Prime Minister Theresa May hands more women a seat at the top table


Theresa May's first Cabinet includes more women than those formed by previous Tory prime ministers.

The former home secretary has appointed seven female ministers to her top table, meaning that, including May, women account for more than a third (35%) of the total number of 23.

And new Home Secretary Amber Rudd became only the fifth woman to hold one of the four Great Offices of State in the history of British politics.

Snappa graphic: Theresa May's Cabinet

More history was made in the appointment of Liz Truss as Justice Secretary and the first female Lord Chancellor in the thousand-year history of the role.

The proportion of women in May's top team is the highest since Tony Blair's final cabinet of 2006-7, which was also 35%.

Theresa May.
(Andrew Parsons/PA)

It also sets May apart from the UK's only other female premier, Margaret Thatcher, who was the sole woman in her first cabinet in 1979.

And the Tory prime minister who followed Thatcher in 1990, John Major, included no women in his first ministry.

May was one of only four women (17%) to feature in her predecessor David Cameron's first cabinet, which was unique in modern times by being a coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

This did change over time, though, as when Cameron formed his final ministry in 2015, after an outright election win for the Tories, it included seven women out of 22, or 32%.

And both Labour premiers appointed similar levels of women to their first cabinets, with Blair employing 21% in 1997 and Gordon Brown appointing 23% in 2007.