London politics LIVE: Steve Barclay demoted as Victoria Atkins becomes Health Secretary

London politics LIVE: Steve Barclay demoted as Victoria Atkins becomes Health Secretary

Steve Barclay has been demoted to Environment Secretary as Victoria Atkins takes Health Secretary in Rishi Sunak's reshuffle.

David Cameron made a dramatic return to Government as Foreign Secretary on Monday afternoon.

Mr Sunak had earlier sacked Suella Braverman as Home Secretary who was replaced by James Cleverly, the former holder of the Foreign Office brief.

The former Prime Minister has been made a peer to allow him to serve as Foreign Secretary, No10 said.

In a short statement, sacked Ms Braverman said being Home Secretary was "the greatest privilege of my life" but added ominously for Mr Sunak: "I will have more to say in due course."

Meanwhile, former Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has lost her post, writing in a letter to Mr Sunak that it was "now the right time to step back from government".

Key developments:

  • David Cameron will become new Foreign Secretary

  • James Cleverly confirmed as new Home Secretary

  • Victoria Atkins new Health Secretary as Barclay moves to Environment

  • 'Privilege to serve', says Braverman in first comments since sacking

Greg Hands demoted to minister in business department

15:29 , Josh Salisbury

Greg Hands, who was sacked as Tory Party Chairman earlier today, has been demoted to a minister in the Department for Business and Trade.

Meanwhile John Glen, the former Treasury Chief Secretary - the position taken by Laura Trott - will now become an all-purpose troubleshooter as Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Dorries: Reshuffle is part of 'plot'

15:15 , Josh Salisbury

Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has previously alleged that a shadowy "Movement" brought down Boris Johnson, has tweeted that the reshuffle is all part of a plot.

"Also, this now opens the door for the rerun of [former Chancellor George] Osborne," she tweets.

"He will want a safe seat, if such a thing exists and then into leader of the opposition slot.

"You heard it here first. Nothing happens by accident for these guys. It is all long planned."

The staunch Boris Johnson ally is currently promoting a book, The Plot, which claims that British politics is controlled by a shady faction at the heart of the Conservative Party.

Snap polls: Britons back sacking Braverman but third say appointing Cameron 'bad idea'

15:09 , Josh Salisbury

Brits think Rishi Sunak was right to sack Suella Braverman, according to a snap YouGov poll.

The pollster has found 57% of Britons think it was right to sack her versus 20% of voters who are opposed.

However, 38% of voters think appointing Lord David Cameron as Foreign Secretary is a bad decision, versus 24% who think it's a good decision.

However, 38% of voters say they don't know.

Speaker urges Government to ensure Cameron 'properly accountable'

15:04 , Josh Salisbury

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has urged the Government to ensure that Foreign Secretary David Cameron is made “properly accountable” to the House of Commons from his new position as a lord.

The appointment to the House of Lords was necessary as Mr Cameron stepped down as an MP shortly after his resignation as Prime Minister, following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Sir Lindsay told MPs: “This is not the first time in recent years that a Cabinet minister has been appointed in the House of Lords, but given the gravity of the current international situation, it is especially important that this House is able to scrutinise the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office effectively.

“I have therefore commissioned advice from the clerks about possible options for enhancing (scrutiny) of the work of the Foreign Secretary when that post is filled by a member of the other House.

“I also look forward to hearing the Government’s proposals on how the Foreign Secretary will be properly accountable to this House.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (PA Wire)
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (PA Wire)

Analysis: Does Cameron return signal inspiration or desperation?

14:56 , Josh Salisbury

In July 2016, David Cameron signed off as PM with the self-deprecatory quip “I was the future once”. Now Rishi Sunak has brought him back as Foreign Secretary, but does the move signal inspiration or desperation?

Heading into an election next year, the current Prime Minister has grasped at the narrative-grabbing appointment as he bids to ensure a continued future for Conservative government after 13 years in power.

The reshuffle was prompted by Suella Braverman exhausting Mr Sunak’s patience with one provocative statement too many.

Mr Cameron spent years in opposition detoxifying the Tory brand. For her critics, the sacked Home Secretary had been going out of her way to retoxify it with her attacks on migrants, the homeless and even the Met police.

Read more here.

