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British PM announces first cabinet appointments

Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has made her first cabinet appointments- bringing in Therese Coffey as Deputy PM and Health Secretary, and Boris Johnson’s business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as Britain’s new Chancellor.

The appointments came shortly after PM Liz Truss was officially asked by the Queen to form a new government.

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng (MP)- Chancellor
He has described his appointment as “the honour of a lifetime” in a post on social media. The Eton-educated son of Ghanaian immigrants only took up his first cabinet role last year, but has been a long-term ally of Ms Truss since they entered the commons together back in 2010.

On the eve of the Tory leadership election result, Mr. Kwarteng wrote a piece in the Financial Times promising that Ms Truss’s government would behave “in a fiscally responsible way” as ministers seek to ease the burden of the cost of living crisis.

Mr Kwarteng will hold the purse strings in Number 11 and play a pivotal role in how the government chooses to deal with the cost of living crisis the country is currently facing.

According to Sky News, Chancellor Kwarteng has already convened a meeting with the chief executives of lenders including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group- just hours after being appointed to the post.

He will hold talks with the leaders of the banks on Wednesday as he tries to exert a grip on the stalling UK economy.

Therese Coffey

Therese Coffey (MP)- Deputy Prime Minister & Health Secretary
The former work and pensions secretary has been rewarded for her loyalty to Ms Truss and promoted to health secretary and deputy prime minister.

Ms Coffey climbed the ranks in government under former prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson – but her position as one of Ms Truss’s closest political allies has landed her in charge of dealing with the mounting problems facing the NHS and social care sector.

She chaired the new PM’s campaign to be leader, and they have been close friends since running for parliamentary candidate selection together in 2009 – Ms Truss got the Norfolk seat they both went for but Ms Coffey then got the nearby seat of Suffolk Coastal.

The importance of the role of deputy prime minister was illuminated in 2020 when Dominic Raab was put in charge of running the country while Mr Johnson was hospitalised with COVID.

James Cleverly

James Cleverly (MP)- Foreign Secretary
He replaces Ms Truss herself who never resigned from her role before partaking in her successful party leadership campaign. When Ms Truss was foreign secretary, Mr Cleverly effectively acted as her deputy.

Mr Cleverly, who has also held the role of deputy Conservative Party chairman, was one of the three individuals appointed as education secretary in just three days in the dying moments of Mr Johnson’s government.

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman (MP)- Home Secretary
The former attorney general has been appointed home secretary. A former leadership hopeful, she went on to endorse Ms Truss after she was eliminated from the contest.

She replaces Priti Patel who confirmed her intention to resign from the post on Monday evening after three years of running the Home Office.

Ms Braverman has been an advocate of her predecessor’s Rwanda plan, commenting that she had “significant reservations about our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights” following the European court’s decision which effectively grounded the first flight aiming to send asylum seekers out of the UK earlier in the summer.

Sir Michael Ellis- Attorney General
Former cabinet office minister and paymaster general, Sir Michael Ellis, fills the attorney general position left vacant by Ms Braverman.

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace (MP)- Defence Secretary
Ms Truss has decided that Ben Wallace will remain as defence secretary, a position he has held since 2019. Mr Wallace supported the new PM in her campaign to become party leader and is a firm favourite among Tory members.

He had been tipped to be a frontrunner in the leadership race himself, but decided not to make the bid. Mr Wallace has won praise for his handling of the Ukraine war and is considered well-liked among Conservative members.

Source: Sky News

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