Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle is proving controversial - here's why

Conrad Duncan@theconradduncan
Thursday 25 July 2019 10:30
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Boris Johnson might not be much closer to delivering Brexit but he has succeeded at creating one of the most controversial cabinets in recent memory.

After a string of resignations from Theresa May’s supporters and a brutal cull of Jeremy Hunt backers, Johnson brought in his new team of Tory bogeymen yesterday.

Highlights include: a home secretary who was previously fired for holding secret meetings in Israel, a foreign secretary who didn’t realise how important the Dover-Calais crossing was for trade, and an education secretary who has consistently voted against LGBT+ rights.

This is why Johnson's cabinet has angered so many people.

Chancellor - Sajid Javid

Javid is arguably one of the least controversial appointments in Johnson's team. At the very least, he is the first BAME chancellor of the UK.

Nevertheless, he is likely to anger some people as an ardent Margaret Thatcher fanboy - he has a portrait of her in his office - and for his work as a banker, which allegedly saw him receive huge bonuses channelled through a tax haven.

He also apparently reads a scene from the The Fountainhead, a novel by right-wing favourite Ayn Rand, every year...

Home secretary - Priti Patel

The return of Priti Patel is surprising to say the least. The former May cabinet member was forced to resign in 2017, when it was revealed that she held meetings in Israel to discuss official government business without telling the Foreign Office.

Here's former Conservative chairman Sayeeda Warsi's take on her appointment.

Patel has also backed the death penalty in recent years and has repeatedly voted against LGBT+ rights and general human rights legislation.

And she suggested threatening food shortages in Ireland under a no deal Brexit to get an upper hand in negotiations with the EU…

Foreign secretary - Dominic Raab

You might remember Raab as the Brexit secretary who resigned in protest of the deal he negotiated, or the Tory leadership candidate who said he was "probably not a feminist", or the man who didn’t realise that the Dover-Calais crossing is actually very important for trade…

Despite this, he now has one of the most important jobs in the country.

Education secretary - Gavin Williamson

If you cast your mind back to May, you might remember that Gavin Williamson was sacked as defence secretary for allegedly leaking information from a National Security Council meeting about Chinese phone company Huawei.

However, after less than two months in the wilderness, Williamson has clearly served his time and is ready to return to the frontline of Conservative politics.

He has also almost always voted against equal LGBT+ rights, generally voted against measures to prevent climate change and consistently voted for raising tuition fees in parliament.

At least Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was happy to be facing him.

Environment secretary - Theresa Villiers

With the rise of climate protests this year, the role of environment secretary has become an important and potentially controversial position in the government.

So let’s have a look at Villiers’ record in parliament on environmental issues…

It doesn’t look like Johnson’s cabinet is going to take climate change as seriously as it needs to.

As for the rest, we now have...

A justice secretary (Robert Buckland) who has generally voted against human rights and voted for restricting legal aid.

A business secretary (Andrea Leadsom) who was accused of making ‘misleading’ claims on her CV and had family links to an offshore banker and Tory donor.

And a transport secretary (Grant Schapps) who resigned over a bullying scandal in the Conservative party, in which a young man is thought to have killed himself.

Johnson’s plan to "unite the country" hasn’t got off to a great start…

More: Boris Johnson said ‘dude’ and now it’s ruined for everyone else​

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