Theresa May has continued a swift and sweeping reconstruction of her cabinet by dismissing Michael Gove as justice secretary, with Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, and John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, also being told they have lost their jobs.
Gove, who fell out badly with May over religious extremism when she was home secretary and he was education secretary, was dismissed on Thursday morning, according to sources.
Gove had stood against May to replace David Cameron as Conservative leader but fell in the second round of voting.
Morgan, who supported Gove’s leadership bid, has also been dismissed as education secretary.
Ahead of the official announcements of new ministers, another incumbent left, announcing the news via Twitter. Whittingdale. whose tenure as culture secretary had seen a major re-examination of the BBC, tweeted that he had left the job.”
A series of new appointments were due soon, following May’s accession as prime minister on Wednesday.
It follow news of the first six cabinet posts, which came hours after May went to Buckingham Palace to formally take on the new role.
The first post was Philip Hammond becoming chancellor of the exchequer. The former foreign secretary arrived at Downing Street to learn the news just as his predecessor as chancellor, George Osborne, let via a back entrance after being sacked.
Then came more unexpected news, as Hammond’s old post as foreign secretary went to Boris Johnson. The former London mayor had been tipped to succeed Cameron after the EU referendum but his stock had fallen drastically after he left the leadership race when challenged by his former ally Gove.
The last of the most important cabinet posts, home secretary, has gone to Amber Rudd, the former energy secretary, who only entered parliament in 2010.
Two other crucial posts went to strong Brexit supporters brought back from the cold. David Davis took on the new job of secretary of state for exiting the European Union, six years after he resigned as shadow home secretary to re-fight his parliamentary seat in a protest over detention without trial for terror suspects.
Liam Fox, who quit as defence secretary in 2011 amid revelations his close friend, the lobbyist Adam Werritty, had travelled with him on official business, was made secretary of another new ministry, for international trade.
The other announcement on Wednesday evening was that Michael Fallon would remain in his job as defence secretary.
This article was written by Peter Walker, for theguardian.com on Thursday 14th July 2016 10.57 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010