March of the women on day two of Boris Johnson’s big cabinet reshuffle


oris Johnson was on Thursday appointing a string of “2019 election” MPs and more women to ministerial posts as he continued his reshuffle.

It will see Britain represented on the global stage by new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, with half of the ministers in her department expected to be women, including Amanda Milling who moves from the party chairman post.

Thursday morning it was announced that Penny Mordaunt was becoming an international trade minister, having been paymaster general. She is replaced by former solicitor general Michael Ellis. Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez is promoted to minister of state at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Victoria Prentis becomes a minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Michelle Donelan remains an education minister, where she has done the universities brief, and will attend Cabinet.

It comes after Mr Johnson stressed in an interview with the Standard in July last year his aim to have a “large number of female ministers” in his Government. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told LBC Radio: “The Prime Minister is determined to bring forward a new generation of backbenchers, so he’s promoted into the lower ranks of ministers a significant number of women.”

Liz Truss

/ Jeremy Selwyn

Mr Wallace clashed with Dominic Raab over the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the latter being axed as foreign secretary yesterday. While stressing that all Cabinet ministers were his friends, he heaped praise on Ms Truss.

“She’s a great communicator and I think in foreign policy you have to be good at that,” he added.

Nadine Dorries

/ AP

Her appointment means two of the great offices of state are now held by women, with Priti Patel remaining Home Secretary.

Mr Johnson’s reshuffle, with the promotion of more 2019 MPs, was expected to help to shore up the Tory hold on seats in Labour’s former “Red Wall” won at the last election.

New Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is among the straight-talking ministers who are expected to appeal to voters in these constituencies.

Penny Mordaunt

/ PA Archive

The major reshuffle on Wednesday saw Gavin Williamson fired as education secretary following his handling of the exams fiasco during the coronavirus crisis, while Robert Buckland lost his job as justice secretary.


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