Charley Sambridge, account director
New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has kept Jeremy Hunt as his Chancellor and appointed MPs from all wings of the Conservative Party to his top table after he pledged to build a “big tent” Cabinet to bring unity and stability to government.
In a reshuffle that Downing Street claimed would provide “continuity” in “uncertain times”, Sunak reappointed almost a third of the Cabinet to the same jobs they held under Truss. He also brought back key figures including Michael Gove and Dominic Raab to the roles they held under Boris Johnson earlier this year.
Sunak did, however, seek to draw a line under the ill-fated Truss administration by removing less experienced operators from Cabinet and replacing them with accomplished former Ministers – including Andrew Mitchell, who last held a government role under David Cameron in 2012.
One of the most controversial appointments was the return of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. She resigned just days ago from the role after a security breach, but rowed in behind Sunak’s leadership campaign over the weekend, a move seen as a massive boost for his prospects as it represented support from the right wing of the party.
Nine ministers resigned or were sacked yesterday, including Kit Malthouse, the Education Secretary. Wendy Morton, the Chief whip, and Jake Berry, the Party Chairman, were also replaced. Meanwhile, Sunak refused to offer any kind of promotion to his defeated leadership rival, Penny Mordaunt.
The most striking takeaway from the assembly of this Cabinet is that, whereas Truss’s reflected a determination to run the government with a narrow group of ideologically aligned MPs, Sunak’s appointments of the same people show his desire to reach out to those who previously opposed him.
Despite a relatively positive reception so far, there’s still a long way to go for Sunak and his party to make up ground on Labour in the polls. But a more experienced team drawn from across the parliamentary party is a step in the right direction.
Find Out More
November 20, 2023
November 15, 2023