East Anglian MPs dominate health and transport in new Boris Johnson government

The Anglia region will have three ministers at both the Department for Health and the Department for Transport. Credit: PA Images

More than 20 MPs from the Anglia region have been given ministerial jobs in the new Boris Johnson administration. Two of the big spending and infrastructure departments, Health and Transport are led by politicians from East Anglia and each have two local MPs serving with them.

Boris Johnson has spent the weekend putting the finishing touches to his full ministerial team. There are eight MPs from the Anglia region either attending or serving at Mr Johnson’s top table in the Cabinet, which has 23 full members.

The most striking promotion was that of Witham MP Priti Patel who took over one of the great offices of state as Home Secretary.

A leading member of the Leave campaign in the EU referendum, the Essex MP was forced to quit Theresa’s May’s Cabinet in November 2017 and return to the backbenches after revelations of unauthorised meetings with the Israeli government while on holiday.

Priti Patel walks into Downing Street with the Great Yarmouth MP and Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis. Credit: PA Images

Ms Patel had been Secretary of State for International Development since July 2016 and first became a minister in David Cameron’s government in July 2014, just four years after being elected MP for Witham.

The West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, who was an early contender in the initial stage of the Conservative leadership race, remains as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

He is joined at the department by two new junior ministers from the East of England - his neighbour in Suffolk Jo Churchill, the Bury St Edmunds MP, and for the first time serving in government, Nadine Dorries.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock is joined at the Department of Health by Nadine Dorries (left) and Jo Churchill. Credit: PA Images

Ms Dorries had become known as an outspoken backbencher since being elected MP for the safe seat of Mid Bedfordshire in 2005. She worked as a trainee nurse early in her career.

Nadine Dorries also courted controversy when she appeared on the ITV programme I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2012 and was was briefly suspended from the Conservative Party

Jo Churchill moves from the Whips Office and had been ministerial aide to the previous Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

George Freeman (left) and Chris Heaton-Harris (right) join Grant Shapps at the Department for Transport. Credit: PA Images

The Hertfordshire MP Grant Shapps makes a return to the Cabinet table as Transport Secretary replacing Chris Grayling. Mr Shapps, who has represented Welynn Hatfield since 2005, served in David Cameron’s government as Conservative Party chairman from 2012 until 2015 when he was sacked following the 2015 General Election.

He is joined at the Department of Transport by newly-promoted Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and the Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris, a former MEP.

George Freeman has long campaigned for transport improvements in his constituency on the A47 road between Norwich and Peterborough and the rail line to Cambridge. He served as Minister for Life Sciences for two years until 2016 before becoming head of Theresa May Downing Street policy unit in the run up to the 2017 General Election.

Chris Heaton Harris is promoted from being a Junior Brexit Minister to move to the Department of Transport. He was a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands for a decade from 1999.

Liz Truss (left) is the new International Trade Secretary and Andrea Leadsom is the new Business Secretary. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/PA Images

Two local MPs have re-gained full cabinet status in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.

The South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom resigned as Leader of the House of Commons in May over Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement but has now been appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

She will be working closely with the South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss who has been promoted from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to head her own department as President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for International Trade.

Liz Truss supported the Remain campaign in the EU Referendum and replaces the prominent Leave campaigner Liam Fox.

James Cleverly (third from left) at Boris Johnson's first Cabinet meeting. Credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images

The Braintree MP James Cleverly also joins the Cabinet as Conservative Party Chairman, stepping up from the deputy role.

He was on the London Assembly when Boris Johnson was the Mayor of London and is a Lt-Colonel in the Territorial Army.

Mr Cleverly replaces Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis as Chairman. Mr Lewis will still attend Cabinet as Home Office Security Minister.

Michael Ellis and Therese Coffey (top row) and Lucy Frazer and Kemi Badenoch. Credit: PA Images

In other ministerial moves, the Northampton North MP Michael Ellis moves from the Department of Transport to become the Solicitor General.

  • The Suffolk Coastal MP Thérèse Coffey is promoted within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) moving for a junior ministerial position to Minister for Environment and Rural Opportunity.

  • Lucy Fraser, the South East Cambridgeshire MP, moves up a step in the Justice Department to become Prisons Minister. She was Solicitor General and before that a Junior Justice Minister.

  • Elected as MP for Saffron Walden only two years ago, Kemi Badenoch becomes a minister for the first time at Education where she will be the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children & Families. She is also a former member of the London Assembly and was a vice chairman of the Conservative Party.

Mark Lancaster and Chloe Smith (top row) along with Will Quince and James Duddridge Credit: PA Images
  • Mark Lancaster retains his job at Armed Forces Minister at the Ministry of Defence. He is the MP for Milton Keynes North and another army reservist serving as a Colonel in the Royal Engineers in a bomb disposal unit.

  • The Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, who is currently on maternity leave stays in the Cabinet Office as Minister for the Constitution.

  • Will Quince, who has been the Colchester MP since 2015, remains a junior minister at the Department for Work and Pensions.

  • The Rochford and Southend East MP, James Duddridge returns to government as a Junior Brexit Minister. He previously served under David Cameron as a junior minister in the Foreign Office from 2014 until 2016.