Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet ministers: Who’s in and who’s out?

 Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet ministers: Who’s in and who’s out?

Boris Johnson has carried out a long-awaited shake-up of his top team to create a “strong and united” Cabinet following the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister shuffled his front bench late into Wednesday evening in a shake-up that saw Liz Truss appointed the first female Conservative Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab demoted and Gavin Williamson sacked.

On Thursday the changes continued with a steady stream of ministers being sacked, reshuffled and promoted from the morning to early evening, including the sackings of financial secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, and culture minister, John Whittingdale.

The changes mean that two of the great offices of state are now held by women after Ms Truss was promoted from international trade secretary and Priti Patel kept her role of Home Secretary. 

Mr Johnson said: “The Cabinet I have appointed will work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country. We will build back better from the pandemic and deliver on your priorities.

“Now let’s get on with the job.”

Who is out?

Dominic Raab

Downing Street confirmed Dominic Raab’s demotion from foreign secretary to Justice Secretary.

The former foreign secretary was widely tipped to be demoted from what is one of the four great offices of state because of his handling of the Afghanistan crisis, including the thousands of former Afghan staff feared to have been left behind after the Taliban takeover.

Dominic Raab arriving in Downing Street, London, as Boris Johnson carried out a Cabinet reshuffle

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

He was on holiday in Crete as the Taliban swept across the country and was seen relaxing on a beach on the Greek island as members of the militant group entered Kabul, although he insisted he was in touch with officials and ministerial colleagues.

Boris Johnson’s decision to move the Esher and Walton MP to the Ministry of Justice from the Foreign Office marks a setback in Mr Raab’s ambitions.

However, the former foreign secretary said he was “delighted” to become Justice Secretary after being demoted from the Foreign Office.

He tweeted: “I am delighted to be appointed Justice Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister, delivering on the PM’s commitment to cut crime, reduce reoffending and protect the public.”

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson was the first to leave Mr Johnson’s Cabinet from his post as Education Secretary.

He said it “has been a privilege to serve as Education Secretary” and that he “looks forward to continuing to support the Prime Minister and the Government”.

He added: “Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I’m particularly proud of the transformational reforms I’ve led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships and more.

“This programme will create better life opportunities for pupils and students for many years to come. I look forward to continuing to support the Prime Minster and the government.”

Mr Williamson has served as the Education Secretary since 2019.

Former education secretary Gavin Williamson

Credit: Anthony Upton

Mr Williamson’s performance in the education brief had left him vulnerable after widespread criticism over his handling of his departmental responsibilities during the Covid-19 crisis.

He was one of the ministers deemed most at risk of being told to return to the backbenches, particularly due to the GCSE and A-level results fiasco amid cancelled exams.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Gavin Williamson has played a key role in transforming the skills agenda as we create a high wage and high-skilled economy, providing a lifetime skills guarantee for millions across the country. 

“The Prime Minister is grateful for his loyalty and service.”

Robert Buckland

Robert Buckland has said it is “on to the next adventure” after being sacked as Justice Secretary during Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

He tweeted: “It has been an honour to serve in Government for the last 7 years, and as the Lord Chancellor for the last 2.

“I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure.”

The courts system has been under huge strain during the pandemic, but a specific reason for his departure was unclear.

The Conservative MP said his time as justice secretary was “particularly challenging owing to the Covid pandemic” but said he was “particularly proud” that Britain was “one of the first countries to restart jury trials” following the coronavirus shutdown.

Former justice secretary Robert Buckland


A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Robert Buckland has made a huge contribution to government as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, including making our streets safer through significant reforms to sentencing and tackling reoffending. 

“The Prime Minister is grateful for his hard work and dedication.”

Sir Bob Neill, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons Justice Committee, criticised Mr Buckland’s exit, saying: “You deserved better.”

“You did a first-rate job and, importantly, always stood up for the rule of law and the integrity of the justice system,” Sir Bob added.

Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick said it had been a “huge privilege” to serve as Housing Secretary as he confirmed his exit, saying he will “continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can”.

He added: “Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved.”

His sacking from Mr Johnson’s top team followed controversies including the unlawful approval of a Tory donor’s housing development and his eyebrow-raising journeys during lockdown.

Former housing secretary Robert Jenrick

Credit: Anadolu Agency

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Robert Jenrick has led crucial work over the last two years, most importantly driving reforms to build more houses so home ownership becomes a reality for many more people. 

