UK cabinet ministers assemble for first meeting under Liz Truss

Liz Truss has officially made it to Number 10, despite a few last-minute issues with the weather.

The new prime minister may be planning how to decorate her new digs, and what unpopular policies to enact on the hapless population, but one of her first priorities has been filling her cabinet with people to take on important roles from leading on the economy, to running the education system.

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We're sure we will get to know the ministers as the week's progress until - like Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and others ousted from public life - they become household names. Some already are.

So, here is Truss's merry band of misfits:

Chancellor - Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwarteng, an old Etonian because we don't have enough of those in politics, was previously business secretary. The Brexit-supporting politician has described himself as a "pragmatic Thatcherite" and has in the past worked as a columnist for the Telegraph and a financial analyst at banks including JP Morgan.

Home secretary - Suella Braverman

Braverman ran for leader of the party but was knocked out. As home secretary, she is expected to take an even harder line approach than her predecessor, Priti Patel, which doesn't sound alarming at all.

To give two examples - she loves the Rwanda scheme and wants Britain to leave the ECHR.

Foreign secretary - James Cleverly

Cleverly was one of the many education ministers during the last days of Johnson, if you can remember that palaver.

Deputy prime minister and health secretary - Therese Coffey


Coffey's appointment has been mired in controversy. She has previously voted against making at-home abortion pills permanently available in England and Wales, after the measure was introduced to improve access during the pandemic.

She also voted against same-sex marriage in 2013 and extending abortion rights in Northern Ireland.

Education secretary - Kit Malthouse

Malthouse was a policing minister under Johnson.

Defence secretary - Ben Wallace

Wallace continues his role as defence secretary in which he was targeted with hoax calls but has pledged to stand up to Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, running the Cabinet Office - Nadhim Zahawi

Zahawi, who was briefly the chancellor, is also minister for intergovernmental relations and minister for equalities. In the past he has also served as education secretary and co-founded YouGov.

Business, energy and industrial strategy secretary - Jacob Rees-Mogg

This has already proved another controversial appointment, not least because of Rees-Mogg's views on climate change. The minister for the 18th century is never shy of creating negative press, and most recently wound up everyone with his repeated assurances that Brexit was a good policy, during his stint as minister for Brexit opportunities.

Culture secretary - Michelle Donelan

Donelan was also one of the many many education secretaries of the Johnson years. Now she replaces Nadine Dorries to oversee all things culture. Given her views on free speech expressed while she was a universities minister, we are not looking forward to seeing what she has in store for us all.

Levelling up secretary - Simon Clarke

Clarke was previously chief secretary to the Treasury. He has been an advocate of taking what he calls a “disciplined approach to the public finances” and will also serve as housing minister.

Environment secretary - Ranil Jayawardena

Jayawardena previously worked in the department for international trade.

International trade secretary - Kemi Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch launches Tory leadership campaign BBC

Badenoch is another former Tory leadership contender who has been placated with a seat at the big table. Badenoch, who has held numerous ministerial positions, is pretty controversial, due to her stance on social issues and attitudes to climate change, to name just two examples.

Work and pensions secretary - Chloe Smith

Smith has held a role in DWP in the past so this seems a natural promotion for the politician, who supported Remain prior to the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Transport secretary - Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Trevelyan was previously the minister for international trade. She replaces Grant Shapps, who has been sent to the backbenches.

Justice secretary - Brandon Lewis

Lewis takes over from Dominic Raab to spearhead all things justice.

Northern Ireland secretary - Chris Heaton-Harris

Heaton-Harris is the third Conservative MP to hold the role within the past three months and replaces Shailesh Vara who was sacked earlier. He is a big fan of Brexit and in 2017, attracted controversy when he wrote to UK universities asking for names of professors who taught courses on Brexit.

Scotland secretary - Alister Jack

Jack retains his role as Scotland secretary. He also runs a large dairy farm.

Wales secretary - Sir Robert Buckland

Buckland, who previously supported Sunak then switched support to Truss in August (we wonder why...?) also keeps his job which he got in July after Simon Hart was one of the many ministers who resigned and triggered Johnson's downfall.

COP president - Alok Sharma

Sharma will continue his role as COP president. He has previously served as the minister for international trade and the BEIS minister. While COP president last year, Sharma was ridiculed for calling himself "no drama Sharma".

Leader of the Commons - Penny Mordaunt

Mordaunt, who came third in the Tory leadership election, takes on this role that looks after legislation. Her campaign was mired with dodgy videos and tweets that made no sense, so let's hope she does a better job leading the commons.

Leader of the Lords - Lord True

True will be responsible for the House of Lords.

Tory chairman and minister without portfolio - Jake Berry

Berry is a former solicitor who previously served as the minister for the Northern Powerhouse

Chief whip - Wendy Morton

She is the first Conservative female chief whip.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury- Chris Philp

Philp, who has come up against the RMT's Mick Lynch in difficult interviews, and once said imperial measurements are part of our "national heritage and culture" also keeps his old gig.

Attorney General - Michael Ellis

Ellis will retain his role.

Foreign office minister - Vicky Ford

Ford will also attend cabinet. She has held multiple ministerial positions.

Security minister - Tom Tugendhat

Who is Tom Tugendhat, the first Tory MP to publicly consider a run for leader after Boris? Who is Tom Tugendhat, the first Tory MP to publicly consider a run for leader after Boris?

Tugendhat, who also ran in the Tory leadership election, and is an army veteran, will also attend cabinet. He was praised for his reaction in parliament to the Taliban seizing Afghanistan last year, and he was one of the 98 Tory rebels to vote against the government’s plan for vaccine passes to enter venues such as nightclubs in December.

Minister for armed forces and veterans - James Heappey

As will Heappey, who has served in the military and will retain his previous position. He has previously complained he worries about going into his overdraft despite earning £106,000 a year, so during this trying time let's all hope he can wangle a pay rise.

Climate minister - Graham Stuart

Stuart used to work in publishing and has since held numerous government positions.

Paymaster general - Edward Argar

Argar has previously held positions in the department for health and the ministry for justice.

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