Liz Truss gathers new loyalist Cabinet TODAY after purge of Team Rishi


Liz Truss will gather her new loyalist Cabinet and face off against Keir Starmer today after executing a brutal purge of Rishi Sunak supporters.

In her first full day in power, the PM will meet her top team in Downing Street – having rewarded her leadership backers with seats at the top table.

Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps, Steve Barclay, George Eustice and Shailesh Vara were among the allies of the former Chancellor to be exiled to the backbenches.

However, the scale of the bloodletting has caused alarm in some quarters, with many big beasts now outside the tent. In what has been taken as a thinly-veiled warning, Mr Shapps has promised to be a ‘strong independent voice’ outside of government. 

Truss’s Cabinet reshuffle 

IN

Kwasi Kwarteng – Chancellor

Therese Coffey – Health Secretary/Deputy Prime Minister

Suella Braverman – Home Secretary

James Cleverly – Foreign Secretary 

Brandon Lewis – Justice Secretary

Ben Wallace – Defence Secretary

Nadhim Zahawi – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster / Equalities Minister

Penny Mordaunt – Leader of the Commons 

Jacob Rees Mogg – Business Secretary 

Simon Clarke – Levelling Up Secretary 

Kemi Badenoch – International Trade Secretary 

Chloe Smith – Work and Pensions Secretary 

Kit Malthouse – Education Secretary 

Chris Heaton-Harris – Northern Ireland Secretary 

Alister Jack – Scotland Secretary 

Robert Buckland – Wales Secretary 

Michael Ellis QC – Attorney General 

Tom Tugendhat – Security minister at Home Office (will attend Cabinet)

Vicki Ford – Development Minister at Foreign Office (will attend Cabinet)

OUT

Dominic Raab

Grant Shapps

Steve Barclay 

Andrew Stephenson

Greg Clark 

George Eustice 

Shailesh Vara 

Johnny Mercer  

The wife of ousted veterans minister Johnny Mercer branded Ms Truss an ‘imbecile’ after he said he had been ‘relieved of duty’.  

The new deputy PM and Health Secretary Therese Coffey dismissed the concerns as she toured broadcast studios this morning, saying the Cabinet is ‘diverse’ and includes ‘all the talents’. ‘She is focused on a government of all the talents,’ Ms Coffey said.

Alongside making more appointments, Ms Truss is bracing for her first showdown with Sir Keir in the Commons. 

Kwasi Kwarteng has been confirmed as Chancellor, James Cleverly is Foreign Secretary, and Suella Braverman takes the other Great Office of State as Home Secretary – meaning for the first time there is no white man in any of the top posts. 

Elsewhere, Wendy Morton has been installed as the Tories’ first female chief whip, in charge of parliamentary party discipline. 

Ben Wallace remains Defence Secretary after backing her campaign and Brandon Lewis is made Justice Secretary, while Boris Johnson loyalist Jacob Rees Mogg is business secretary. Kemi Badenoch was rewarded for a strong leadership bid as she is named Trade Secretary, while Kit Malthouse has become Education Secretary. 

Tory chairman Andrew Stephenson and levelling up secretary Greg Clark, who all stayed neutral, also declared they were leaving their posts. 

Nadhim Zahawi, who ran to be leader before supporting Truss, was demoted from Chancellor but remains in the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Equalities Minister, while Alok Sharma was re-appointed as Cop26 president. 

Penny Mordaunt, who came close to blocking Ms Truss’s run for power, becomes Leader of the Commons, while Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke is Levelling Up Secretary. 

Ms Truss has been fielding calls from world leaders overnight, with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky the first leader to speak with the new PM. 

He said he thanked Ms Truss for the UK#’s ‘major defense & economic aid’ for Ukraine, and urged her to ‘strengthen it’. ‘

Ms Truss used her first speech in Downing Street last night to spell out her determination to create an ‘aspiration nation’.

She took to a podium outside the famous black door after returning to London from the Queen‘s Balmoral residence in Scotland – where the transfer of power happened. 

She warned of a ‘vital time for our country’ and said she will deal ‘hands on with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war’ – hinting at the huge bailout expected within days.

The new premier said fixing the NHS and cutting taxes would be her other priorities. 

‘I’m confident that together we can ride out the storm, we can rebuild our economy and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be,’ she said.

‘This is our vital mission to ensure opportunity and prosperity for all people and future generations. I’m determined to deliver.’

Ministers and MPs had gathered outside as Ms Truss’s convoy weaved through the roads of the capital. 