“The Prime Minister is grateful for his drive and commitment.”

Amanda Milling

Amanda Milling has been sacked as Conservative Party co-chair.

“It’s been a privilege and an honour to be the co-chairman of the Conservative Party,” she said.

“Thank you to the voluntary party and the team at CCHQ for their support.”

She thanked Boris Johnson for the opportunity, adding “I will continue working to deliver on our plans to level up the UK”.

Amanda Milling appeared to confirm she had been sacked as Conservative Party co-chair

Credit: Anadolu Agency

John Whittingdale

John Whittingdale, the former media minister, has been sacked.

Mr Whittingdale had pushed for a change to the BBC’s funding model in his tenure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and supported the privatisation of Channel 4.

His departure means that Nadine Dorries, the new Culture Secretary, will have a new junior minister in her team.

John Whittingdale has been sacked

Nick Gibb 

Schools minister Nick Gibb joins Gavin Williamson on the backbenches. He tweeted: “I am sad not to be continuing as schools minister. It has been a privilege to play a part in helping improve the life chances of the next generation.”

Luke Hall

Luke Hall, who revealed on Wednesday evening he had been shown the door by Boris Johnson, leaves his job as minister of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

He tweeted: “Grateful to the excellent team in MHCLG and particularly my superb Private Office. Looking forward to supporting the Government from the backbenches.”

Jesse Norman

Jesse Norman will depart his role as financial secretary to the Treasury. 

Justin Tomlinson

Justin Tomlinson will no longer be a minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Caroline Dinenage

Caroline Dinenage has been relieved of her position as minister of state at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Who is in?

Liz Truss

Liz Truss, former trade secretary, has been appointed the new Foreign Secretary after the demotion of Dominic Raab.

She also remains minister for women and equalities.

Ms Truss has been rewarded after being seen to have made a success of her international trade secretary post.

While the Government faced tough headlines about deadlock in the negotiations with the European Union during the Brexit transition period, the South West Norfolk MP made steady work of rolling over a host of trade deals for the UK.

A much-coveted trade deal with the US might have eluded her, but the 46-year-old won plaudits in the Conservative Party for securing new terms with Japan and Australia, while a New Zealand agreement is said to be nearing completion.

Former international trade secretary Liz Truss

Nadhim Zahawi

Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed as the new Education Secretary.

The former vaccines minister had been widely tipped for a promotion following his successful handling of Britain’s vaccination programme.

After being appointed to the role, Mr Zahawi said education is a “crucial part” of the Government’s levelling-up agenda, adding it is an “honour” to be appointed Secretary of State.

He said: “Children and young people have had a tough time during this pandemic and I’ll be listening to them and their families as we accelerate our work to build back better and fairer.

“From my own experience, I know what a beacon of opportunity this country can be and I want all children, young people and adults to have access to a brilliant education, the right qualifications and opportunities to secure good jobs.

“That’s both vital for them and also our economy, and is more important now than ever before.”

Nadhim Zahawi arriving in Downing Street as Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Michael Gove

The former Cabinet Office minister has been appointed as the new Housing Secretary.

Downing Street said he would also retain responsibility for the Union, another major role with Nicola Sturgeon fighting for Scottish independence.

Mr Gove will also take on responsibility for Boris Johnson’s flagship “levelling up” agenda.

Steve Barclay has been appointed to replace Mr Gove as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office minister.

Michael Gove arrives in Downing Street, London

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been promoted to International Trade Secretary, replacing Liz Truss, who has become the Foreign Secretary.

The minister has sat at Cabinet before, as she was previously the international development secretary but lost her job when her department was merged with the Foreign Office.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan arrives in Downing Street

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Oliver Dowden

Former culture secretary Oliver Dowden appears to be moving to CCHQ, where he will take the reins as party chairman, replacing Amanda Milling. 

He is also being made a minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office.

The Culture Secretary role has been taken by Nadine Dorries.

Oliver Dowden arrives in Downing Street on September 15

Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries said she is “very” happy with her new role as Culture Secretary as she left Number 10.

When asked if she was happy with the job, the former health minister and star of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here replied: “Very.”

The 64-year-old’s brief foray into reality television and her rather more successful side-hustle as a best-selling author will demonstrate some real experience within the entertainment business.

However, previous comments on the arts might alarm those within the industry, particularly her 2017 lament at what she perceived as the impact of “left-wing snowflakes” on culture.

