‘Cabinet of cronies’: Sunak supporters ditched in Truss’s brutal cabinet clear-out

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Within minutes of the new PM receiving the keys to No 10, Shapps, Raab, Barclay and Eustice were sacked, replaced by Truss loyalists.

Liz Truss

A far cry from vows to ‘unite’ feuding Tories, Liz Truss has carried out a ruthless cabinet reshuffle, which has seen supporters of her leadership rival Rishi Sunak brutally sacked.

Dominic Raab, who described Truss’s plans as “electoral suicide” was among the dismissed, alongside fellow Sunak-supporters, Grant Shapps, Steve Barclay, and Shailesh Vara.

Replacing the fired cabinet ministers is a string of Truss allies, including Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor, who famously branded the people of Britain as the ‘worst idlers in the world’ in a book he co-wrote with Truss and fellow Tory MPs, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab and Chris Skidmore.

During his time as business secretary, free marketeer Kwarteng clashed with Rishi Sunak over the economy, and has been described as Liz Truss’s ‘ideological soulmate.’

Right-winger Suella Braverman is the UK’s new home secretary, who vowed to take Britain out of the European Court of Human Rights when the first flight to Rwanda was cancelled due to last-minute intervention from European lawyers.  

Therese Coffey, who describes Truss as her closest friend, has been appointed as deputy prime minister and health secretary.

Standing up as trade secretary is Kemi Badenoch, a so-called ‘culture warrior’, who rose in standing among the right of the party during the leadership contest, in surfing a decidedly ‘anti-woke’ agenda.

Meanwhile, Penny Mordaunt has been named as Leader of the House, after Iain Duncan Smith reportedly turned down the job. Mordaunt, who finished third in the Tory leadership contest after narrowly losing out to Truss, struck a blow to Rishi Sunak’s leadership hopes when she announced she was backing Truss, labelling her as the ‘hope candidate.’

Perhaps the most shocking of the cabinet appointments is Jacob Rees-Mogg being made business secretary. The appointment of Rees-Mogg, who has long decried ‘climate alarmism’ and supports the scrapping of green levies and the return of fracking, as business and energy secretary has caused alarm among environmentalists.

Senior Tories have also admitted they were worried about the Rees-Mogg appointment. One former minister said it was “not very encouraging” and hoped that the MP for North East Somerset would stick to Johnson’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Tom Tugendhat, who was widely considered the ‘least right-wing’ of the Tory leadership contestants but was eliminated in the third round of voting, has been made the new minister of state for security in the home department. Another Truss supporter in the leadership contest, Tugendhat praised her economic policies, writing that her plans to cut taxes were ‘founded on true Conservative principles.’

‘Cabinet of cronies’

A former minister said Truss was creating a ‘cabinet of cronies’, favouring personal loyalty over the skills and competence required at a time of virtually unprecedented crisis.

“A lot of people were hoping she would be more inclusive. There are competent people who should be in the cabinet who won’t be, and we need the most competent people we can get at a time of such massive challenges,” the former minister told The Independent.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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