Trott appointed second-in-command at Treasury

14:53 , Josh Salisbury

Former pensions minister Laura Trott has been appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the ministerial reshuffle.

This is the second-in-command position in the Treasury, after the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Laura Trott (REUTERS)
Laura Trott (REUTERS)

Science minister resigns 'with heavy heart'

14:47 , Josh Salisbury

Science minister George Freeman has resigned his post, saying he made the decision to step down from Government in summer.

Mr Freeman said in a letter to Rishi Sunak: "After 13 years championing science & technology & the importance of an active industrial strategy for innovation, in five ministerial roles under four prime ministers, I'm sure you will understand that this has not been an easy decision to make, but it is clear to me that the time has come for me to focus on my health, family wellbeing and life beyond the front bench."

Science minister George Freeman (PA Archive)
Science minister George Freeman (PA Archive)

Victoria Atkins becomes Health Secretary

14:29 , Miriam Burrell

Former financial secretary Victoria Atkins has become the new health secretary.

She was seen earlier entering No10.


New Party Chairman for Tories

14:15 , Miriam Burrell

Richard Holden becomes the new Conservative Party Chairman.

Steve Barclay is new DEFRA Secretary

14:14 , Miriam Burrell

The former Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, is now Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Tory reshuffle: Who's in and who's out

14:12 , Miriam Burrell

Here's what has happened this morning.

Who's in?

  • Home Secretary - James Cleverly

  • Foreign Secretary - David Cameron

Who's out?

  • Home Secretary - Suella Braverman

  • Schools Minister - Nick Gibb

  • Environment Secretary - Therese Coffey

  • Health Minister - Neil O'Brien

  • Cabinet Office Minister - Jeremy Quin

Read more about the reshuffle here.

More ministers arrive at Downing Street

13:43 , Miriam Burrell

Pensions minister Laura Trott and Victoria Atkins, crime minister, are among the latest to arrive at Downing Street this afternoon.

Laura Trott (REUTERS)
Laura Trott (REUTERS)
Victoria Atkins (REUTERS)
Victoria Atkins (REUTERS)

Clarke issues thinly-veiled criticism of Sunak reshuffle as 'unwise'

13:33 , Josh Salisbury

Conservative MP Simon Clarke has issued a thinly-veiled criticism of Rishi Sunak's reshuffle with a football allegory.

In a post on the news that Raheem Sterling has not made the latest England squad, Mr Clarke said: "Some controversial choices here from the manager, putting it very mildly.

"Never wise to lack options on the right wing - the squad risks being badly unbalanced."

Mr Clarke had backed Liz Truss for the Conservative leadership, and is seen as a 'Trussite'.

Jeremy Quin resigns as Paymaster General

13:19 , Josh Salisbury

Jeremy Quin, the Paymaster General, has resigned from his position in the Government.

The position is a ministerial office within the Cabinet Office.

In a letter to Mr Sunak, Mr Quin said: "Thank you for your time this morning and for the reassurance that I could continue to serve in Government.

"However I have decided to step back to concentrate on projects in Horsham."

Business Secretary appears unhappy at housing minister firing

13:14 , Josh Salisbury

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has expressed unhappiness at the departure of outgoing housing minister Rachel Maclean from Government.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Cabinet minister said: "Very sorry to see you leave government, redditchrachel.

"You were an excellent minister, always attentive to MPs and their constituents and got some very tricky legislation over the line!"

Therese Coffey leaves Government

12:56 , Josh Salisbury

Therese Coffey has lost her job as Environment Secretary and has quit the Government.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Coffey said that it was "now the right time to step back from government".

The Conservative MP said: "I look forward to supporting you from the backbenches and working together for a Conservative majority at the next election, which I believe to be profoundly in the national interest."

She had previously served as health secretary, and her move to environment was widely seen as a demotion.

In response to her letter, Mr Sunak said: "I am also grateful to you for all your work as health secretary and deputy prime minister which helped prepare the health service for the winter.

"In a difficult time for our party - your teamwork and positivity helped bring everyone together."

Therese Coffey outside No10 Downing Street (REUTERS)
Therese Coffey outside No10 Downing Street (REUTERS)

Barclay goes into No10

12:51 , Josh Salisbury

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has been pictured going into No 10.There had been speculation prior to the reshuffle he could be moved into a different post, but nothing has yet been confirmed.


