Who Will Be In Liz Truss's Cabinet If She Is Made Prime Minister?

Boris Johnson always rewarded loyalty, will his foreign secretary follow suit?
Badenoch, Truss and Braverman
Badenoch, Truss and Braverman

Liz Truss probably has more big backers than there will be jobs available,” one Tory party staffer says.

Rumours are certainly doing the rounds on who is tipped for the biggest jobs in government if Truss wins the Tory leadership race.

With every day that passes it looks increasingly likely that the foreign secretary will be the United Kingdom’s next prime minister.

A ConservativeHome survey put Truss on 58 per cent while her rival Rishi Sunak was trailing behind on 26 per cent.

It feels like it would take a major clanger over the next few weeks to derail her march to No.10.

But, as we have seen over the last few years, UK politics can be totally unpredictable.

Here we take a look at the frontrunner and her key allies who could be given positions in her first cabinet as prime minister.

Of course this is all speculation and her team would never confirm any decisions in advance.

However, it would be fair to assume some of those mentioned are highly likely to be appointed to the most senior decision making body of the government under Truss.

Boris Johnson presided over the most ethnically diverse cabinet in history but Truss could improve further on this.

She would also be the Conservative Party’s third female prime minister and a number of women are tipped for big promotions.

Will Truss, like Johnson, reward MPs for their loyalty or will she look to appoint on merit?

Chancellor Of The Exchequer

Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss.
Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Whoever is made chancellor of the exchequer under Truss will arguably face the toughest job in government with the economic outlook looking gloomy.

Key Truss ally Kwasi Kwarteng is tipped for the post which is one of the great offices of state and would see him put in charge of the nation’s purse.

Kwarteng is currently the business secretary and remained loyal to Johnson as his administration was brought down.

In 2012 he co-authored the book Britannia Unchained with Truss and has fiercely backed her in the race to be PM.

Foreign Secretary

James Cleverly.
James Cleverly.
Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images via Getty Images

Another Johnson loyalist looking set for promotion to one of the great offices of state is James Cleverly.

Formerly a foreign minister, Johnson recently made Cleverly education secretary amid the chaos of resignations that brought the government down.

Cleverly, who has been promoting Truss on the airwaves, even suggested Johnson could be offered a senior cabinet role if Truss becomes PM.

Home Secretary

Suella Braverman.
Suella Braverman.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Attorney general Suella Braverman endorsed Truss after her own leadership bid failed.

The staunch Brexiteer has said the UK needs to “take back control of our borders” and called for the UK to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights.

She recently scrapped diversity training in her department as she declared a war on “woke witch trials”.

Truss is likely to offer a full cabinet job to her in a bid to consolidate support from the right of the party.

Cabinet Office Minister

Therese Coffey.
Therese Coffey.
Future Publishing via Getty Images

The current work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey will undoubtedly be in Truss’s cabinet having been at her side throughout the leadership campaign.

For a while Truss was said to have been mulling over making her home secretary but recent reports suggest Coffey might be asked to head up the cabinet office.

In the key cabinet office minister’s role, Coffey would act as prime minister Truss’s fixer.

Defence Secretary

Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace
Future Publishing via Getty Images

Truss will likely be tempted to keep Ben Wallace in post as the defence secretary.

That is if he does not have ambitions to hold one of the great offices of state such as foreign secretary. Truss might also consider appointing him as her deputy prime minister.

Wallace was commissioned as an Officer in the Scots Guards and in the 1990s he saw service in Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Central America.

The former soldier was a favourite among the Tory party’s grassroots but did not enter a bid to become prime minister, instead throwing his weight behind Truss.

Health Secretary

Rishi Sunak.
Rishi Sunak.
Matthew Horwood via Getty Images

The Sun had reported that Truss’s rival Rishi Sunak could be offered the health secretary gig. However, Sunak recently laughed off the idea of being in the Truss cabinet.

It was a surprise tip off considering the narrative from Truss’s supporters that Sunak knifed Johnson in the back.

However, Truss might consider it is best to keep your enemies close by appointing her leadership rival to a senior government post.

Given the crisis in the NHS, with patient backlogs and a staff exodus, the former chancellor will have his work cut out.

Business Secretary

Simon Clarke.
Simon Clarke.
Future Publishing via Getty Images

It was once reported that the 6ft 5in tall MP Simon Clarke was placed in the Treasury by Johnson in a bid to annoy Sunak who stands at 5ft 6in tall.

Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, certainly has not shown any loyalty to the former chancellor and instead backed Truss for leader.

He was recently on the radio accusing Sunak of being “extremely aggressive” during a debate with Truss.

Education Secretary

Kemi Badenoch.
Kemi Badenoch.
Handout via Getty Images

Kemi Badenoch transformed from an outsider to a serious contender in the Tory leadership race, gaining the backing of senior Conservative Michael Gove.