But there was confusion as aides took the podium indoors when the weather intervened – only to bring it out again as the heavy shower passed.

Ms Truss seemed to make light of the rain with her reference to the ‘storm’. 

Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured arriving for Cabinet today) is the new Chancellor after the shake-up

Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured arriving for Cabinet today) is the new Chancellor after the shake-up

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Downing Street today

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Downing Street today

Liz Truss is clapped into Downing Street by staff after arriving back from Balmoral with husband Hugh tonight

Liz Truss is clapped into Downing Street by staff after arriving back from Balmoral with husband Hugh tonight

Education Secretary Kit Malthouse arriving for Cabinet today

Alister Jack is staying on as Scotland Secretary

Education Secretary Kit Malthouse (left) arriving for Cabinet today, while Alister Jack (right) is staying on as Scotland Secretary

In what has been taken as a thinly-veiled warning, Grant Shapps has promised to be a 'strong independent voice' outside of government

In what has been taken as a thinly-veiled warning, Grant Shapps has promised to be a ‘strong independent voice’ outside of government

Sacked veterans minister Johnny Mercer’s ‘bitter’ wife calls Liz Truss an ‘IMBECILE’ and compares her to a Muppet for axing him 

Johnny Mercer, pictured with his wife Felicity, was removed as veterans affairs minister

Johnny Mercer, pictured with his wife Felicity, was removed as veterans affairs minister

The wife of sacked minister Johnny Mercer has called new Prime Minister Liz Truss an ‘imbecile’.

Felicity Cornelius-Mercer said the Cabinet system ‘stinks’ and ‘treats people appallingly’ after her husband was removed as veterans affairs minister.

Mr Mercer, the Plymouth Moor View MP, had appeared angry about Ms Truss’s move, saying he was ‘disappointed’ but accepted the PM is ‘entitled to reward her supporters’.

He also suggested he could quit the Commons, saying: ‘I have to accept that I will never possess the qualities required for enduring success in politics as it stands, and to be fair to my wonderful family, I must consider my future.’

His wife went further, tweeting a picture mocking Ms Truss as Beaker, a character from The Muppets television show and giving an account of Mr Mercer’s exit discussions.

Ms Cornelius-Mercer tweeted: ‘He asked her ‘why would you do this, who is going to be better at this role than me, which of your mates gets the job, you promised a meritocracy?’

‘PM – I can’t answer that Johnny.

‘This system stinks & treats people appallingly.

‘Best person I know sacked by an imbecile @trussliz.’

She added in a follow-up Tweet, ‘Yes I am feeling bitter. Please allow it – 24hrs then back to positives’.

Mr Mercer had tweeted a lengthy resignation statement accompanied by the words: ‘I will be spending time with my family and doing no media requests.’

The new premier has little time to celebrate as she rushes to finalise plans for curbing soaring energy bills.

She is expected to cap the typical household bill at £2,500 a year – with costs further offset by keeping the £400 handout that had already been committed.

That would leave the level around the same as the £1,900 existing cap, and a thousand pounds below the figure it was due to hit next month.

There had been speculation that the policy would be added to future bills.

However, it is now expected to be added to government borrowing – with the markets already upping interest costs as a result. 

The total cost is hard to estimate as it depends on international gas prices, but could be well over £100billion – with some experts believed it will reach £150billion.

Supporters of the move stress it will bring down inflation, reduce the pressure on the Bank of England to hike interest rates, and prevent families and businesses going bust.  

Mr Raab had not expected to continue his run in Government, having described Ms Truss’s tax plans as an ‘electoral suicide note’.

The MP for Esher and Walton announced he would be supporting the Government from the backbenches.

‘Thanks to the brilliant MoJ (Ministry of Justice) team for all their hard work over the last year.

‘Good luck to the new PM and her team,’ Mr Raab tweeted.

‘I look forward to supporting the Government from the backbenches.’

Mr Shapps also tweeted his own exit as Transport Secretary but did not make the same remarks of support for the new Tory leader.

‘It has been a privilege to serve as Transport Secretary; a job I loved,’ he said.

‘Now I look forward to being a strong, independent voice on the backbenches, developing policies that will further the Conservative cause and the interests of my constituents in Welwyn Hatfield.’

Mr Barclay, the MP for North East Cambridgeshire who had been health secretary for Mr Johnson’s final months in office, tweeted: ‘Thanks to all colleagues, both political & civil service, for their fantastic support. Wishing @trussliz & her ministerial team every success for the future.’

Mr Vara, who was only appointed when Mr Johnson quit in July, posted: ‘Great privilege and honour to serve as Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office and work with some excellent people.

