ONE of the first actions by Liz Truss was to sweep out senior ministers loyal to her rival Rishi Sunak and install a Cabinet featuring more hardline Brexiteers.

Behind the scenes, the new Prime Minister has also appointed a raft of advisers in her Downing Street team who have a background in right wing think tanks and lobby firms.

The SNP described the appointment of her new chief economic guru Matthew Sinclair, known for his previous involvement in the Taxpayers’ Alliance, as being like “putting a python in charge of the family’s pet hamster”.

Here, we look at the background of some key players in Truss’s top team.

Mark Fullbrook – chief of staff

The National: Mark FullbrookMark Fullbrook

A POLITICAL strategist who has a long-standing involvement in Tory campaigning dating back to the John Major years and is known for running Boris Johnson’s successful leadership bid in 2019. He is reported to have played a key role in winning over Tory MPs during the party’s leadership contest to cement her frontrunner status.

He has also worked for decades with Lynton Crosby, the electoral strategist and businessman who was controversially handed a knighthood after helping the Conservatives win a majority in the 2015 election.

Fullbrook was a co-founder of strategy firm Crosby Textor Fullbrook Partners (CTF) until he left earlier this year, according to a report in Open Democracy, which also said that the firm is a registered lobbyist for British American Tobacco on “issues impacting domestic tobacco industry” and has “run a “covert

campaign globally for the coal industry, and against renewable energy”.

Ruth Porter – deputy chief of staff


ONCE an adviser to Truss from her time as justice secretary, she has been brought into the new Prime Minister’s team. She was previously the communications director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) a right-wing think tank which does not declare its funders and has also formerly worked for the Policy Exchange, another think tank, whose founders in 2002 included two Conservative MPs and whose first chairman was Michael Gove.

In 2012 in her IEA role, she wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal attacking the scale of the public sector in Scotland stating: “This not only drags on the private economy, it also makes it hard to imagine how the Scottish state could ever survive if sundered from subsidies from other UK taxpayers.”

In another article a year later on behalf of the think-tank, which looked at how Margaret Thatcher would deal with current problems, argued that Thatcher would have “pulled back the reach of the state to help make life more affordable for families.”

Matthew Sinclair – chief economic adviser

The National: Matthew Sinclair Matthew Sinclair

THE SNP said that during his time at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, the organisation had “made repeated attacks over Scottish public spending and also spread the myth of Scotland being subsidised”.

In 2012, Sinclair commented that the Barnett formula means “means higher spending in Scotland at the expense of taxpayers in the rest of the country.”

A report published by the think tank in 2008 said: “The Barnett Formula has a troubled history and has failed to address the extremely unfair situation of English taxpayers heavily subsiding Scotland.”

Concerns have also been raised over Sinclair’s views on climate change, writing a book in 2011 called Let Them Eat Carbon, in which he argued green taxes and subsidies were a threat to family finances.

He wrote a blog, published on the Conservative Home website, which called for the abolition of more public sector bodies to save cash, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and for

Whitehall to be scaled back.

Caroline Elsom – health adviser


AN ex-adviser to Therese Coffey – who is now Health Secretary – at the Department for Work and Pensions, Elsom began her Westminster career at the Centre for Policy Studies, whose co-founders included Margaret Thatcher and which has previously criticised green action.

After Truss announced her energy plans last week, the Centre for Policy Studies said the cost of the price freeze will be “eye-watering”, but it praised the government for “resisting the pressure for a windfall tax that would have damaged the very investment we need to secure energy independence in the long term”.

Sophie Jarvis – political secretary


Another appointment who was previously an adviser to Truss, when she was Secretary of State for International Trade and then in the Foreign Office. She was previously head of government affairs at the Adam Smith Institute, a think tank which is credited with inspiring some of the most controversial privatisations during the eras of Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Jason Stein – special adviser


ANOTHER former Truss adviser returning, he prepared the new PM for debates during the leadership contest. Before that, he was the communications secretary to Prince Andrew – but reportedly left after the Duke of York apparently ignored his advice not to do the disastrous Panorama interview over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.