The right winger is likely to receive a job in Truss’s cabinet, particularly after her supporters appeared to switch to Truss following her elimination.

She has previously held roles in the department for education and it could be an opportunity for her to shake up the system as she sees fit.

The MP has criticised critical race theory and prides herself on being an anti-woke politician.

Environment Secretary

Ranil Jayawardena
Ranil Jayawardena
Richard Townshend

Trade minister Ranil Jayawardena has been quietly rising up the ranks and worked under Truss when she was international trade secretary.

When Truss won her place in the final two in the leadership contest Jayawardena was among those by her side.

The position of environment secretary is likely to be free after the incumbent George Eustice backed Sunak to be PM.

Culture Secretary

Penny Mordaunt.
Penny Mordaunt.
Finnbarr Webster via Getty Images

Penny Mordaunt is reportedly pushing for culture secretary which might be a good fit for the MP who once belly flopped in the ITV series Splash!

However, some of her fans suggest she would be a better fit for international trade secretary having a role in the department already.

Mordaunt was initially in the race to replace Johnson but was eliminated after receiving the lowest number of votes in the final MPs’ ballot.

She announced she was backing Truss in a dramatic introductory speech for the foreign secretary at a hustings event in Exeter.

Conservative Party Chairman

Priti Patel.
Priti Patel.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Home secretary Priti Patel has not endorsed either Truss or Sunak in the leadership race.

Earlier in the competition she was said to have been considering a run herself and some MPs even came out to back her.

Patel has still not announced who she is backing but it is widely expected she will choose Truss as her favoured candidate.

After biding her time, she might be in for a demotion with Conservative Party chairman among the roles being suggested.

However, Truss has vowed to keep Patel’s controversial Rwanda plan for migrants suggesting she could keep her as home secretary.

Brexit Opportunities Minister

Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Jacob Rees-Mogg will likely keep his current post which has seen him leaving passive aggressive notes on civil servants’ desks and railing against what he describes as “woke”.

The Johnson loyalist joined culture secretary Nadine Dorries to endorse Truss on camera outside No.10 Downing Street.

The Brexit opportunities job reads like it was designed for Jacob Rees-Mogg and it is likely he will remain in cabinet given his dedication to Truss on the airwaves.

Chief Whip

Iain Duncan Smith.
Iain Duncan Smith.
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images

Iain Duncan Smith is tipped to become Truss’s chief whip in an extraordinary comeback for the former Tory leader.

The senior Conservative has been helping unite the right of the party behind Truss and is tipped to continue that role if Truss wins the keys to No.10, according to The Sun.

The veteran MP served as opposition leader from 2001 to 2003 when Labour’s Tony Blair was prime minister.

Security Minister

Tom Tugendhat.
Tom Tugendhat.
Pool via Getty Images

Tom Tugendhat was the darling of the Tory party’s centrist One Nation group but was knocked out in the third round of MPs’ voting.

This is despite winning a number of fans including readers of the influential Mumsnet website.

He was questioned throughout the race over whether he was vying for a cabinet role rather than being serious about being prime minister.

And in a shock for some of his backers, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee went on to support Truss for leader.

With the post of foreign secretary likely to be taken by another major backer perhaps Truss will make him security minister with a seat at the top table.

Other Loyalists And Backers

Chloe Smith, Dehenna Davison and Nadine Dorries
Chloe Smith, Dehenna Davison and Nadine Dorries

Minister for disabled people Chloe Smith currently works under Coffey and has been tipped for a cabinet role.

Truss might also try to keep culture secretary Nadine Dorries in the cabinet after her ferocious support in the media - that has sometimes found Dorries in hot water.

However, recent reports suggested Dorries had told colleagues she intends to step down in October. The Times reported that Johnson was preparing to offer her a peerage.

Any new cabinet will also need Tory MPs from the 2019 intake after their alienation from government played a crucial role in Johnson’s downfall.

Rising star and Red Wall 2019 MP Dehenna Davison could be a good fit for the women and equalities minister.

The Scotland secretary Alister Jack, who has said he will not reveal who he is supporting in the race, is expected to continue in post.

Names floating around the Welsh brief include David TC Davies and David Jones.

Truss will also have to make a decision about Tory big beast Michael Gove who was sacked by Johnson as levelling up secretary for disloyalty. She might decide it is safer to keep him where she can see him.

Cabinet supporters of Sunak have also reportedly been in talks with Truss over defecting to her campaign, The Mail on Sunday said.

One prominent member of the former Chancellor’s camp was on the brink of announcing his switch to the foreign secretary last week, but pulled back following Truss’s U-turn over regional pay boards.

Perhaps Truss will seek to reward any defectors with a nice plum role.

Big gigs up for grabs include the levelling up brief, the department for work and pensions, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and transport.

A spokesman said: “Liz takes nothing for granted and is fighting for every vote. We will not comment on speculation.”

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