‘My best wishes to the new PM and I look forward to supporting the government from the backbenches.’

Mr Johnson swept out of Downing Street for the final time early yesterday with a typically boisterous and classically allusive address to the nation.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, aa close ally of Boris Johnson, has been made the Business Secretary in the new government

Jacob Rees-Mogg, aa close ally of Boris Johnson, has been made the Business Secretary in the new government

Michelle Donelan is Culture Secretary, taking the place of Nadine Dorries who stepped down before the reshuffle

Michelle Donelan is Culture Secretary, taking the place of Nadine Dorries who stepped down before the reshuffle 

Ben Wallace (right) is continuing as Defence Secretary while James Heappey (left) takes on the role of veterans minister

Ben Wallace (right) is continuing as Defence Secretary while James Heappey (left) takes on the role of veterans minister

Watched by MPs, aides and allies as he spoke on the steps of No10, the outgoing PM put a brave face on his departure saying ‘this is it, folks’.

After walking out of the famous black door with wife Carrie, he pointed out he ‘got Brexit done’ and oversaw the ‘fastest vaccine rollout’ during near three-year stint.

He delivered a stark message that Britain must continue supporting Ukraine against Vladimir Putin’s aggression, despite the economic pain caused by his ‘blackmail’ on gas prices.

And in a barb at MPs for dramatically ousting him, Mr Johnson said: ‘The baton will be handed over in what has unexpectedly turned out to be a relay race. They changed the rules halfway through, but never mind that now.’ 

Mr Johnson also sparked laughter by comparing himself to a ‘booster rocket’ that was being jettisoned, suggesting he would keep out of the way in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.    

‘I will be offering this government nothing but the most fervent support,’ he said. ‘We will get through it, we will come out stronger the other side… it is time for us all to get behind Liz Truss.’ 

Ms Truss poses on the steps of No10 with her husband Hugh O'Leary after being confirmed as the new PM yesterday

Ms Truss poses on the steps of No10 with her husband Hugh O’Leary after being confirmed as the new PM yesterday

Incoming premier Liz Truss was pictured meeting the smiling monarch at Balmoral as power is transferred - a process known as 'kissing hands'.

Incoming premier Liz Truss was pictured meeting the smiling monarch at Balmoral as power is transferred – a process known as ‘kissing hands’.

Liz Truss’s first Downing Street speech in full 

‘Good afternoon. I have just accepted her Majesty the Queen’s kind invitation to form a new government.

‘Let me pay tribute to my predecessor. Boris Johnson delivered Brexit, the Covid vaccine and stood up to Russian aggression. History will see him as a hugely consequential prime minister.

‘I’m honoured to take on this responsibility at a vital time for our country. What makes the United Kingdom great is our fundamental belief in freedom, in enterprise and in fair play. Our people have shown grit, courage and determination, time and time again.

‘We now face severe global headwinds caused by Russia’s appalling war in Ukraine and the aftermath of Covid. Now is the time to tackle the issues that are holding Britain back. We need to build roads, homes and broadband faster. We need more investment and great jobs in every town and city across our country. We need to reduce the burden on families and help people get on in life.

‘I know that we have what it takes to tackle those challenges. Of course, it won’t be easy, but we can do it. We will transform Britain into an aspiration nation with high paying jobs, safe streets and where everyone everywhere has the opportunities they deserve.

‘I will take action this day and action every day to make it happen. United with our allies, we will stand up for freedom and democracy around the world. Recognising that we can’t have security at home without having security abroad.

‘As prime minister, I will pursue three early priorities. Firstly, I will get Britain working again. I have a bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform. I will cut taxes to reward hard work and boost business-led growth and investment.

‘I will drive reform in my mission to get the United Kingdom working, building and growing. We’ll get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure that we are building hospitals, schools, roads and broadband.

‘Secondly, I will deal hands on with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war. I will take action this week to deal with energy bills and to secure our future energy supply.

‘Thirdly, I will make sure that people can get doctor’s appointments and the NHS services they need. We will put our health service on a firm footing.

‘By delivering on the economy, on energy and on the NHS. We will put our nation on the path to long term success. We shouldn’t be daunted by the challenges we face. As strong as the storm may be, I know that the British people are stronger. Our country was built by people who get things done. We have huge reserves of talent, of energy and determination.

‘I am confident that together we can ride out the storm. We can rebuild our economy and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be.

‘This is our vital mission to ensure opportunity and prosperity for all people and future generations. I am determined to deliver Thank you.’



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