Liz Truss latest: Prime minister clears out Sunak supporters in cabinet reshuffle

Moment Liz Truss is announced as new Tory leader and next prime minister

Liz Truss has culled supporters of her leadership rival Rishi Sunak from government as she began appointing a cabinet of close political allies.

Prominent ministers of Boris Johnson’s cabinet including Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps and Steve Barclay all announced they were returning to the backbenches soon after Ms Truss entered Downing Street for the first time as prime minister.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Therese Coffey and Suella Braverman, all allies of Ms Truss tipped for top cabinet jobs, were seen heading through the door to No 10.

One former special adviser to a minister in Mr Johnson’s cabinet told The Independent he feared the new prime minister was creating a “cabinet of cronies”.

In her first speech as prime minister, Ms Truss vowed to “tackle the issues holding Britain back” and listed her three priorities for running the country.

From a lectern outside 10 Downing Street, the UK’s new leader said she wants to “get Britain working”, “deal hands on with the energy crisis” and “put our health service on a firm footing”.

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Johnny Mercer sacked

Johnny Mercer has been sacked as veterans affairs minster by Liz Truss.

The former soldier rejoined Boris Johnson’s cabinet as the former prime minister’s premiership collapsed in July.

Mr Mercer was dismissed as parliamentary under secretary for defence in 2021 after accusing Mr Johnson of breaking his committment to British veterans of the Troubles.

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Watch: Key moments from Liz Truss’s first speech as PM

Key moments from Liz Truss’s first speech as PM

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James Cleverly in No 10, tipped for Foreign Office

James Cleverly followed Therese Coffey into Downing Street.

The Education Secretary greeted the duty police officer before entering No 10.

He is tipped to take over from Liz Truss as foreign secretary.

Cleverly arriving for a meeting in No 10 just now

(PA)

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Therese Coffey heads into No 10, expected to be deputy PM

Therese Coffey was the third politician to enter Downing Street this evening.

She stood at the open door of Number 10 and posed for the media.

Boris Johnson’s work and pensions secretary is tipped to be appointed deputy prime minister by Liz Truss.

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Liz Truss clears out Sunak supporters as she builds ‘cabinet of cronies’

Liz Truss has conducted a brutal clear-out of supporters of her leadership rival Rishi Sunak as she began the process of appointing a cabinet of close political allies (Andrew Woodcock writes).

Within 40 minutes of arriving by motorcade in Downing Street following her audience with the Queen in Balmoral, the new prime minister sacked a trio of prominent backers of the former chancellor.

Boris Johnson’s former deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, health secretary Steve Barclay and transport secretary Grant Shapps all announced they were returning to the backbenches, following home secretary Priti Patel and culture secretary Nadine Dorries, who went voluntarily last night.

Mr Shapps was thought to have hoped to hang on in a ministerial job after the transfer of power.

But one former special adviser to a minister in Boris Johnson’s former cabinet told The Independent he feared the new PM was creating a “cabinet of cronies”.

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Watch: Downing Street staff welcome prime minister

Clip here of Downing Street staff welcoming the new head of the household:

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Suella Braverman heads into No 10, tipped for Home Office

Suella Braverman has entered Number 10.

The attorney general and former leadership contender walked up Downing Street, waving and smiling at the awaiting press.

She is the leading candidate to replace Priti Patel as home secretary.

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US friends with people of UK, not just government, says White House

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had this to say about the so-called special relationship between the UK and US:

“Our countries have a close, long standing special relationships as friends and Nato allies, and we are looking forward to continue close cooperation on key priorities including supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression and addressing the challenges posed by China.

“We see our relationship not just with leadership, but also the people of the UK.”

That last line could reflect the White House anticipating a clash with Britain in the near future.

Commentators expect US president Joe Biden to take Liz Truss to task over her plan to rip up post-Brexit trading arrangements for Northern Ireland.

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Steve Barclay out

Steve Barclay announced that he is no longer health secretary and will return to the backbenches.

Boris Johnson gave Mr Barclay the health role as the former prime minister desperately tried to fill his cabinet after a string of ministerial resignations forced him to announce he would leave office.

Mr Barclay was previously Brexit secretary under Theresa May and later Mr Johnson.

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Kwasi Kwarteng heads into No 10

Kwasi Kwarteng has been seen entering No 10 as Liz Truss prepares to announce her cabinet.

Mr Kwarteng, Boris Johnson’s business secretary, is expected to be the new prime minister’s choice for chancellor.

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