A week is a long time in politics. Never has Harold Wilson’s famous quotation felt more accurate. This time last week David Cameron was planning to move out of Number 10 in September while Theresa May was launching what was likely to be a hard fought leadership campaign. This morning, Theresa May is putting the final touches to a transformed government.
No incoming Prime Minister has ever before dispensed with the services of so many of their previous Cabinet colleagues. The key figures of David Cameron’s premiership have all departed: George Osborne, Michael Gove and all of his former advisers have left government. The reconstituted government gives much greater prominence to some of the old guard of the Conservative right, such as David Davis and Liam Fox, who find themselves in charge of renegotiating the UK’s trade relationships. In the important domestic policy departments, the new government retains some of the most experienced ministerial figures, while elsewhere bringing in and promoting allies of Theresa May. It is a great assertion of authority for a new Prime Minister to make, especially for a government which has a working majority of only 16 – with many noting that the willingness to send so many former ministers to the backbenches suggests Theresa May will be looking at holding a General Election in a few months’ time in order to greatly increase that majority against a divided and ineffective opposition.
Edelman has created this website to help get to grips with who’s who in this new look government. If you don’t know your BEIS from your DEEU, then look no further.