Housing minister sacked in reshuffle

12:44 , Josh Salisbury

Housing minister Rachel Maclean has been sacked from her post.

She was the 15th person to hold the post since 2010, meaning each incumbent lasted on average less than a year.

Announcing the news, Ms Maclean said: "Disappointed and was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to Committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill.

"It has been a privilege to hold the position and I wish my successor well."

EU Brexit chief congratulates Cameron

12:34 , Josh Salisbury

The EU's Brexit chief has congratulated David Cameron and James Cleverly on their appointments.

Maros Sefcovic congratulated Mr Cleverly on the "good and constructive" work he did as Foreign Secretary, and said he looked forward to continuing that with Lord Cameron.


Pictured: Sunak outside No10

12:09 , Josh Salisbury

Rishi Sunak has been pictured outside No10 as he carries on his reshuffle. It is the first photo of the PM since he began the reshuffle earlier this morning.


Heseltine: Cameron 'blatantly sympathetic to Britain's position in Europe'

11:40 , Josh Salisbury

Tory grandee Lord Heseltine, former deputy prime minister, has said is "delighted" at Mr Cameron's return.

"This is the biggest change that [Sunak] could make," he told Times Radio.

"Because it is the clearest signal that the sort of right-wing lurch that we've seen and the anti-European movement that we've seen has been put to bed, and that will get a message across to people.

"But you have to always cling on to reality. The economic situation is very difficult indeed."

He added on Sky News that a "benefit" of Mr Cameron's return to government is that he is "blatantly sympathetic to Britain's position in Europe".

Pictured: David Cameron arrives at Foreign Office

11:28 , Josh Salisbury

The Foreign Office has released a picture of David Cameron as he prepares to take up the brief of Foreign Secretary - a shock move few in Westminster had predicted.

Ex-PM Cameron is pictured alongside Permanent Under Secretary Sir Philip Barton.

David Cameron arrives at the Foreign Office (FCDO)
David Cameron arrives at the Foreign Office (FCDO)

Cleverly: I will stop the boats

11:21 , Josh Salisbury

New Home Secretary James Cleverly has said he is "committed" to "stopping the boats".

"It is a real privilege to serve," he tells broadcasters.

Asked if he wanted to distance himself from the language of his predecessor Suella Braverman, he says: "Well, I intend to do this job in the way I feel best protects the British people and our interests.

"I have had a very good conversation with the Prime Minister, who had made it very clear that he wants us to deliver on our promises to stop the boats, to protect the British people, make sure everybody feels secure in their lives."

James Cleverly leaving Downing Street (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)
James Cleverly leaving Downing Street (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

Former Tory leader attacks Cameron appointment

11:15 , Josh Salisbury

Former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith has attacked David Cameron's appointment, saying it was astonishing.

He criticises Mr Cameron over his record on China while Prime Minister.

He told The Times newspaper: “Those of us who are sanctioned by China and face attacks online day after day are astonished at the signal this sends.

“It suggests that Sunak is intent on doing business with China at all costs and that the regime’s appaling murderous behaviour will be pushed into the background.

“To cap it all we now have one of the most senior roles in government held by a man who will not even be accountable to the House of Commons but will sit in the unelected second chamber.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith (PA Archive)
Sir Iain Duncan Smith (PA Archive)

Transport minister stands down

11:08 , Josh Salisbury

Elsewhere in more junior ministerial ranks, transport minister Jesse Norman has also stood down.

In a letter, Mr Norman said he informed the Conservative Party chief whip some months ago of his intention to resign "at a suitable time".

He lists roll out of electrical vehicles and new legislation for self-driving vehicles as things he is proud of.

He tells Mr Sunak: "Thank you for the calm, focused and long term leadership you have given this country over the past year."

Second health minister stands down

10:58 , Josh Salisbury

Health minister Will Quince has said he has quit as the reshuffle continues.

Fellow minister in the health department, Neil O'Brien, earlier also departed Government.

Mr Quince said he was leaving as he was standing down at the next election and would now focus on his training as a specialist reserve officer in the Army.

He says in a letter to Mr Sunak: "As a Minister, I have tried every day to make a difference with the support of brilliant civil servants with whom it has been a privilege and pleasure to work.

