Boris Johnson wields the axe in major shake-up of top team

Michael Gove has been named Housing Minister and Liz Truss was appointed Foreign Secretary as Boris Johnson carried out a dramatic shake-up of his top team.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reshuffled his pack
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reshuffled his pack

Mr Johnson demoted Dominic Raab, who has been widely criticised for his handling of the Afghanistan crisis, moving him from the Foreign Office to the Ministry of Justice but also handing him the title Deputy Prime Minister.

Ms Truss has taken over at the Foreign Office, while Priti Patel and Sajid Javid held onto their respective positions of Home Secretary and Heath Secretary.

Mr Gove, who has replaced Robert Jenrick, will also take on on cross-government responsibility for Mr Johnson's "levelling up" agenda, while Nadhim Zahawi has succeeded Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary.

Tory party co-chair Amanda Milling was ousted, just weeks before the Conservative conference, and replaced by former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Other moves saw Nadine Dorries, a best-selling author and former star of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, becoming Culture Secretary, while Steve Barclay succeeded Mr Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office minister.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who lost her place in the Cabinet when the Department for International Development was scrapped, returns to the top table as International Trade Secretary.

The demotion of Mr Raab, who has replaced Robert Buckland, comes after he was heavily criticised for being on holiday as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan.

The title Deputy Prime Minister formalises a role he performed as first secretary of state when he stood in for Mr Johnson while the Prime Minister was in hospital with coronavirus.

Mr Raab accepted the new role following lengthy talks with Mr Johnson in the Prime Minister's Commons office.

Announcing his departure, Mr Buckland said it had been an "honour" to serve in the Government for the last seven years, including the last two as justice secretary and lord chancellor.

"I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure," he said.

The Prime Minister carried out the long-awaited shake-up of his top team with plans to put in place a "strong and united" Cabinet following the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Appointments to junior ministerial positions will continue tomorrow.

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