Amber Rudd And Matt Hancock Stay In Boris Johnson's Cabinet – Despite All The Shade They've Thrown At Him In The Past

The reshuffle saw critics ousted but Rudd is still work and pensions secretary, while Hancock remains at health.

Picture the scene: having spent years *very* publicly bitching about one of your colleagues, out of the blue they become your boss – and the future of your career is suddenly in their hands.

The stuff of nightmares, right? Well, with Boris Johnson having been named prime minister after winning the Conservative leadership contest, that’s the exact toe-curling scenario some Tory ministers have found themselves in.

But it hasn’t stopped them snapping up top cabinet jobs. It was revealed on Wednesday night that Amber Rudd – a pro-Remain campaigner who supported Jeremy Hunt during the leadership race – stays as work and pensions secretary in Johnson’s government.

It follows repeated criticisms from Rudd – who served as home secretary and work and pensions secretary under Theresa May – of Johnson’s policies.

Like the time she said that suspending parliament to prevent MPs from blocking no-deal was “the most extraordinary idea I’ve ever heard”, calling it a “ridiculous suggestion”. (Johnson has refused to rule out prorouging parliament.)

Or the time she slammed Johnson’s vow to pull the UK out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. Speaking in June, Rudd said: “My concern is that some candidates are approaching Brexit with a sort of do or die approach and not considering the consequences to people’s jobs.

“To simply say we are definitely leaving on October 31 and to lean into no deal, I think is a mistake.” (Johnson famously said Brexit would happen “do or die” on Halloween.)

Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd
Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd
PA Wire/PA Images

But it’s not just the new PM’s plans Rudd has had a dig at. Remember the time back in 2016 during the referendum campaign when she said of Johnson: “He’s the life and soul of the party but he’s not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening.”? (Ouch).

More recently, she cut down any illusions Johnson may have that he and his hero Winston Churchill might be similar leaders.

Rudd told the Times: “I do not think he’s like Churchill, no. Churchill was a great leader at a time of war, he was extraordinary. We talk about a national crisis now but this is not a national crisis compared to the Second World War.”

But Rudd is not the only newly-appointed minister with a track record of slinging mud at their new boss. Matt Hancock also keeps his job as health secretary.

During his campaign to replace May as PM, Hancock said proroguing parliament would be a betrayal of British soldiers who fought at D-Day.

“This idea from some people that to deliver Brexit we should suspend our parliamentary democracy, that we should prorogue parliament, that goes against everything those men wading onto those beaches fought and died for. And I will not have it. They made that sacrifice so we could create a better world and we have,” he said.

If that wasn’t enough, he was *seriously* unhappy with Johnson’s infamous “fuck business” comment.

“[The Conservatives] should be backing business not bashing business,” he told the FT. “To the people who say ‘fuck business’, I say ’fuck “fuck business”.”

Well. We can only imagine the interviews between Rudd, Hancock and Boris were *interesting*, to say the least.


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