In the most important move, Johnson demoted the foreign secretary Dominic raab, who has faced criticism for delaying his return from a vacation in Greece when the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month.
Raab was appointed secretary of justice with the added title of deputy prime minister. Despite the great title, that is a demotion: the deputy does not have a formal constitutional role.
The new chancellor is former secretary of International Trade Liz truss, a favorite of the rank and file of the Conservative Party who has earned praise for her work negotiating trade deals with Australia and Japan since Britain left the European Union last year. Truss, who is Britain’s second female foreign secretary, will also remain Minister for Women and Equality.
Britain’s New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
Anne-Marie Trevelyan replaced Truss as Minister of International Trade.
There were no other changes in the top four cabinet posts, with Rishi Sunak as head of the Treasury and Priti Patel as secretary of the interior. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also kept his post. He has been praised for his work overseeing the evacuation of thousands of British citizens and their Afghan allies from Kabul last month.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who has a key job at the forefront of Britain’s pandemic response, also remained in his post.
Johnson fired Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who has been criticized for his performance during the pandemic, which has seen long periods of school closings, sudden policy changes and the cancellation of important exams to get into college two years in a row.
Williamson was replaced by Nadhim Zahawi, who has served as Vaccine Minister, responsible for inoculating the country against the coronavirus.
Michael Gove, a longtime ally and at times rival of Johnson, was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. The department is key to Johnson’s goal of “leveling up” the UK, spreading prosperity beyond the rich south, which is the traditional heart of the Conservatives. That promise helped Johnson win a major election victory in 2019 by winning votes in parts of the North of England dominated by the Labor Party.
Nadine Dorries was promoted to head of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, a position that will see her grapple with thorny issues like the future of the publicly funded BBC. Dorries, an outspoken politician who has often made headlines, has criticized “Snowflakes on the Left” and in 2012 she was suspended by the Conservative Party for taking time out of her job as a legislator to appear on the reality show “I ‘m a Celebrity … Get me out of here “, filmed in Australia.
Johnson last made big changes to his cabinet shortly after his election victory in December 2019, when he sidelined lawmakers they deemed insufficiently loyal or lukewarm in their support for Brexit. That left him with a strong pro-Brexit top team, but critics say it left many ambitious and competent lawmakers out of government.
Opponents of Johnson’s Tory government say the lack of depth has manifested itself as Britain. He faced the aftermath of his departure from the EU along with the public health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequent economic blows. Britain has recorded more than 134,000 deaths from Covid-19, the highest figure in Europe after Russia.
Johnson’s office said the prime minister’s changes on Wednesday would lead to “a strong and united team to build back better after the pandemic.”
The cabinet shakeup will continue on Thursday.
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