Brexit

New cabinet has hit the ground running says Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Downing Street yesterday PICTURE: Dominic Lipinski/PA
By Shaun Connolly, Andy Woodcock, and Laura Paterson, Press Association Staff

Theresa May insists she has created a "bold" cabinet that has hit the ground running.

In a decisive cull of David Cameron's closest allies, the new prime minister's shake-up of the top team saw promotions for women and Brexiteers.

Mrs May is set to travel to Scotland today for talks with SNP first minister Nicola Sturgeon in a bid to underline her determination to keep the UK together in the face of withdrawal from the EU.

The move will follow Mrs May's sweeping cabinet clear-out which saw her sack Mr Cameron's right-hand man George Osborne within hours of taking office on Wednesday, and then going on to axe Michael Gove, Oliver Letwin, Nicky Morgan and John Whittingdale.

But Jeremy Hunt kept his job as health secretary, despite being widely tipped for the chop.

The new PM, who took a 15 minute congratulatory telephone call from US president Barack Obama, rewarded her leadership campaign manager Chris Grayling with the post of transport secretary, adding him to the phalanx of Leave backers in cabinet which already included Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis.

The prime minister's official spokeswoman said: "This is a bold cabinet. It's hitting the ground running. What you have seen with the appointments today is that commitment to putting social reform at the heart of her government."

The creation of specific cabinet posts for exiting the EU, and boosting international trade "underlines the commitment to delivering on the decision of the British people," the official spokeswoman said.

Labour said the promotion of a string of right-wingers contradicted Mrs May's "warm words" on her entry into 10 Downing Street about seeking to govern "not for a privileged few, but for every one of us".

A week after seeing his hopes of the Tory leadership dashed when he came third in a poll of Tory MPs, Mr Gove lost his justice secretary job to Liz Truss, who became the first female lord chancellor in the thousand-year history of the role.

Prominent Brexit backer Andrea Leadsom, who paved the way for Mrs May's rapid elevation to the premiership by pulling out of the Tory leadership contest on Monday, was promoted from energy minister to the cabinet role of secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

Meanwhile, a day after their ejection from Government, Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were spotted nursing their wounds over coffees with their families at a terrace cafe in Notting Hill.

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