RISHI Sunak reshuffled his Cabinet on Monday with several ministers switching positions or leaving the frontbenches entirely.

Suella Braverman was the first victim as she was sacked as home secretary on the back of criticising the Metropolitan Police’s handling of pro-Palestinian marches in The Times.

As she departed, now ex-foreign secretary James Cleverly was drafted in to replace her just ahead of a crucial Supreme Court judgement this week on the Government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The most shocking news of the day, however, was yet to come in the shape of ex-prime minister David Cameron returning to Government.

Cameron has been named Foreign Secretary despite not being an MP anymore. In order to fulfil his duties, the Tory grandee will be made a life peer.

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The move has sparked outrage across Scotland, given Cameron was the man who instigated the Brexit referendum which subsequently saw Scotland dragged out of the EU against its will.

SNP MP Mhairi Black said the nation will be “appalled” while ex-first minister, and now Alba leader, Alex Salmond said it was a sign Brexit had been an “expensive and desultory disaster”.

Cameron's appointment to the Lords means he will not take departmental questions in the Commons. The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn described it as “truly remarkable” that at a time of crisis in Ukraine and Gaza, the Foreign Secretary cannot be held to account by the House.

He will, however, still be accountable to Commons select committees as a minister.

The National:

The Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle (above) said he has commissioned advice from parliamentary officials to ensure the Foreign Office’s work is scrutinised “effectively” by MPs.

Within hours of his appointment, he had already met India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

It is the first time since 2010 that the Great Offices of State – the prime minister, chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary - have all been filled by privately educated men.

While that was all sinking in, plenty more announcements were coming through.

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Great Offices of State

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

With Rishi Sunak at the helm, this means it the four great offices of state are all held by privately-educated men for the first time since the Tories’ 2010 election win.

In response, Downing Street said it is not focused on “tick-box diversity”.

The Cabinet shake-up is about forming a “strong and united team”, No 10 said as it defended the changes from questions about the lack of women in the most senior positions in Government.


Therese Coffey left her post as environment secretary after meeting with Sunak in the morning, but it is understood she was pushed to go by the Prime Minister.

The former health secretary said she felt the time was right to leave the Government.

Steve Barclay was the MP chosen to replace her as he was shifted from his health secretary post over to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Barclay is the third person to fill the post in just over a year and Humane Society International/UK released a less-than-enthusiastic statement on the appointment, accusing the UK Government of broken promises on animal welfare.

Senior director of campaigns, Claire Bass, said: “In two and half years the Government has delivered less than a third of its own Action Plan for Animal Welfare and has broken several commitments to protect animals, including a hugely popular manifesto pledge to ban imports of hunting trophies.

“Defra Secretary is an enormously important role, responsible for the health and welfare of billions of animals in this country. Animals deserve more than just warm words from ministers about the UK being a ‘nation of animal lovers’, they need a Secretary of State who will deliver action, starting with the swift introduction of the promised bill to ban live exports, and firm resolve to pass a hunting trophies ban into law.”

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Coming in to replace Barclay as Health Secretary is Cabinet debutant Victoria Atkins, who will immediately be faced with the issues of doctors’ pay, rising NHS waiting lists and winter just around the corner.

A privately-educated barrister, she is the fifth MP to hold the role in as many years with this being her first Cabinet post since she was elected in 2015.


Housing minister Rachel Maclean was also punted from the post she has held since February and expressed “disappointment” at being fired. She was the 15th person to hold that position since 2010.

Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, becomes the 16th post holder in the housing minister role. 


Meanwhile, Laura Trott - who previously served as minister for pensions - has been brought in as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, replacing John Glen. She will serve under the continuing Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremey Hunt.

Away from the main headlines

North West Durham MP Richard Holden has been appointed chairman of the Conservative Party, replacing Greg Hands who moved to the Department for Business and Trade as a minister. 

Glen has replaced Jeremy Quin as paymaster general -  usually a minister without portfolio - while Hands has become a minister of state in the Department for Business and Trade.

And, science minister George Freeman said he was resigning from the UK Government.

In a letter to the Prime Minister he said he would be standing down “with a heavy heart”.

Esther McVey MP has returned to the Government, appointed Minister without Portfolio. This means she will attend Cabinet meetings without a specific departmental brief. The GB News presenter is understood to have to give up her presenting duties to attend meetings.

Nick Gibb also announced he would be standing down as schools minister after a decade in post and would not be standing for re-election. He has held his Bognor Regis and Littlehampton seat for 26 years.

In his resignation letter, he said he was worried that "growing cynicism and hostility" towards politicians was "damaging our ability to come together to solve problems".