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Friday, September 24, 2021

Cabinet reshuffle: Liz Truss promoted to foreign secretary as two of four top jobs go to women

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary, meaning two of the top four cabinet jobs are occupied by women.

Moments before she arrived at Downing Street, Mr Raab left and it was announced he has been appointed as deputy prime minister, lord chancellor and justice secretary.

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Britain's new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Liz Truss replaced Dominic Raab as foreign secretary in a cabinet reshuffle by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.
Ms Truss has completed a number of post-Brexit trade deals with countries around the world

His demotion comes after he was heavily criticised for being on holiday as the Taliban took power in Afghanistan.

Ms Truss, 46, has completed a number of post-Brexit trade deals with countries around the world and is popular with Conservative Party members.

She will remain as minister for women and equalities.

A former justice and environment secretary under Theresa May, Ms Truss’ appointment means she is the second-ever female foreign secretary, after Labour’s Margaret Beckett under Tony Blair.

Women now occupy two of the four top cabinet jobs after Priti Patel was confirmed as keeping her job as home secretary.

The other two top jobs are chancellor, kept by Rishi Sunak, and the prime minister himself.

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Mr Johnson said his new cabinet would “work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country”.

He added: “We will build back better from the pandemic and deliver on your priorities.

“Now let’s get on with the job.”

Leading Conservative MP Michael Gove was appointed as housing, communities and local government secretary moments after Ms Truss, replacing Robert Jenrick who returns to the backbenches.

Mr Gove also takes on cross-government responsibility for the levelling-up agenda and retains responsibility for the union and elections.

Joining Mr Jenrick on the backbenches is Gavin Williamson who was sacked as education secretary, and Robert Buckland who has lost his job as justice secretary.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove arrives in Downing Street, London, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson carried out a Cabinet reshuffle that has so far brought about the exit of Robert Buckland as justice secretary and Gavin Williamson as education secretary and Dominic Raab's demotion from foreign secretary to Justice Secretary. Picture date: Wednesday September 15, 2021.
Michael Gove (pictured) has replaced Robert Jenrick as housing secretary

Tory party co-chair Amanda Milling has also been ousted, just weeks before the Conservative conference.

Ms Truss, who grew up in Scotland and Leeds, read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, where she was president of the university’s Liberal Democrats before joining the Conservative Party in 1996.

A qualified management accountant, she was a local councillor in Greenwich before becoming the MP for South West Norfolk in 2010.

She was quickly appointed as a junior minister in the Department for Education, then became environment secretary then justice secretary under Theresa May, the first woman to hold the position.

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Raab leaves No 10 after removal from Foreign Office

In 2017, Ms Truss was moved to chief secretary to the Treasury, attending cabinet, and became an avid Twitter and Instagram user.

She ran in the leadership campaign against Boris Johnson but was unsuccessful and then endorsed Mr Johnson who rewarded her with the international trade brief.

The minister has since negotiated post-Brexit trade deals with multiple countries, the first major one being Japan.

Ms Truss, who is married with two daughters, announced in December the civil service would no longer be using unconscious bias training after giving a speech saying the UK focused too heavily on “fashionable” race, sexuality and gender issues at the expense of poverty and geographical disparity.

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