2010 but resigned in 2011 after he was alleged to have given lobbyist Adam Werritty, a close friend, access to the Ministry of Defence and allowed him to join an official trip overseas. He stood unsuccessfully for Conservative Party leadership in 2005 and again in the latest race. He is a Leave campaigner,


  • Justice Secretary — Liz Truss

Truss will have oversight of all of Ministry of Justice business. This includes overall strategy and delivery of particular priority programmes as well as functions of the Lord Chancellor; EU and international business; corporate services; public appointments; judicial policy, including pay; also pensions and diversity. She will likewise be tasked with making improvements to the criminal justice and prison system. Her previous appointments include Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare in September 2012, and serving as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from July 2014 until this month. She was a Remain campaigner.


  • Educational Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities — Justine Greening

Greening will be responsible for the Department for Education which includes adoption and child protection, early years, the school curriculum, teachers’ pay, school improvement and the establishment of academies and free schools. As Minister of Women and Equalities she will be responsible for policy on women, policy on sexual orientation and transgender equality, as well as cross-government equality strategy and legislation. Most recently she has served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Transport, and Secretary for International Development. She was a Remain campaigner.


  • Conservative Party Chairman and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster — Patrick McLoughlin

As Chancellor, McLoughlin is in overall charge of the Cabinet office. He will be advising Mrs May on how to implement government policy, coordinating constitutional reform, and he is responsible for the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure, and reducing regulatory burdens through the Red Tape Challenge. Most recently, McLoughlin has served as the Chief Whip in the opposition party from 2005 to 2010, then as Chief WHip in the Coalition Government from 2010 to 2012, then as Secretary of State for Transport from 2012 until this month. He was a Remain campaigner.


  • Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) —

The Chief Whip of a party is responsible for ensuring that members of the party attend and vote in Parliament as the party leadership desires. Williamson is a Conservative MP for South Staffordshire since 2010. He was a Remain campaigner.


  • Health Secretary — Jeremy Hunt

Despite rumours, Jeremy Hunt will be remaining as Health Secretary — the role he has occupied since 2012. He has overall financial control and oversight of all NHS delivery and performance. He was a Remain campaigner.


  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary — Andrea Leadsom

Leadsom will be responsible for EU and international relations, emergencies, and departmental administration within the Department. She served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 2014 to 2015 when she moved to Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, where she served until this month. She was runner-up in the Conservative leadership race until she dropped out last Monday, allowing May to rise to become Prime Minister. She was a Leave campaigner.


  • Transport Secretary — Chris Grayling

As head of the Department for Transport Grayling will be responsible for transport strategy, including economic growth and climate change, spending review, transport security and the high-speed rail. He was Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice from 2012 to 2015, when he moved to Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons until this month. He was a Leave campaigner and May’s leadership campaign chief.


  • Work and Pensions Secretary — Damian Green

He is responsible for the administration of the State Pension and working age benefits system. He previously served as an Immigration Minister and Justice Secretary in the Coalition Government, but has been on the backbenches since 2014. He was a Remain campaigner.


  • Communities Secretary — Sajid Javid

He is responsible for the strategic direction of the Department for Communities and Local Government, which includes leadership of the department and Troubled Families. He moved from Business Secretary to this department. He was a Remain campaigner.


  • Leader of the House of Lords — Baroness Evans

She will be responsible for the organisation of Government business in the House, providing assistance to Lords and advising on procedure. This is her first ministerial role since being ennobled by Cameron in 2014.


Those Who Have Been Replaced:


  • Chancellor — George Osborne

Osborne has been in the Treasury since 2010 — all throughout David Cameron’s tenure.


  • Justice Secretary — Michael Gove

Gove has served as Justice Secretary and Education Secretary under Cameron, and as Chief Whip. He campaigned for Leave alongside Boris Johnson, but withdrew his support from Johnson as prime minister candidate and ran by himself unsuccessfully.


  • Education Secretary — Nicky Morgan

Morgan replaced Michael Gove as Education Secretary in 2014. She campaigned for Remain, and considered running in the Conservative leadership contest, but ultimately supported Gove.


  • Culture Secretary — John Whittingdale

Whittingdale stepped down from his role, and it is not known yet who will replace him.


  • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster — Oliver Letwin

Letwin also stepped down from his role.


  • Work and Pensions Secretary — Stephen Crabb

Crabb resigned from Government ‘in the best interests’ of his family. He was also a contender in the Conservative leadership race, losing out to May.


  • Chief Whip — Mark Harper

Left his post to return to the backbenches.




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