She wrote: “Left wing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. 

“Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next.”

Former health minister Nadine Dorries arriving at Downing Street

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt, a former Defence Secretary, has been moved to the Department of International Trade, from her previous role as a Cabinet Office minister. 

Ms Mordaunt was a Cabinet minister in two departments under Theresa May, but has only served as a junior minister since Boris Johnson’s premiership. That may be explained by her vocal support of Jeremy Hunt, Mr Johnson’s main rival, in the Tory leadership election of 2019.

She takes a job under Anne Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary and former defence minister.

Penny Mordaunt has been moved to the Department of International Trade


Greg Hands

Greg Hands, the former trade minister, has been moved to the Department of Business.

Mr Hands has vacated Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s old job, who in turn has moved to his former department.

Greg Hands has been moved to the Business Department

Thursday’s movers

Robin Walker – was Northern Ireland minister, now schools minister 

Penny Mordaunt – was paymaster general, now trade minister

Nigel Adams – was foreign office minister, no cabinet office minister

Julia Lopez – was cabinet office junior minister, now media minister 

Victoria Prentis – was junior environment minister, now environment minister

Greg Hands – was trade minister, now business minister 

Kemi Badenoch – was treasury and equalities minister, now foreign, housing and equalities minister

Helen Whately – was social care minister, now treasury minister 

Michael Ellis – was solicitor general, now paymaster general 

Lucy Fraser – was justice minister, now financial secretary to the treasury 

Victoria Atkins – was home office minister, now justice and Afghan resettlement minister

Gillian Keegan – was education minister, now health minister

Lee Rowley – was deputy conservative chairman, now junior business minister and government whip 

Neil O’Brien – was prime minister’s levelling up tsar, now junior housing minister 

Maggie Throup – was government whip, now junior health minister 

Amanda Solloway – was junior business minister, now government whip 

Alex Chalk – was assistant whip and junior justice minister, now solicitor general 

Chloe Smith, was cabinet office minister, now work and pensions minister

Conor Burns – was backbench MP, now Northern Ireland minister

Who’s staying put?

Priti Patel

Priti Patel has said it is “a huge privilege” to remain at the Home Office amid Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

“A huge privilege to continue serving as Home Secretary under our Prime Minister Boris Johnson,” she tweeted.

“There is still so much more to do to deliver for the British people. Tackling illegal migration, cutting crime and continuing to keep our great country safe.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel leaves Number 10 Downing Street, London, amid a cabinet reshuffle

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Sajid Javid

Health Secretary Sajid Javid will remain in post, No 10 has confirmed.

Mr Javid was promoted to the role in June following Matt Hancock quitting the Cabinet after confirming he had broken coronavirus rules in his relations with an aide.

He said he was “very pleased” to stay in post as Health Secretary.

After the confirmation that he had kept his job in Boris Johnson’s ministerial shake-up, Mr Javid tweeted: “Very pleased to see the job through at the Department of Health and Social Care – my toughest yet.

“I’m absolutely determined to get our country through the pandemic, tackle the backlogs and deliver lasting reforms to health and social care.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid arriving at 10 Downing Street

Credit: Alberto Pezzali/AP

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has remained in his post as Chancellor, Downing Street said during Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak


Grant Shapps

There will be no change at the top of the Department for Transport, Downing Street said, with Grant Shapps continuing in his post as Transport Secretary.

Mr Shapps said “of course” he is pleased to remain as Transport Secretary as he left No 10.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps arriving at Downing Street as Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet

Credit: Stefan Rousseau

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace will remain in his post as Defence Secretary, No 10 has said.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace arrives at 10 Downing Street


Kwasi Kwarteng 

Kwasi Kwarteng said he will be continuing as Business Secretary following Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

The Business Secreatry arriving at No 10

Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma remains as Cop26 president, Downing Street said.

Mr Sharma has spent the past eight months flying around the world securing international cooperation on measures to be agreed at this year’s United Nations climate change conference.

Britain’s President for COP26 Alok Sharma arriving at Downing Street

Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Cabinet-level changes have taken place today, but the shake-up of more junior ministerial ranks will continue on Thursday.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson understands “the importance of having a diverse Cabinet”, and with Liz Truss taking over at the Foreign Office and with Priti Patel remaining at the Home Office, two of the great offices of state are now held by women. 

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