Details of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest cabinet reshuffle have been announced, with some changes in the parliamentary ranks.
Schools out for Williamson
As expected, Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Education Secretary. The MP for South Staffordshire has had a rough 18 months in the role, as he faced severe public criticism over the grading of A-Level and GCSE exams last summer in 2020, as predicted grades were almost totally ignored and many students were severely downgraded. The government later made a major U-turn and awarded all students their teacher assessed grades.
Williamson was also in hot water regarding the handling of free school meals provision over the course of the pandemic, as the government refused to provide free school meals to eligible children over the school holidays, as many parents struggled to balance finances as COVID-19 disrupted their working hours and subsequently, their income levels.
Nadhim Zahawi, who has been the Vaccines Minister over the course of the pandemic, will step in as Education Secretary.
“Children and young people have had a tough time during this pandemic and I’ll be listening to them and their families as we accelerate our work to build back better and fairer.”
“From my own experience, I know what a beacon of opportunity this country can be and I want all children, young people and adults to have access to a brilliant education, the right qualifications and opportunities to secure good jobs.”
A change of trajectory for Raab
Dominic Raab was also demoted from Foreign Secretary to Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. Raab also faced criticism over the Afghanistan crisis as many thought he acted too slowly to the resurgence of the Taliban since he was still on holiday several days after he was informed of the situation. Several cabinet ministers, Conservative MPs and opposition MPs campaigned for him to resign or be sacked.
In Liz we Truss
Liz Truss, the MP for South West Norfolk, will now step in as Foreign Secretary from her previous role as International Trade Secretary. A recent survey among Conservative Party members put her at the top of the party as the most popular, due to her effective negotiating skills post-Brexit.
Down, but not out
Michael Gove hangs on to his cabinet tenure for a little while longer, being appointed as Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary. He is in charge of the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda, and retains his ministerial responsibilities for unionism and elections.
Don’t stop movin’
Oliver Dowden MP transitions from Culture Secretary to become Conservative Party co-chair, while Steven Barclay moves from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP is the new International Trade Secretary, with Simon Clarke becoming Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Hold the Fort!
The cabinet positions that are unchanged are: