Reshuffle: Hirings and firings continue as Boris Johnson promises new Cabinet will 'level up UK'
Boris Johnson's "brutal" Cabinet reshuffle has continued for a second day, with MPs Penny Mordaunt and Michael Ellis the latest to be brought into government.
The prime minister spent Wednesday hiring and firing senior ministers, with former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and ex-Education Secretary Gavin Williamson the most high-profile casualties.
Mr Raab retains a place at the Cabinet table with a demotion to justice secretary - he was also bestowed the title of deputy prime minister as a fig leaf to lighten the blow.
Michael Gove may have thought he could replace Mr Raab, but that role was given to a favourite among the Tory membership, Liz Truss, who was promoted from international trade secretary.
Mr Gove became housing secretary, but will retain ministerial responsibility for the Union and elections after losing his role as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The highly regarded Nadhim Zahawi, hailed for his work as vaccines minister, was given a promotion to education secretary.
A cloud had been hanging over Priti Patel as home secretary but despite a number of controversies she was able to remain head of the Home Office.
Mr Johnson said the Cabinet he's appointed will "work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country".
The prime minister tweeted following a long day of meetings on Wednesday, adding: "We will build back better from the pandemic and deliver on your priorities. Now let’s get on with the job."
Former lord chancellor Robert Buckland was also sacked, along with ex-housing secretary Robert Jenrick.
Perhaps one of the biggest shocks of Wednesday was Nadine Dorries' appointment to culture secretary.
The former I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! contestant was rewarded for fulfilling her brief as mental health minister but questions were raised over what her priorities will be in the role.
She's been accused in the past of stoking 'culture wars, with a notable example being her opposition to gay marriage back in 2013.
Many have speculated that Mr Johnson appointed her to culture secretary in a bid to fight against "woke" attitudes in the UK.
In 2017 she tweeted: "Left wing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next."
Ben Wallace acknowledged he was "incredibly privileged to be remaining as defence secretary" but said Cabinet reshuffles are part of politics.
He said: "The nature of the British political system is eventually its up and out. That's what happens.
"I know that I'm incredibly privileged to be remaining as defence secretary but I also know there is a political bus out there one day that will flatten me. It has always been the case.
"Don't take it personally is my advice to all colleagues."
Amanda Milling was ousted as Tory Party co-chairwoman – although was later handed a Foreign Office position in compensation – to be replaced by Oliver Dowden, who, according to reports, has told staffers at Conservative Campaign Headquarters to prepare for a general election in less than two years’ time.
Steve Barclay succeeded Mr Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, while the likes of Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis kept their jobs.
Longstanding former schools minister Nick Gibb was the most high profile member of the junior ministerial set up to lose his job.
The shake-up continued on Thursday morning as former defence secretary Ms Mordaunt was made international trade minister and Mr Ellis was given the role of paymaster general at the Cabinet Office.
In a late promotion, Simon Clarke was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury and will attend Cabinet.
The Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP previously served as minister for regional growth and local government but resigned for personal reasons last year.