Cabinet reshuffle latest LIVE: Rishi Sunak to hold Cabinet meeting with new ministers
Rishi Sunak has appointed Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands as the new Tory Party chairman and Grant Shapps as a new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, during a mini-reshuffle of his Cabinet on Tuesday.
The appoinment of Mr Hands, which was initially confirmed on social media by Tory Mp Michael Fabricant, comes after Nadhim Zahawi was sacked as chairman, over his tax affairs, more than a week ago.
Lee Anderson, who has been a staunch government ally from the backbenches, has been appointed deputy chairman.
Mr Shapps’ appointment as energy security secretary comes as Mr Sunak breaks up the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) into three ministries. In doing so, Mr Sunak also appointed Michelle Donelan as the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Kemi Badenoch as Business Secretary and Lucy Frazer as Culture Secretary.
The Prime Minister said the shake-up will “focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children and grandchildren”.
Dominic Raab, who is facing an investigation into claims of bullying, has survived the reshuffle.
Live coverage ends
16:56 , Josh Salisbury
Our live coverage of Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle is now ending. Thank you for joining us.
For the full story on the reshuffle, visit here.
Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle in statistics
16:31 , Josh Salisbury
The PA news agency has collated some interesting statistics around Mr Sunak’s reshuffle.
Among them are:
- Lucy Frazer is the 12th person to be appointed culture secretary in the past 13 years.
In the 13 years from 1997 to 2010, the UK had only five culture secretaries.
- Kemi Badenoch has become the ninth business secretary since 2010.
Six people have held the role in the past four years.
- The UK has its third incarnation of a department for energy.
The first existed from 1974 to 1992 and was run by the Secretary of State for Energy. Ministers who held the post included Labour's Tony Benn (1975-79) and Conservative Nigel Lawson (1981-83).
The second version lasted from 2008 to 2016, while the third and latest will be led by Grant Shapps.
The third, and latest, will be led by Grant Shapps as Secretary of State for Energy Security & Net Zero.
- Lucy Frazer's appointment as culture secretary means there is a vacancy for housing minister.
Whoever replaces her will be the 15th person to hold the role in the past 13 years. They will also be the fifth housing minister in the past 12 months.
PM and Grant Shapps visit power plant
15:28 , Miriam Burrell
Moments after Grant Shapps’ new role was announced, the new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero accompanied the Prime Minister on a power plant tour.
The pair were showed around a combined heat and power plant in Kings Cross ahead of this afternoon’s Cabinet meeting.
Pictured: Cabinet ministers arrive at No 10
15:11 , Miriam Burrell
The reshuffle continues
14:49 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle continues with the appointment of:
Graham Stuart as minister in the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
George Freeman as minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
Nigel Huddleston as minister in the Department for Business and Trade
Nusrat Ghani becomes a minister jointly in the Business and Trade Department and the Cabinet Office
Andrew Bowie joins the Energy and Net Zero Department as parliamentary under secretary of state
Paul Scully and Kevin Hollinrake take on the same role in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Department for Business and Trade, respectively
Stuart Andrew has been named parliamentary under secretary of state in the new culture department and minister for equalities in the Department for Business and Trade
Maria Caulfield becomes minister for women in the Business and Trade Department, while staying on as parliamentary under secretary of state in the Health Department
Lucy Frazer arrives at No10
14:44 , Miriam Burrell
Lucy Frazer, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport has arrived for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street this afternoon.
PM defends Dominic Raab’s position
14:30 , Miriam Burrell
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has defended his decision to shake up Whitehall rather than reconsider the future in his Cabinet of Dominic Raab.
Mr Raab is under investigation for alleged bullying by an independent adviser.
Mr Sunak said: “The independent adviser is conducting his investigation, I can’t prejudge the outcome of that investigation, it’s right that it concludes.
“But as people have seen from how I’ve acted in the past, when I’m presented with conclusive independent findings that someone in my Government has not acted with the integrity or standards that I would expect of them, I won’t hesitate to take swift and decisive action.”
Lee Anderson appointed deputy chairman
13:53 , Miriam Burrell
Lee Anderson has been appointed deputy Conservative chairman.
The outspoken Tory MP, who represents the so-called “red wall” seat of Ashfield, was appointed amid a wider reshuffle and restructuring of Government departments carried out by Rishi Sunak.
👏 Welcome @LeeAndersonMP_ - our new Deputy Chairman of the @Conservatives pic.twitter.com/zXexdGqsGt
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) February 7, 2023
Who is Greg Hands?
