Liz Truss appears to have held out an olive branch to supporters of her defeated rival Rishi Sunak as she reshuffles her junior team.
Robert Jenrick, a high-profile backer of the former chancellor for the Tory leadership, has been made a minister in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), while fellow Sunak supporter Mark Spencer has been handed a role in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Victoria Prentis, Jeremy Quin and Will Quince, who also favoured Mr Sunak for the leadership, have been given ministerial posts in the Department for Work and Pensions, Home Office and DHSC, respectively.
Congratulations @trussliz on becoming Leader of the Conservative Party.
Her success is our party and our country’s success. I will be rooting for her. https://t.co/5Md8IeUWli
— Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) September 5, 2022
Meanwhile, hardline Brexiteer Steve Baker has been made a minister in the Northern Ireland Office.
He switched to the Truss camp after his preferred candidate, Suella Braverman, was eliminated from the contest.
Ms Truss has largely remade the top of Government in her own image, appointing Therese Coffey – who is considered one of her closest friends in Westminster – as her number two.
Kwasi Kwarteng, also a long-term ally of Ms Truss, has been moved to the Treasury, while her ardent supporter James Cleverly has been made Foreign Secretary.
The honour of a lifetime to be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by our new Prime Minister, @trussliz
This evening, we’ve been finalising our package of urgent support to help with energy bills, with an announcement this week. pic.twitter.com/srLWIqnw5P
— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) September 6, 2022
Mr Sunak, who came out on top in the Westminster stage of the contest but fell short in the vote of Tory members, has been left by the wayside.
The new PM has also culled a number of her former rival’s prominent backers, dispatching Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps, George Eustice and Steve Barclay to the backbenches.
Why I’m backing Rishi for Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister👇
— Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) July 10, 2022
Mr Jenrick, who previously served as housing secretary from July 2019 to September 2021, said he would be “rooting” for Ms Truss after she won the contest.
He had said he was “proud” to support Mr Sunak for the leadership, claiming he was the “only candidate” able to provide the “grip” to get the country through the challenges at hand.
Mr Spencer, who was chief whip and then leader of the Commons under Mr Johnson, also backed Mr Sunak on account of his “proven track record”.
— Victoria Prentis (@VictoriaPrentis) August 25, 2022
Ms Prentis called for the Tory party to “unite” when Ms Truss took the reins, wishing Mr Johnson’s successor “all the very best”.
She previously said she had chosen to vote for Mr Sunak because he had a “clear plan for the challenges we face”.