Zac Goldsmith gets Cabinet job as Boris Johnson unveils mini-reshuffle following brother's resignation

Posted On: 
11th September 2019

Zac Goldsmith has been promoted to the Cabinet in a mini-reshuffle sparked by the resignation of Boris Johnson's brother.

Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith during the 2016 London mayoral election.

The Richmond Park MP will remain a minister in both the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Department for International Development.

But he will now gain a seat around the Cabinet table following the exit of Jo Johnson, who quit last week saying he was "torn between family and national interest" over Brexit.

Liz Truss warns Theresa May that replacing Kim Darroch is a job for the next Prime Minister

Liz Truss rules herself out of Tory leadership race

Word in Westminster: Liz ‘one oven’ Truss, Gavin’s dinner and Change UK woes

Mr Goldsmith's promotion is controversial because he was heavily criticised for the campaign he ran when trying to succeed Boris Johnson as London mayor in 2016.

He was accused of Islamophobia, including by senior Tory figures, for trying to link Labour's Sadiq Khan with Islamist extremists.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has handed the equalities portfolio to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss following the shock resignation of Amber Rudd from the Cabinet last saturday night.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Truss said: "Great to be appointed Minister for Women & Equalities. Vital we remove barriers to opportunity and enable everyone to be free to live the life they want."

Elsewhere in the limited shake-up, Chris Skidmore replaces Jo Johnson as universities minister, with Edward Argar becoming a minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care.

Chris Philp - a parliamentary private secretary to Chancellor Sajid Javid - takes up a post at the Ministry of Justice, and Helen Whately becomes a minister at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.