13:48 , Miriam Burrell
The New York-born politician has held several ministerial positions since becoming an MP in 2005.
Find out all about the new Tory Party chairman here.
PM: Energy department to ‘cut bills and emissions’
13:33 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak says that the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will help to cut bills and emissions.
The Prime Minister said the department will cut the UK’s dependence on Russia’s energy supply and focus on giving the UK “cheaper, cleaner, more secure sources of energy”.
In 2021 imports from Russia made up 4% of gas used in the UK, 9% of oil and 27% of coal, worth a combined £4.5 billion according to House of Commons Library figures.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will focus on giving the UK cheaper, cleaner, more secure sources of energy – cutting bills, cutting emissions, and cutting our dependence on international energy supplies, like those of Putin’s Russia. https://t.co/6rtAhka44f
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) February 7, 2023
Government says Whitehall shake-up means ‘greater focus’ and ‘dedicated leadership'
12:37 , Sami Quadri
Full details of the responsibilities of the new departments will be set out later on Tuesday, No 10 said.
Explaining the reason for the new energy department, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “For too long there hasn’t been enough forward planning on this, whether that’s on building new nuclear or other issues.
“Having a new department solely focused on this, led by Grant Shapps, is a way of addressing these long-standing challenges.”
The spokesman said the Whitehall shake-up would mean “greater focus, dedicated leadership and better-targeted resources to deliver on our promises” of halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting hospital waiting lists and stopping small boats carrying migrants across the English Channel.
Government downplays cost of reforms
12:18 , Sami Quadri
Downing Street downplayed questions about how expensive the reshuffle and reorganisation of Whitehall departments might be.
The Liberal Democrats claimed on Tuesday that the reforms could cost £60 million.
Asked about costs, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said details would be set out in the normal way.
“It’s worth stressing obviously the teams are already in place.
“This is about bringing together teams under the priorities of the Prime Minister. So we wouldn’t expect there to be significant additional costs to this.”
The spokesman said he did not recognise the figure suggested by the Lib Dems.
PM: Shake-up will build ‘better future for our children’
12:01 , Miriam Burrell
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said his shake-up of Whitehall, including the creation of four new departments, will “focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children and grandchildren”.
“The Government needs to reflect the priorities of the British people and be designed to deliver for them,” he tweeted.
“These changes will focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children & grandchildren.”
The government needs to reflect the priorities of the British people and be designed to deliver for them.
These changes will focus teams on the issues that will build a better future for our children & grandchildren. https://t.co/UzcGRgOCBJ
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) February 7, 2023
Sunak wanted Michael Gove to move roles - reports
11:56 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak wanted Michael Gove to be the new science, innovation and technology secretary, but he asked to stay as the levelling up secretary, according to The Times.
EXCLUSIVE with @Smyth_Chris
Michael Gove was Rishi Sunak's first choice for science, tech & innovation secretary
He was sounded out by No 10 last night but said he wanted to stay on as levelling up sec
Would have led to a far more extensive reshufflehttps://t.co/i7zPtmbmbR
— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) February 7, 2023
Lib Dems: PM looking ‘weaker by the day'
11:37 , Miriam Burrell
Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office spokesperson Christine Jardine said that Rishi Sunak was “looking weaker by the day, and this rudderless reshuffle is the latest proof”.
“This reshuffle will cost the public millions while failing to change the trajectory of this Government in crisis.
“Rather than fritter away tens of millions of taxpayers’ cash on costly vanity projects, Sunak should spend the money where it’s most needed.
“This cash could fund 25 million free school meals.”
A recap: Whitehall shake-up
11:30 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak has carried out a sweeping shake-up of Whitehall with the creation of four new Government departments aimed at boosting economic growth and addressing the energy crisis.
The Prime Minister replaced sacked Tory party chairman Nadhim Zahawi with Greg Hands, who had been trade minister.
But the main element of the reshuffle saw the business, trade and culture departments restructured into four different ministries.
Grant Shapps, who had been business secretary, will now be the Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary.
Kemi Badenoch, who was international trade secretary, will now lead the joint Department for Business and Trade.
Lucy Frazer joins the Cabinet as Culture Secretary in a department which has been shorn of its responsibility for digital technology, but will instead focus on the creative arts and sport.
Michelle Donelan moves from culture to the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Congratulations roll in for Greg Hands
11:21 , Miriam Burrell
Several MPs are congratulating Greg Hands on becoming the new Tory Party chairman as the Fullham and Chelsea MP says he’s “excited” about the role.
