Who's who in Theresa May's new cabinet


Theresa May last night announced the key appointments to her cabinet: Philip Hammond as chancellor, Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, and Amber Rudd as home secretary.

Also revealed were the newly created roles of secretary of state for exiting the European Union – Brexit minister – which is to be taken up by David Davis, and a new Department for International Trade, to be headed up by Liam Fox. Defence secretary Michael Fallon stays in his role.

Philip Hammond

The shorthand caricature of the new chancellor of the exchequer is that he is the ultimate safe pair of hands in government: a hard-working, technocratic colleague who will happily and conscientiously take good care of tricky ministries.

Hammond, 60, the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge since 1997, has worked his way up with efficient handling of some complex ministerial briefs. In opposition he shadowed as pensions secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury before beginning in government as transport minister as the coalition deal gave the Lib Dems his old post. He became foreign secretary in 2014.

Immediately in government he showed his populist side, declaring Labour’s mythical “war on motorists” to be over and proposing to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph, until the extra death toll this would have caused prompted the plan to be scrapped.

As defence minister in 2013 he attracted criticism by talking about “a real sense of anger among many people who are married” who felt the gay marriage law would change the institution. Hammond was later alleged to have likened gay marriage to incest – something he denied.

Boris Johnson

The former London mayor was once considered a frontrunner to succeed Cameron. He fuelled this speculation when he came out as a Brexit supporter in February after rejecting the results of Cameron’s EU renegotiation, and quickly became the de facto leader of the main leave group.

After the country voted for Brexit, he began the initial stages of a leadership bid but dramatically and unexpectedly dropped out when his campaign chief, Michael Gove, made the surprise decision to challenge him for the job.

Born in New York, Johnson, 52, studied at Eton and Oxford University before working as a journalist. He was sacked from the Times for making up quotes, but reappeared at the Telegraph. He later edited the Spectator.

His journalism continued during his political career, with earnings of £250,000 a year for his Daily Telegraph column, which he once referred to as “chicken feed”. He was forced to apologise for one column from 2002 in which he had referred to Africans greeting foreign visitors as “piccaninnies” and tribal warriors with “watermelon smiles”.

He stood for parliament in 2001, winning the seat of Henley. As a shadow minister, he was forced to apologise to the city of Liverpool for the Spectator saying it was wallowing in the grief of murdered engineer Ken Bigley and Hillsborough. He was later sacked by Michael Howard in 2004 for lying about having had an affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.

But just a year later he was back as shadow education minister, from which he resigned in 2007, then successfully fighting the London mayoral contest.

After winning a second term as mayor, he went on to fight the seat of Uxbridge at the 2015 election and re-enter parliament.

Amber Rudd

Rudd rose rapidly under the patronage of George Osborne in the last parliament, starting off as his parliamentary aide and ending in the cabinet.

The 52-year-old is one of the few senior Tory MPs to have won a marginal seat from Labour, taking Hastings and Rye in 2010. After just two years on the backbenches she was promoted by the chancellor, before entering the whips office and then heading to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Her appointment as energy secretary in 2015 was greeted with optimism by green groups, as she is committed to tackling climate change.

Colleagues describe her as capable and confident, but she was accused of misleading the public after a leaked letter revealed that the UK was predicted to fall short of its obligations to get 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020, while the department was claiming that progress was being made toward that aim.

Born in London, Rudd is the daughter of a stockbroker and was privately educated at Cheltenham Ladies’ College before studying at the University of Edinburgh.

Liam Fox

Fox had to resign as defence secretary in 2011 after just 18 months because of questions over the unorthodox access given to his friend and unofficial adviser Adam Werritty. He was a fairly prominent member of the Brexit campaign but as a leadership candidate was considered further to the right than eurosceptic rivals Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. He ended up last in the contest out of five candidates.

His political record includes voting against gay marriage and calling for the Guardian to be prosecuted for publishing the Edward Snowden leaks about mass surveillance of citizens in the US and UK.

The 54-year-old was born in East Kilbride in Scotland and educated in the state system, before studying medicine at Glasgow University and becoming a doctor. He went on to work as a civilian army medical officer and was a GP before being elected as a Conservative MP in 1992.

David Davis

The backbencher was once the favourite to be party leader but was beaten by Cameron when it came to the final shortlist of two in 2005. He continued in the prominent job of shadow home secretary and waged war against Labour’s plans for 42-day detention without charge and ID cards. However, he resigned as an MP in a one-man protest over civil liberties in 2008 to fight a byelection in his own seat.

From the backbench, he continued his fight for civil liberties, opposing surveillance legislation proposed by Theresa May. During the referendum he was a Eurosceptic but chose to ally himself with the Grassroots Out group linked to Ukip donor Arron Banks. Davis, 67, is not a traditional Tory, having begun his life with a single mother in Yorkshire and growing up on a council estate in south London.

Michael Fallon

The defence secretary is staying in his job, despite having been a loyal ally of Cameron and Osborne. During the election and EU referendum, Fallon was used by the leadership to voice aggressive messages, including the claim that Ed Miliband could not be trusted with the economy because he stabbed his brother in the back for the job of Labour leader. After the mayoral election, he was forced to apologise for saying Sadiq Khan had associated with a Muslim cleric who supported the terror group Islamic State (Isis), which was not true. Under David Cameron, Fallon has been a business minister, an energy minister, and then defence secretary.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason and Peter Walker, for The Guardian on Wednesday 13th July 2016 22.48 Europe/London

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