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Oliver Dowden Replaces Dominic Raab As Deputy Prime Minister In Mini Cabinet Reshuffle

Oliver Dowden has been appointed as the new Deputy Prime Minisiter

2 min read

Oliver Dowden will become deputy prime minister while Alex Chalk will take on the role of justice secretary in a mini reshuffle of Rishi Sunak's cabinet triggered by Dominic Raab's resignation over bullying allegations.

Dowden, also the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, will take Raab’s former brief after the former Cabinet Minister resigned in response to findings that he had behaved in an "intimidating manner" towards civil servants.

The inquiry into bullying allegations against Raab, led by Adam Tolley KC, was given the green light in November after eight complaints were made about Raab’s dealings with civil servants, dating back to his time as Foreign Secretary and Brexit Secretary. 

Dowden is a close ally of the Prime Minister, and ran his former campaign to become Conservative Party leader. 

Alex Chalk, the former Minister of Defence, will take on Dominic Raab’s former post as Justice Secretary, as well as the Lord Chancellor brief, which is expected to have a role in King Charles' coronation next month. 

Chalk, who is MP for Cheltenham, was a speechwriter for former Conservative leader William Hague, and is a key supporter of Sunak, having backed him in both leadership campaigns. 

He was picked for the role ahead of other female ministers including Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, Victoria Prentis, attorney general, and Lucy Frazer, Culture Secretary.

James Cartlidge has moved from the Treasury to replace Chalk as Minister of Defence, while Gareth Davies will take on Cartlidge’s former brief as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. 

Meanwhile, Michelle Donnellan will be replaced as Science, Innovation and Technology secretary by Chloe Smith when she goes on maternity leave for ten weeks. 

Julia Lopez is also due to take maternity leave and will be temporarily replaced by Sir John Whittingdale as a minister of state jointly in the Department of Culture and Department of Science, Innovation and Technology. 

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