“The work starts right away,” Mr Hands tweeted.
I am excited to be asked by @rishisunak to be Chairman of the @conservatives
I joined the Party in 1986 - a ward chairman in 1992, a councillor in 1998, a Group Leader in 1999, an MP in 2005, a Minister in 2011 - an honour to chair it in 2023!
The work starts right away. pic.twitter.com/eMxGSS2uNo
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) February 7, 2023
Congratulations to @GregHands on becoming the next @Conservative Chairman. I look forward to working with you on the upcoming local elections in May 🗳 pic.twitter.com/9lu7JM9QzQ
— Selaine Saxby MP (@SelaineSaxby) February 7, 2023
My best friend in life @GregHands has been appointed Chairman of @Conservatives. He brings many qualities to the role but he should + probably would have been elected by the members. @ConservativeDOr @ConsPost @ConRenewal @ConHome 👇 https://t.co/itjKz5oUfI
— Stephen Greenhalgh (@team_greenhalgh) February 7, 2023
Four new departments created
11:15 , Miriam Burrell
The Government said that the creation of four new departments would “ensure the right skills and teams are focused on the Prime Minister’s five promises”.
A new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will be tasked with securing the UK’s long-term energy supply, as well as “bringing down bills and halving inflation”.
A new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will “drive the innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy”.
The Department for Business and Trade will “support growth by backing British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and championing free trade”.
A new-look Department for Culture, Media and Sport will “recognise the importance of these industries to our economy and build on the UK’s position as a global leader in the creative arts”.
Shapps ‘delighted’ with new role
11:11 , Miriam Burrell
Grant Shapps has said he is “delighted” to become the first Secretary of State for the new Department for Energy Security & Net Zero.
He said his focus will be on “securing our long-term energy supply”.
Shapps, Badenoch and Hands roles confirmed
11:06 , Miriam Burrell
It has been confirmed that Grant Shapps will become the new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Kemi Badenoch will take on the role as Secretary of State for Business and Trade.
Greg Hands is the new Conservative Party chairman.
It is also confirmed that Michelle Donelan will become Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.
The Cabinet re-shuffle is as follows:
Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP as Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP as Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP as Secretary of State for Business and Trade. She remains as President of the Board of Trade, and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP as Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office (Party Chair)
Who is Greg Hands?
11:02 , Miriam Burrell
Greg Hands has been the Tory MP for Chelsea and Fulham since 2010, and previously the MP for Hammersmith and Fulham.
He is married with two children, and spent eight years working on trading floors in London and New York.
He was educated at a number of state schools in the UK and US, before going on to Cambridge University.
Liz Truss made him trade policy minister days before she stepped down and Rishi Sunak has kept him on.
Mr Hands backed Mr Sunak as prime minister.
He has been a government minister since October 2011. He served first as the Treasury Whip between 2011 to 2013.
Tory MP congratulates Greg Hands
10:38 , Miriam Burrell
It looks like Tory MP Michael Fabricant has jumped the gun and is congratulating Greg Hands on becoming Tory Party chairman.
No official announcement has been made, but there are several reports that Mr Hands will replace Nadhim Zahawi.
Is that a smile or a grimace?
BREAK: Greg is now the new #Conservative Party Chairman.
— Michael Fabricant 🇬🇧🇺🇦 (@Mike_Fabricant) February 7, 2023
Grant Shapps tipped for new energy role
10:21 , Miriam Burrell
Grant Shapps is expected to be the new energy secretary and Kemi Badenoch expected to be the new business and trade secretary, according to reports.
Greg Hands is tipped to be the new Tory Party chairman, The Times political editor Steven Swinford said.
Should add that Greg Hands will be the new chairman of the Conservative Party, replacing Nadhim Zahawi
— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) February 7, 2023
Energy department as helpful as ‘deck chairs on Titanic'
10:07 , Miriam Burrell
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has warned that Rishi Sunak’s expected creation of a new energy department may not address the climate crisis.
UK director of policy Dr Doug Parr said: “As climate disasters intensify, energy costs spiral and the world continues to sink under rising seas, without other fundamental reforms, re-establishing a department for energy will be as helpful as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
“It’s government policy and underinvestment that is holding back real action on the climate and energy crises, not the departments or ministers in place.”
Ed Miliband: Tories ‘now admit they got it wrong'
09:59 , Miriam Burrell
Shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said that it looked like Rishi Sunak was now admitting that the decision to get rid of the Department of Energy in 2016 was a mistake.
The Prime Minister is reportedly creating a ministry focused on energy security.
