Cabinet reshuffle: Theresa May praises Tory ‘talent’

Theresa May said the government planned to focus on social issues and “delivering a successful Brexit” as she completed a Cabinet reshuffle.

The PM said the new line-up brought in “talent from across the whole of the Conservative party”.

Her comments came after Michael Gove, one of the driving forces behind Brexit, returned to the front bench as environment secretary.

She said it was a “government that’s going to be governing for everyone”.

Damian Green has been made First Secretary of State in the reshuffle.

The move effectively makes the former work and pensions secretary, a friend and ally of the PM, her second in command.

When asked if she had brought back Mr Gove – seen by some as an adversary – after being left weakened by the snap election result, Mrs May said her reshuffle had “seen people from across the party accepting the invitation to be in my Cabinet”.

“Crucially I’ve brought in talent from across the whole of the Conservative party. We want a country that works for everyone.”

She said she had appointed “a Cabinet that will get on with the job of government”.

“That’s about delivering a successful Brexit negotiations. And those negotiations start in a week’s time.”

Mrs May also said the government would be tackling issues such as the Brexit negotiations, and such issues as education, “dealing for the need for more housing” and a “proper mental health legislation that is going to support people”.

And when asked if she would continue in office, she replied: “I said during the election campaign if re-elected, I would serve a full term.”

Mr Gove told Sky News he was “quite surprised” to be asked to join the Cabinet.

“Of course I knew that today was re-shuffle day, but I genuinely didn’t expect this role although I am delighted to be part of the government, and delighted to be able to support Theresa.”

The previous environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, has been appointed as the leader of the House in the Commons.

Most other ministers have kept their roles – but Liz Truss is moved from justice to chief treasury secretary.

Commons leader David Liddington takes over as justice secretary and Lord Chancellor.

Chief Treasury Secretary David Gauke has been appointed work and pensions secretary.

Mrs May had been expected to carry out a widespread reshuffle of her top team after Thursday’s general election but her room for manoeuvre has been limited by her failure to win an overall majority.

Most of the cabinet jobs remain unchanged:

  • Chancellor of the Exchequer – Philip Hammond
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department – Amber Rudd
  • Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Boris Johnson
  • Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – David Davis
  • Secretary of State for Defence – Michael Fallon
  • Health Secretary – Jeremy Hunt
  • Communities Secretary – Sajid Javid
  • Culture Secretary – Karen Bradley
  • International development – Priti Patel
  • Transport – Chris Grayling
  • Business – Greg Clark

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