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Cameron names top team: Boris joins the cabinet, arch BBC critic John Whittingdale is Culture Secretary

Cameron names top team: Boris joins the cabinet, arch BBC critic John Whittingdale is Culture Secretary

🕔11.May 2015

Boris Johnson, seen by some as the hot favourite to become the next Conservative leader, is back in the cabinet although he will not hold a ministerial position.

The charismatic Old Etonian mayor of London and former school chum of David Cameron will be a “political member” around the Prime Minister’s top table, Downing Street announced today.

The move took pundits by surprise. It had been thought that Mr Johnson, the newly elected MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip South, would have to wait at least until he ceases to be London mayor to get a cabinet position – not least to avoid being accused by Labour of having two jobs.

Boris’s chances of succeeding Mr Cameron may depend on the performance of Sajid Javid, who has been promoted from Culture Secretary to Business Secretary by the Prime Minister.

The MP for Bromsgrove is a former banker whose Pakistani-immigrant father owned a corner shop, Mr Javid’s backstory is far from the traditional image of Tory leaders backed up by inherited wealth.

With David Cameron’s appointments following the General Election coming thick and fast, it was confirmed that Iain Duncan Smith will remain as Work and Pensions Secretary where he will oversee the new Conservative government’s controversial plan to cut the welfare benefits bill by £12 billion.

The BBC will look with some trepidation at the appointment of John Whittingdale as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Mr Whittingdale was an outspoken critic of the BBC when chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee and described the licence fee as “worse than the poll tax and unsustainable”.

The appointments so far are as follows:

George Osborne becomes First Secretary of State and continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer

Theresa May continues as Home Secretary

Philip Hammond continues as Foreign Secretary

Michael Fallon continues as Secretary of State for Defence

Michael Gove becomes Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Chris Grayling becomes Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

Nicky Morgan continues as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities

Mark Harper becomes Chief Whip

Baroness Jowell remains Leader of the Lords and is promoted to the cabinet.

Amber Rudd is Energy and Climate Change Secretary

Former chair of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee John Whittingdale has been appointed as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, has been appointed deputy chairman of the Conservative Party

Former Exchequer Secretary Priti Patel has been appointed to Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions. She will also attend cabinet.

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