DWP Twitter account welcomes new work and pensions secretary to department she was already working at

DWP Twitter account welcomes new work and pensions secretary to department she was already working at
Liz Truss cabinet reshuffle: Who's in and who's out?

UK politics is a fast-moving thing. Not long after Boris Johnson delivered his final speech as prime minister outside Downing Street did his successor, Liz Truss, stand in the same spot and talk about what her government was going to do to tackle the crises of the day.

An ordinary member of the public would be forgiven for struggling to keep up with all the changing faces in the cabinet, as Ms Truss unveiled her picks last night.

A government department, however? Not so much.

Celebrating the appointment of Norwich North MP Chloe Smith to the role of work and pensions secretary, the Twitter account for the press office of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) tweeted: “We are delighted to welcome [Chloe Smith] to @DWP as our new secretary of state for work and pensions. Looking forward to working with you for the millions of people we serve.”

This would be all well and good, if Ms Smith didn’t already work at the DWP.

Just short of a year ago, on 16 September 2021, she was made the minister for disabled people, health and work in Boris Johnson’s government. It was part of the same reshuffle which saw Gavin Williamson sacked as education secretary and Nadine Dorries made culture secretary.

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Yes, that nightmare began this time last year.

A backer of Ms Truss in the leadership election she went on to win, Ms Smith tweeted on Tuesday: “I’m delighted to be asked to serve by the new prime minister, my Norfolk colleague and friend.

“We have a bold plan for the serious challenges we face, and I’m excited to lead the Department for Work and Pensions as we get the UK working, building and growing.”

The Tory MP takes over from Ms Truss’ campaign manager Thérèse Coffey, who has been rewarded with the roles of deputy prime minister and health secretary.

The DWP Press Office blunder wasn’t the only awkward moment to take place on Tuesday, as the wife of former veterans minister Johnny Mercer fumed about her husband being fired from the role he originated.

The job would go on to be added to James Heappey’s portfolio, who was re-appointed as minister for the armed forces.

Felicity Cornelius-Mercer tweeted: “[Mercer] asked her ‘why would you do this, who is going to be better at this role than me, which of your mates gets the job, you promised a meritocracy?’

“PM – I can’t answer that, Johnny.

“This system stinks and treats people appallingly. Best person I know sacked by an imbecile @trussliz.”

In a follow-up post addressing Mr Heappey taking on the role instead, she added: “Reversing the seven years of work my husband did getting veterans away from the [Ministry of Defence] where it failed him and so many others, and showing she lied in the leadership election to ‘keep veterans affairs where they are’ (yes, I heard her on speakerphone to him asking for his vote). Nice.”

We’re off to a cracking start, folks!

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