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Every Move In Boris Johnson's Cabinet Reshuffle

Michael Gove

4 min read

Liz Truss is the new Foreign Secretary and Michael Gove is the new Housing Secretary, while Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Education Secretary, as part of Boris Johnson's ongoing Cabinet reshuffle.

Williamson, who had been heavily criticised for his handling of the education brief during the pandemic, said he was "privileged" to do the job which he had for over two years.

He has been replaced by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi who had previously served as minister for children and families at the education department from 2018 until 2019.

Zahawi had been widely tipped for a promotion following the successful rollout of the UK's vaccine programme, which he has overseen since November 2020.

In other reshuffle news:

  • Liz Truss is the new Foreign Secretary, replacing Dominic Raab who is now Justice Secretary.
  • Michael Gove is the new State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. He is also responsible for the Union and the government's levelling-up agenda. 
  • Nadine Dorries is the new Culture Secretary. Her predecessor Oliver Dowden is now co-chair of the Conservative party, replacing Amanda Milling.
  • Robert Buckland and Robert Jenrick have been sacked as Justice Secretary and Communities Secretary respectively.
  • Recently appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid remains in his job.
  • Pritil Patel remains as Home Secretary after rumours of her being moved.
  • Ben Wallace will also remain as Defence Secretary.
  • Kwasi Kwarteng stays in post as Business Secretary.
  • Alok Sharma retains his job as COP26 President

Williamson had been linked to a move elsewhere in government and there were suggestions that he could be made the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

However, he is set to return to the backbenches, while sources close to the current Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis are confident that he will stay in the role.

Williamson was widely-expected to lose his job having come under pressure to resign on several occasions, like last year's exams fiasco. He also recently faced the embarrassment of confusing footballer Marcus Rashford with rugby player Maro Itoje in an interview with the Evening Standard.

One Conservative MP told PoliticsHome: "A blind man on a fast horse could see that one coming."Elsewhere, Michael Gove is the new State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, replacing Robert Jenrick. Gove, who was the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, will also be responsible for the government's levelling-up agenda and work to strengthen the Union.

Gove will be replaced at the Cabinet Office by Stephen Barclay who served as Brexit secretary until the post was abolished in January 2020. He has most recently served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury having been there a month after his previous department was disbanded.

Liz Truss is the new Foreign Secretary, leaving her role as the Secretary of State for International Trade. She replaces Dominic Raab, who is the new Justice Secretary, while former International Development Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan has taken over Truss' role as trade secretary.

Johnson has been under pressure to sack Raab from Cabinet over his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal but the Prime Minister has decided to give him a new job in government.

Raab replaces Robert Buckland, who said he was "deeply proud of everything of everything" he acehived in the job.

Buckland's sacking was strongly criticised by Conservative MP Bob Neill, who chairs the House of Commons justice select committee.

“I am surprised and disappointed," he told PoliticsHome.

"I can see no good reason for it at all. He was doing a good job as Justice Secretary and, crucially, understood the constitutional importance of the Lord Chancellor as a guardian of the justice system. And he was entirely loyal to the Prime Minister.

"I think he has been shabbily treated.”

Oliver Dowden has left his job as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to become the new co-chair of the Conservative party. 

He replace Amanda Milling, who Johnson sacked just two weeks before the party's annual conference in Manchester which she played a lead role in organising.

Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, is the new Culture Secretary.

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