Liz Truss has been appointed Foreign Secretary as Boris Johnson carried out a dramatic reshaping of his top team.
Mr Johnson demoted Dominic Raab, who has been widely criticised for his handling of the Afghanistan crisis, moving him from the Foreign Office to the Ministry of Justice but also handing him the title Deputy Prime Minister.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) September 15, 2021
Ms Truss takes over at the Foreign Office and, with Priti Patel remaining at the Home Office, two of the great offices of state are now held by women.
While Mr Raab retains his seat at the Cabinet table, the Prime Minister sacked Gavin Williamson, Robert Jenrick and Robert Buckland.
Tory party co-chair Amanda Milling was also ousted, just weeks before the Conservative conference.
Michael Gove replaces Mr Jenrick at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, while also taking on cross-government responsibility for Mr Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda.
Oliver Dowden moves from culture secretary to replace Ms Milling as co-chairman of the Tory Party, as well as holding the title Minister without Portfolio.
Nadine Dorries, a best-selling author and former star of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, becomes Culture Secretary.
Nadhim Zahawi replaced Mr Williamson as Education Secretary.
Mr Raab’s demotion comes after he was heavily criticised for being on holiday as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan.
It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State @mhclg. Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved.
I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can.
— Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) September 15, 2021
The title Deputy Prime Minister formalises a role he performed as first secretary of state when he stood in for Mr Johnson while the Prime Minister was in hospital with coronavirus.
Mr Raab accepted the new role following lengthy talks with Mr Johnson in the Prime Minister’s Commons office.
Downing Street confirmed Mr Williamson had been sacked by the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon, with the same fate greeting Mr Buckland as justice secretary and Mr Jenrick from housing.
It has been a privilege to serve as Education Secretary since 2019. Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I’m particularly proud of the transformational reforms I’ve led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships and more.
— Gavin Williamson (@GavinWilliamson) September 15, 2021
The Prime Minister was carrying out a long-awaited shake-up of his top team with plans to put in place a “strong and united” Cabinet following the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Williamson was one of the ministers deemed most at risk of being told to return to the backbenches, particularly due to his handling of the exams fiasco during the Covid-19 crisis.
He announced his exit by saying “it has been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019”, adding that he will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government.
It has been an honour to serve in Government for the last 7 years, and as the Lord Chancellor for the last 2.
I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure
— Robert Buckland (@RobertBuckland) September 15, 2021
After receiving the axe, Mr Jenrick pledged to continue supporting the Prime Minister “in every way I can”.
“I’m deeply proud of all we achieved,” he said, thanking his colleagues at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
His sacking from Mr Johnson’s top team followed controversies including the unlawful approval of a Tory donor’s housing development and his eyebrow-raising journeys during lockdown.
Also to go was Mr Buckland, who said it had been an “honour” to serve in the Government for the last seven years, including the last two as justice secretary and lord chancellor.
I am very sorry indeed to hear this Robert. You did a first rate job and, importantly, always stood up for the rule of law and the integrity of the justice system. You deserved better. Thank you for all you did. You can be proud of it.
— Sir Bob Neill MP (@neill_bob) September 15, 2021
“I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure,” he said.
The courts system has been under huge strain during the pandemic but a specific reason for his departure was unclear.
Sir Bob Neill, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons Justice Committee, criticised Mr Buckland’s exit, saying: “You deserved better.”
“You did a first-rate job and, importantly, always stood up for the rule of law and the integrity of the justice system,” Sir Bob added.