Men hold all four great offices of state for first time since Tories elected

Only eight women have ever served in one of the roles.

PA Reporters
Monday 13 November 2023 15:41 GMT
Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron hold two of the great offices of state (PA)
Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron hold two of the great offices of state (PA)

The four great offices of state are being held by privately educated men for the first time since the Tories came to power more than a decade ago following Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Former prime minister Lord Cameron has been appointed Foreign Secretary while his predecessor James Cleverly has taken over from Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, with Jeremy Hunt remaining as Chancellor.

The changes mean that for the first time since the Conservatives won the 2010 election, there are no women occupying any of the four most senior positions in Cabinet.

Three of the office-holders – Prime Minister Mr Sunak, Mr Hunt and Lord Cameron – graduated with first class honours in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) from the University of Oxford.

All four were educated at either public or private school, while two – Mr Sunak, who has Indian heritage, and Mr Cleverly, who has West African heritage – are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Only eight women have ever served in one of the roles – Margaret Thatcher as prime minister, Margaret Beckett as foreign secretary, Jacqui Smith as home secretary, Theresa May as both home secretary and PM, Amber Rudd as home secretary followed by Priti Patel and Ms Braverman and Liz Truss as foreign secretary and PM.

No woman has yet held the role of chancellor.

The Truss ministry was notable for initially having no white men serving in the great offices of state for the first time in British political history, with Kwasi Kwarteng becoming the first black chancellor.

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