The Labour MP tweeted: “So seven years after the disastrous decision to abolish the Department of Energy, the Conservatives now admit they got it wrong, but a rearranging of deckchairs on the sinking Titanic of failed Conservative energy policy will not rescue the country.”
Worst of all, just as other countries push ahead on green investment, the Conservatives squander opportunities and leave Britain losing in the global race for green jobs.
Labour's Green Prosperity Plan will deliver the good jobs in green industries that will power our economy.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) February 7, 2023
Nadine Dorries ‘sad’ department set to be broken up
09:48 , Miriam Burrell
Nadine Dorries said it is “sad” that her former Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is set to be broken up.
The ex-culture secretary, who was replaced by Michelle Donelan when Liz Truss became prime minister, said the department has “tragically lacked profile of late” despite being the most effective in Whitehall.
“Track record in tech, digital, gigabit roll out, telecoms, data speaks for itself,” Ms Dorries said.
Sad to break up @DCMS because it works. Dept has tragically lacked profile of late despite being most effective in Whitehall.
Track record in tech, digital, gigabit roll out, telecoms, data speaks for itself.
This along with maths to 18- it’s like Cummings never left!
— Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP (@NadineDorries) February 7, 2023
Cabinet meeting at 3pm
09:32 , Miriam Burrell
There are several reports that today’s Cabinet meeting will take place at 3pm, instead of the usual 9.30am.
The BBC and Sky News are reporting that one of the new government departments will be known as DSIT - a Department of Science, Innovation and Technology.
Reports of new government department
08:57 , Miriam Burrell
There are reports that the Prime Minister will announce a new government department and change the responsibility of at least three others.
BBC Political Editor Chris Mason said a ministry focused on energy security will be created, and there will also be a Science, Innovation and Technology department.
Someone in government points out that Science, Tech and Innovation is an unfortunate combination of initials, if that is precisely what that new department is called.
— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) February 7, 2023
Cabinet meeting moved to afternoon - reports
08:42 , Miriam Burrell
Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting has been moved to the afternoon, Sky News is reporting, but any reshuffle announcements will take place this morning.
The gathering of Cabinet ministers at No 10, which normally begins at 9.30am every Tuesday, was set to be pushed back slightly to 10.30am this week amid the Prime Minister’s expected shake-up of ministers.
But Sky News understands the meeting has now been moved to after lunch.
However, any announcements of new roles are still set to take place this morning.
Andrew Mitchell ‘not expecting’ to be chairman
08:04 , Miriam Burrell
Development minister Andrew Mitchell, according to a newspaper report one of the names linked to the vacant position of Conservative Party chairman, signalled that he hoped to be staying in his current role.
He told LBC, when asked about The Times report: “I’m certainly not expecting to be called upon to do that.
“But one should always try to do what the Prime Minister wants you to do.”
Minister stays tight-lipped on reshuffle
07:17 , Miriam Burrell
Andrew Griffiths, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, would not comment on reports that Rishi Sunak is poised for a mini-reshuffle.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he was asked if there needs to be a specific department focused on energy.
“If the Prime Minister has got something to say on how to reorganise government then we’ll have to wait and see that.”
Asked if it was a mistake to disband the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2016, he said he joined Government from a business background.
“Obviously if there are ways of streamlining the way this Government can deliver on the people’s priorities, then that’s important.”
He also defended the position of Dominic Raab as Deputy Prime Minister, saying there is a “process around these allegations” and it “should be followed”.
PM set to appoint new chairman
07:10 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak is expected to appoint a new Tory Party chair after he sacked Nadhim Zahawi over his tax affairs more than a week ago.
Mr Zahawi was revealed to have paid a penalty as part of an estimated £4.8 million settlement dispute with HMRC.
The Prime Minister had his independent adviser investigate the issue, and it was found Mr Zahawi was “in serious breach of the ministerial code”.
Who could be affected by the reshuffle?
07:05 , Miriam Burrell
Questions are swirling over Grant Shapps and Kemi Badenoch, with Rishi Sunak considering breaking up the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy into separate ministries.
The Sun reported that business and trade could be merged, and a new science and digital department created, leaving culture and sport as a separate unit.
Ministers thought to be under consideration to succeed Nadhim Zahawi include Mr Shapps, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and trade minister Greg Hands.
Dominic Raab is expected to survive a potential reshuffle, as Mr Sunak has indicated he would wait for the outcome of an inquiry into the Deputy Prime Minister’s conduct before taking any action.
Mr Raab is being investigated over bullying allegations.