Rishi's team to 'fix' Britain: Continuity Cabinet sees return of Hunt, Gove and Braverman

26 October 2022, 00:40

Rishi Sunak has assembled his top team
Rishi Sunak has assembled his top team. Picture: Alamy/Parliament UK

By Daisy Stephens

Rishi Sunak has pledged to "fix" Britain with his continuity Cabinet, which includes the return of key figures such as Suella Braverman and Michael Gove.

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Mr Sunak promised a government of all talents when he spoke to MPs at the 1922 Committee following his victory in the Tory leadership race.

Jeremy Hunt was the first to be confirmed as remaining in the new-look Cabinet, then Dominic Raab was later reappointed deputy prime minister and justice secretary before Suella Braverman - who was sacked just days ago over a security protocol breach - was sensationally brought back as Home Secretary.

"Honoured to serve our country, and @RishiSunak, as Chancellor of the Exchequer," Mr Hunt said.

"It is going to be tough. But protecting the vulnerable - and people's jobs, mortgages and bills - will be at the front of our minds as we work to restore stability, confidence and long-term growth."

Former leadership rival Penny Mordaunt was reappointed Lord President of the Council while Michael Gove was brought back as levelling up secretary.

It came after Mr Sunak used his first public address on Tuesday to brace the country for "difficult decisions".

"Some mistakes were made. Not born of ill will or bad intentions - quite the opposite in fact. But mistakes nonetheless," he said.

"I've been elected as leader of my party and your Prime Minister in part to fix them - and that work begins immediately."

The Cabinet reshuffle saw James Cleverly remain as foreign secretary, Ben Wallace stay as defence secretary and Simon Hart become chief whip.

Grant Shapps was made business minister and Kemi Badenoch, a previous runner for Tory leader, kept her job as trade secretary.

Mark Harper has been made transport secretary. Jeremy Quinn was made Paymaster General, and minister for the cabinet office.

Gavin Williamson was named as minister without portfolio.

Victoria Prentis is attorney general, a promotion from her previous role as minister of state for work and welfare.

Nadhim Zahawi, who briefly held the role of Chancellor at the end of the Johnson government when he replaced Mr Sunak, was made Tory party chairman and minister without portfolio.

Oliver Dowden was given the role of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet office minister.

Gillian Keegan was made education secretary and Mel Stride was appointed work and pensions secretary.

Thérèse Coffey MP was demoted from deputy Prime Minister to environment secretary and was replaced as health secretary by Steve Barclay.

Michelle Donelan remains culture secretary.

Alister Jack was re-appointed as Scotland secretary, and David TC Davies is Wales secretary.

Lord True was re-appointed Lord Privy Seal and leader of the House of Lords.

John Glen is chief secretary to the treasury. Johnny Mercer has been made veteran's affairs minister, a junior ministerial role in the Cabinet office, a job he had until September 2022, before Liz Truss sacked him.

Jacob Rees-Mogg led an exodus of Truss Cabinet appointees earlier on Tuesday, leaving his post as business secretary while Brandon Lewis departed as justice secretary.

A source close to Mr Rees-Mogg said: "He knows he was very close to the previous two regimes and it didn't seem likely he was going to be appointed in the new Cabinet.

The new chancellor is expected to provide an economic update on October 31
The new chancellor is expected to provide an economic update on October 31. Picture: Getty

"He's happy to support the Prime Minister from the backbenches."

In his resignation letter to Mr Sunak, Mr Lewis said: "We have a duty to the country to do so, at a time of economic hardship for so many. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of the Conservative Party and everything we stand for is at stake if we do not.

"You will have my support from the backbenches in addressing the economic crisis we face, bringing our party together and delivering on the promises we put forward in the 2019 manifesto, on which we won such an overwhelming majority."

Simon Clarke quit as levelling up secretary - having been a vocal supporter of Ms Truss - and Kit Malthouse left as education secretary.

A raft of resignations saw Jake Berry quit as Tory party chairman, Chloe Smith resign as work and pensions secretary and Robert Buckland left as Wales secretary.

Environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena left Government too, as did chief whip Wendy Morton, while Alok Sharma resigned as Cabinet Office minister. He will stay as Cop26 president, but will not attend Cabinet.

Read more: Sunak to takes over: Rishi rules No10 after meeting Charles in Buckingham Palace

Penny Mordaunt withdrew from the Tory leadership contest at the last minute
Penny Mordaunt withdrew from the Tory leadership contest at the last minute. Picture: Getty

Mr Hunt put himself forward to be the country's next PM during the summer, though never made it onto the ballot.

Just weeks after Liz Truss won the leadership contest, he was brought in as chancellor after Kwasi Kwarteng was sacked, with his budget having spooked the markets.

After Boris Johnson announced he would not put himself forward for the leadership last night, Mr Hunt said he was supporting Mr Sunak to be prime minister.

Read more: Defiant Liz Truss stands aside saying 'brighter days are ahead' but refuses to apologise for chaos

On October 31, the chancellor is due to make a financial statement that it is hoped will restore the market's faith back in the Government.

Suella Braverman resigned weeks after being appointed home secretary
Suella Braverman resigned weeks after being appointed home secretary. Picture: Getty
Theresa May has kept a low-profile since resigning in 2019
Theresa May has kept a low-profile since resigning in 2019. Picture: Alamy

Penny Mordaunt also stood in the leadership contest, dramatically pulling out at the last minute, paving Mr Sunak's path to Number 10.

Read more: Disillusioned Tory members quit after Rishi Sunak made party leader

Read more: 'Give him a chance': Former Conservative Party Chairman Lord McLoughlin backs Rishi as PM

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries told LBC on Sunday Mr Sunak would have 'no mandate' to become Prime Minister and would find it difficult to resist pressure for a General Election. She us unlikely to be offered, or accept, a Cabinet job as a result.

Mr Johnson's attempt to become Prime Minister once again suggests he is craving a return to frontline politics.

Following Mr Johnson's withdrawal from the contest last night, Mr Sunak tweeted: "I truly hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad."