See how Theresa May's Cabinet compares to those in the past


Theresa May has just held the first Cabinet meeting of the new Government at Downing Street.

Theresa May holds the first Cabinet meeting of the new government (Dan Kitwood/PA)
(Dan Kitwood/PA)

But how does the line-up compare to Cabinets of the past?

The last female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was somewhat criticised for her Cabinet appointments. The Iron Lady surrounded herself entirely by male colleagues, stating they were the best men (literally) for the job. When questioned, Baroness Thatcher said: "A woman must rise through merit. There must be no discrimination."

Margaret Thatcher and John Major and the rest of the Cabinet are joined by West German leader, Helmut Koh
(Malcolm Croft/PA)

Although it was a bit of a boys' club, John Major appointed two women in his Tory Cabinet of 1994, in the positions of Health and Education ministers.

The prime minister John Major heads the Cabinet meeting
(Adam Butler/PA)

Blair's New Labour Cabinet was bound to shake things up. The prime minister welcomed four women into the Cabinet, including future Deputy Leader of the party Harriet Harman.

Prime Minister Tony Blair chairs a special Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

Britain's first female foreign secretary was also appointed under the Labour government. In 2006, Margaret Beckett was promoted from minister of environment, food and rural affairs to the key Cabinet role.

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair hosts the weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, while Tessa Jowell, John Prescott and Geoff Hoon and other ministers listen.
(Toby Melville/PA)

May's previous position of home secretary was first appointed to a woman in Gordon Brown's 2007 cabinet. Jacqui Smith held the position for two years, before the MP for Redditch resigned over an expenses scandal.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Chancellor Alistair Darling, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman during a Cabinet meeting
(Lefteris Pitarakis/PA)

The Cameron Clegg coalition of 2010 saw the youngest prime minister elected since 1812. Cameron shared office with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, with a Cabinet made up of MPs from both parties.

(Andrew Winning/PA)

Cameron's Cabinet in 2014 included contenders for the future leadership contest in which Theresa May ultimately triumphed.

Prime Minister David Cameron hosts the first cabinet meeting with his new cabinet in Downing Street in London
(Dan Kitwood/PA)

It was widely expected that May would substantially increase the number of women in her Cabinet, but in the end there was an increase of only one, making it seven.