What we learnt from Prime Minister Theresa May’s first cabinet is that she is loyal yet revengeful, a pragmatic feminist who is not afraid to humiliate those she has little time for.
Loyal at Home
Damian Green, Karen Bradley and James Brokenshire all worked under May at the Home Office. All 3 have been promoted to the cabinet. Very unusual to see so many junior ministers promoted from 1 department. Especially from the Home Office.
Why did May sack Gove & Morgan?
As Home Secretary 2 of May’s bitterest bust ups were with (near neighbours) Education Secretaries Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan. Gove’s spat with May led to the resignation of her key adviser Fiona Hill. David Cameron supported Morgan in her tussle with May. Morgan had threatened to resign if Cameron had not done so.
(Fiona Hill is now one of May’s top 2 advisers in Downing St)
Ironically, in January this year Morgan said a woman should be the next Tory leader and that any leadership race should not be between “2 white men“. Morgan supported Michael Gove in the leadership race.
George Osborne’s sacking as Chancellor was predictable given the massive austerity spending cuts he imposed on May’s Home Office since 2010. Given the pressures on crime, counter terrorism and policing forced cuts of up to 22% by Osborne was deemed too harsh in Home Office circles.
How does Priti Patel really feel about her appointment?
Priti Patel is the new cabinet minister for Department for International Development (DfID). In 2013 Patel said
“A long-term strategic assessment is required, including the consideration to replace DfID with a Department for International Trade and Development in order to enable the UK to focus on enhancing trade”
Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary is a humiliating appointment. Since 1997 the Foreign Secretary is no longer the grand cabinet position. Just ask Jack Straw or William Hague. May knows that Boris will have little impact thanks to his history of insulting other nations & cultures and may not last.
Not long after May took over the Home Office, Helen Ghosh was appointed her top civil servant. The first woman ever in that position at the Home Office. In 2012 Ghosh complained of the old Etonian clique amongst Cameron and his inner circle and constantly felt ignored. May must have been aware of this clique as well.
With 8 women now in the cabinet has the old boys Etonian network been smashed by May?
In appointing Amber Rudd as Home Secretary is May lining up Rudd as a potential successor?