"I am proud of what we have achieved together and the difference we have made."

May congratulates Cameron on return to politics

10:47 , Josh Salisbury

Fellow former prime minister Theresa May, who served as home secretary in Mr Cameron's government, has said the former Conservative leader's experience on the international stage "will be invaluable" in his role as Foreign Secretary.

"Congratulations to David Cameron on his return to government," Ms May tweeted.

"His immense experience on the international stage will be invaluable at this time of great uncertainty in our world.

"Looking forward to working together again!"

Cleverly: 'Honour' to be new Home Secretary

10:45 , Josh Salisbury

James Cleverly has said it is "an honour" to be appointed as Home Secretary.

Mr Cleverly takes over the brief from Ms Braverman, who was sacked by Rishi Sunak over her remarks about protests held over the Armistice Weekend.

In a statement, Mr Cleverly said: "The goal is clear.

"My job is to keep people in this country safe."

Cameron 15th ex-PM to serve in later Government

10:40 , Josh Salisbury

David Cameron's return to British politics is dramatic but not unprecedented.

Mr Cameron, who will be given a peerage, is the 15th former prime minister to serve in a later government led by someone else.

Others include Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who served for just under a year as prime minister from October 1963, and was later appointed foreign secretary by Edward Heath.

In earlier years, Arthur Balfour, who served as prime minister from 1902 until 1905, came back to government in the roles of the first lord of the admiralty in the wartime coalition, and then foreign secretary under David Lloyd George.

Cameron: It will be honour to serve as Foreign Secretary

10:30 , Josh Salisbury

David Cameron has said while he has disagreed "with some individual decisions" made by Mr Sunak's government, he is glad to serve as Foreign Secretary.

In a statement, Mr Cameron said he hoped his experience of being Prime Minister for six years would help him tackle the "daunting set of international challenges" facing the UK, including war in Ukraine and the Israel-Gaza conflict.

He said: "Though I may have disagreed with some individual decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and capable Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time.

"I want to help him to deliver the security and prosperity our country needs and be part of the strongest possible team that serves the United Kingdom and that can be presented to the country when the General Election is held."

He added: "It will be an honour to serve our country alongside our dedicated FCDO staff and provide the continued leadership and support that they deserve."

David Cameron has become the 15th former prime minister to serve in a later government led by someone else after being appointed Foreign Secretary by Rishi Sunak (Jeff Moore/PA) (PA Wire)
David Cameron has become the 15th former prime minister to serve in a later government led by someone else after being appointed Foreign Secretary by Rishi Sunak (Jeff Moore/PA) (PA Wire)

Conservatives congratulate Cameron on dramatic return

10:20 , Josh Salisbury

Several high profile Conservatives have congratulated David Cameron on his dramatic return to front line politics.

Alicia Kearns, chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, tweeted: “Congratulations to David Cameron on his appointment - the best job in Government.

“I look forward to working with him, and scrutinising his vision and leadership of the department at this most important of times."

Former Cabinet minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said: “Welcome back David @David_Cameron. If ever there was a time for balanced , thoughtful, compassionate leadership it is now.

“Your country needs you."

Labour: Cameron part of 'failed status quo'

10:15 , Josh Salisbury

Labour has hit out at David Cameron's appointment, calling him "part of the failed status quo."

Pat McFadden MP, Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator, said: “A few weeks ago, Rishi Sunak said David Cameron was part of a failed status quo, now he’s bringing him back as his life raft.

“This puts to bed the Prime Minister's laughable claim to offer change from 13 years of Tory failure.”

Jeremy Hunt remains as Chancellor

10:04 , Josh Salisbury

Jeremy Hunt will stay on Chancellor, it has been confirmed.

Confirmed: David Cameron is new Foreign Secretary

10:01 , Josh Salisbury

David Cameron will become the new Foreign Secretary, it has been confirmed, in a dramatic comeback to front line politics.

Speculation mounts Cameron could return as Foreign Secretary

09:57 , Josh Salisbury

Speculation is mounting that David Cameron could stage a dramatic return to front line politics as Foreign Secretary.

The former PM is no longer an MP, and so to appoint him, Mr Sunak would need to make him a peer. This is because only members of the Commons and Lords can be ministers.

