Cabinet appointments: Theresa May makes more changes in most drastic reshuffle ever

Dominic Raab, the former Justice minister, is among the latest casualties

Click to follow
Indy Politics

More ministers have been axed, and others shifted new jobs, in one of the most drastic changes to a government line up ever carried out by any Prime Minister

Dominic Raab, the former Justice minister, a leading light of the Brexit campaign and highly regarded on the right wing of the Tory party, is among the latest casualties. As a Justice minister, he took the lead in proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act to replace it with a British Bill of Rights. He was also prominent backer of Michael Gove’s failed attempt to become Tory leader. He goes to the back to the back benches.

Two former allies of the ex-Chancellor George Osborne will be relieved to have survived in office despite the humiliatingly public sacking of their former mentor. Matt Hancock is appointed minister for digital policy as the Department for Culture, and Greg Hands becomes a minister in the Department for International Trade.

Brandon Lewis, a key ally in Mrs May’s leadership campaign, is minister for policing at the Home Office. Mike Penning, who served under Theresa May at the Home Office as police minister has moved to the Defence department.

One of those axed by Mrs May appeared to go with good humour. Hugo Swire, an Old Etonian foreign minister, tweeted on Friday “Not a good time to be a Cameroon. The tumbrils are rolling.” The next day, he announced his own sacking with a phot of the Looney Tunes sign off ‘That’s all Folks’.

Others showed signs that they do not intend to go quietly. Baroness Altman, a pensions expert axed from the Work and Pensions minister to make way for Penny Mordaunt, a prominent backer of Andrea Leadsom’s leadership campaign, sent Mrs May a resignation letter complaining that “over the past year, short-term political considerations, exacerbated by the EU referendum, have inhibited good policy-making.”

Anna Soubry, a star of the pro-EU wing of the party, who was a business minister whose seniority gave her the right to attend Cabinet, announced via Twitter that she was leaving the government and would be speaking out on “the positive benefits of immigration and the EU.”