Theresa May praises ‘talent and experience’ of new Cabinet
Theresa May has said the “wealth of talent and experience” appointed to the new Tory cabinet will deliver a successful Brexit and tackle key social issues.
In a shake-up which saw few major changes, the Prime Minister appointed Damian Green to first secretary of state - her effective second in command - and demoted Liz Truss from the justice brief, replacing her with former Commons Leader David Lidington.
Michael Gove made a shock return to the fold as Environment Secretary after falling out of favour with the party leadership last year, while Chief Treasury Secretary David Gauke has been appointed Work and Pensions Secretary.
Mrs May said the appointments would provide “stability and certainty” and stressed the importance of Brexit talks, which are due to begin next week.
“At this important time for the country they need stability and certainty for the country and that’s what I’ve been doing today putting together a Cabinet that reflects the wealth of talent and experience from the Conservative party,” she told Sky News.
“A Cabinet that will get on with the job of government, that's about delivering a successful Brexit negotiations. And those negotiations start in a week's time.
“It’s also about ensuring we’re dealing with some of the social issues we’re seeing in our country, so tackling issues on mental health, ensuring we have proper technical education for young people, tackling the housing crisis – this is what my Cabinet and my government will be getting on with doing."
Asked whether she would remain in office for the duration of the five-year parliamentary term, Mrs May said: “I said during the election campaign if re-elected, I would serve a full term but what I’m doing now is getting on with the immediate job, and I think that’s important that’s what the public expect, they want to see government providing certainty and stability at what is a critical time for the country.
“The Brexit negotiations start in a week and we need to make a success of it, but there are other issues we need to address in our country, we’ve been listening to voters and that’s what we will be doing.”
The Prime Minister is set to meet backbenchers through the 1922 committee today, with questions about her leadership style likely to be at the centre.
Appearing on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme yesterday, chair of the committee Graham Brady said: "There's no doubt that we need to see a much more open and inclusive approach within government and within parliament as well. That's not just a desirable outcome, it's an absolute necessity in these circumstances.
"Trying to make a hung parliament and a minority government works requires a much more inclusive approach and bringing people into the decision-making process."