The Telegraph and the BBC have both reported that Mr Cameron is the "likely" person to fill the vacancy, but nothing has been confirmed by No10 so far.

Former prime minister David Cameron pictured at the Covid inquiry (PA Media)
Former prime minister David Cameron pictured at the Covid inquiry (PA Media)

Confirmed: James Cleverly new Home Secretary

09:46 , Josh Salisbury

James Cleverly replaces Suella Braverman as Home Secretary.

Mr Cleverly had previously served as Foreign Secretary, leaving that position vacant.

There is speculation that former PM David Cameron, who was seen entering No10 before 9am, could become the new Foreign Secretary.

But nothing so far has been confirmed by No10 and we are still waiting to hear who will replace Mr Cleverly.

Lib Dems: Call general election to oust 'unruly Tory mob'

09:25 , Josh Salisbury

The Liberal Democrats have welcomed Ms Braverman's sacking, saying she was "never fit to be Home Secretary".

Party leader Sir Ed Davey said: "It was the Prime Minister's sheer cowardice that kept her in the job even for this long. We are witnessing a broken party and a broken government, both of which are breaking this country.

"This whole sorry saga has shown the Conservative party for what they truly are.

"An unruly mob more focussed on fighting and undermining each other rather than standing up for their constituents and fixing the country that they have broken.

"They need to put us all out of our misery and call a general election now."

'Privilege to serve', says Braverman after sacking

09:21 , Josh Salisbury

Suella Braverman has said "it has been the greatest privilegeof my life to serve as home secretary", after being sacked.

She added, in what will be seen by some MPs as a threat against Rishi Sunak: "I will have more to say indue course."

Mr Sunak has already faced some criticism over the firing, with Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood in Yorkshire, tweeting: "I support Suella Braverman. Sacked for speaking the truth. Bad call by Rishi caving in to the left!"

Suella Braverman (PA Wire)
Suella Braverman (PA Wire)

Pictured: David Cameron seen entering Downing Street

09:16 , Josh Salisbury

Former PM David Cameron was seen entering Downing Street on Monday morning.

The former Prime Minister walked inside No 10 shortly before 9am amid the reshuffle.

Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has quipped in response: "Maybe David Cameron is just there lobbying on behalf of a client?"


Health minister out in reshuffle

09:10 , Josh Salisbury

Neil O'Brien is out as a health minister in the reshuffle, he has confirmed.

He tweeted: "It's been a privilege to serve at DHSC. Great ministerial team & spads and some fab officials.

"It's been a privilege to serve at DHSC. Great ministerial team & spads and some fab officials."But with so much going on locally I want to focus 100% on constituency work so have asked to go to back benches. I'm also keen to see more of our two small children."

Education minister quits

09:06 , Josh Salisbury

Schools minister Nick Gibb has quit his position in the reshuffle and will stand down at the next election.

Mr Gibb tweeted: "Over the last few weeks I have been discussing taking up a diplomatic role after the general election.

"To enable me to do so I have asked the Prime Minister if I can step down from the government at the reshuffle and he has agreed."

Praising Mr Gibb, junior Cabinet Office minister Alex Burghart tweeted: "I doubt any Schools Minister has ever had such a positive impact as Nick Gibb."

Pictured: James Cleverly enters Downing Street

09:04 , Josh Salisbury

James Cleverly has been seen entering Downing Street.


Pictured: Suella Braverman leaving home after sacking

08:53 , Josh Salisbury

Suella Braverman has been pictured leaving her home after being sacked as Home Secretary.

 (Jeremy Selwyn)
(Jeremy Selwyn)

Confirmed: Suella Braverman sacked as Home Secretary

08:49 , Josh Salisbury

Suella Braverman has been now been sacked as Home Secretary.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was seen entering Downing Street after Ms Braverman's sacking.

There are suggestions he could take her place as Home Secretary but this has not been confirmed.

Braverman expected to lose job in reshuffle

08:42 , Josh Salisbury

Suella Braverman is expected to lose her job on Monday in a now confirmed Cabinet reshuffle.

Among the possible proposals are for Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to take over the Home Office brief, reported the Times.

The Conservative Party said that Rishi Sunak is conducting a ministerial reshuffle as he "strengthens his team in Government to deliver long-term decisions for a brighter future."