Liz Truss cabinet predictions: The possible ministers in Britain’s new government
Truss is expected to appoint current business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as her finance minister, Liz Truss (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Liz Truss, Britain’s next prime minister, is expected to begin making key ministerial appointments soon after her formal appointment as leader on Tuesday. Below is a brief overview of the people likely to serve in key roles in her government.
FINANCE MINISTER – KWASI KWARTENG
Truss is expected to appoint current business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as her finance minister, according to sources in the Conservative Party and close to her campaign.
If confirmed, Kwarteng will inherit a British economy projected to enter a long recession as inflation remains at 40-year-highs and he will have to tackle a cost-of-living crisis by offering financial support to those facing higher energy bills.
Kwarteng’s views align with those of Truss on economic issues like lowering taxes, and Conservative lawmakers say their friendship might mean fewer disagreements about fiscal priorities.
Kwarteng co-authored a 2012 tract championing free-market economics called “Britannia Unchained” with Truss and other Conservative Party politicians.
Kwarteng, whose passions include history, music and languages, is lesser known for writing a 2011 polemic against the British empire.
FOREIGN MINISTER – JAMES CLEVERLY
Cleverly became the third education secretary in as many days during the height of the political turmoil in July that led to Johnson’s resignation as prime minister. He is likely to serve as foreign secretary under Truss, according to sources close to Truss’s campaign.
Cleverly has been an officer in the volunteer reserve Territorial Army. He worked as a minister in the foreign office for more than two years, serving effectively as Truss’s deputy.
Cleverly, who also co-founded a web and print publishing company, was made chairman of London’s fire authority in 2012 when Johnson was mayor.
INTERIOR MINISTER – SUELLA BRAVERMAN
The government’s attorney-general and its chief legal adviser is likely to be promoted to the home secretary, the minister in charge of police and law enforcement, a Conservative lawmaker familiar with Truss’s plans told Reuters.
Braverman previously served as a Brexit minister and has advocated for Britain pulling out of the European Court of Human Rights. She was also an early-stage Conservative Party leadership contender who won the backing of prominent anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage.
Braverman, born in London to parents of Indian origin, has been vocal about cultural issues, opposing diversity-related training for bureaucrats and the teaching of transgender issues in school.
She is expected to back Britain’s much-criticised strategy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda conceived under current Home Secretary Priti Patel. Truss herself has backed more “Rwanda-style schemes” to tackle illegal immigration.
DEFENCE MINISTER – BEN WALLACE
The defence minister is among the few officials expected to retain their job in the new Truss government, according to sources close to the Truss campaign.
Wallace, a former ski instructor who later served in the military, has previously called for higher military spending by Britain. Truss has pledged to boost British military spending to 3% of gross domestic product.
The two-month-long finance minister and former education minister has publicly said he would serve in any role that he is given by Truss.
The Sunday Times reported he could become cabinet office minister, while an earlier report in the Times said he could be offered the role of health secretary – an important job during the pandemic and one that will have oversight of a severely strained National Health Service.
Zahawi was widely praised for his role as minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in 2020.
He co-founded opinion polling firm YouGov in 2000 and helped turn it into one of Britain’s top market research companies. He was born in Iraq and moved to Britain when his Kurdish family fled the rule of Saddam Hussein in the 1970s.
The work and pensions secretary reported to be a close personal friend of Truss is likely to find a place in her government.
The Independent reported she could be appointed health secretary, while earlier reports said she was being considered for the role of chief whip – the government’s parliamentary enforcer. The Financial Times has said she could be made Cabinet Office minister.
BUSINESS MINISTER – JACOB REES-MOGG
The prominent Brexiteer who is currently Brexit opportunities and government efficiency minister could be made business secretary, according to the Independent and the Sunday Times. Earlier reports also pegged him for a role as levelling up secretary.
Rees-Mogg, known to hold traditionalist views, has opposed abortion and gay marriage, both of which are legal in Britain.
He co-founded investment firm Somerset Capital Management and has, in recent months, been pressing government officials to work from the office.
LEVELLING UP MINISTER – SIMON CLARKE
The chief secretary to the treasury, a senior position in the finance ministry, is tipped to become levelling up secretary, the official in charge of correcting regional economic inequalities across Britain, according to the Sunday Times.
The veteran politician who served as a minister under former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is expected to return to government after a 27-year absence as economic secretary or financial secretary, the number three to the finance minister, the Times reported.
Redwood, who has a background in finance, favours a lower tax model to boost private investment.
The former junior minister who won support on the right wing of the Conservative party in her own leadership bid which ultimately failed could be made education or culture secretary, the Times reported.
Badenoch, born in London to Nigerian-origin parents, has said Britain has been falsely criticised as oppressive to minorities. She has also opposed gender-neutral toilets as causing a “significant disadvantage” to women.
Truss has publicly said she would want Badenoch in her team.
The former health minister and one-time finance minister, who triggered the wave of government resignations in July that led to Johnson stepping down as prime minister, could find a role as Northern Ireland secretary, according to the Sunday Times.
The ex-finance minister, whose shock resignation helped catalyse Johnson’s own exit just a few days later, has publicly suggested he would not serve in a Truss government given he holds starkly different views from her on economic policy.
But the Times reported that Truss had considered offering the now runner-up in the leadership race the role of health secretary, with Zahawi considered an alternative.