Nicky Morgan has been appointed as the new culture secretary in what is understood to be the biggest cabinet reshuffle in political history.
In total, 17 cabinet ministers have either been sacked or resigned and now replaced with Brexit loyalists by new prime minister Boris Johnson.
This unprecedented shake-up dwarfs even the so-called Night of the Long Knives in 1962, when seven members of the cabinet were replaced.
Nicky Morgan replaces Jeremy Wright to head up the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport as culture secretary, a role which has been a revolving door of eight ministers since 2010.
Delighted to join & look forward to working with a great team on so many important issues https://t.co/Xq63vSuPzN
— Nicky Morgan MP (@NickyMorgan01) July 25, 2019
Morgan, who describes herself as a “one nation Tory” took to Twitter after her appointment as culture secretary to say that “it is an enormous privilege to take on this fabulous role”.
A qualified solicitor, Morgan has a background in corporate law and having made early forays into politics she was elected as MP for Loughborough in the 2010 general election. That same year she worked as a Conservative member on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee before playing understudy to David Willetts, who was then universities and science minister.
Morgan has held non-cabinet roles as assistant whip – ensuring that party members attend and vote in Parliament – and economic secretary to the Treasury, a supporting role in the department.
In 2013, she voted against same sex marriage in England and Wales and became minister for women in 2014 before becoming education minister in then prime minister David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle. She was removed from this position by Theresa May in 2016.
Unlike many of the hardline Brexiteers now in Government positions, Morgan’s relationship with the issue is more nuanced. Having supported the remain campaign in 2016, she later voted against the Conservative Government in favour of a “meaningful vote” for Parliament on any Brexit deal Theresa May was to agree with Brussels. This makes her one of the few moderates on the subject now in a position of power.
Leadsom new business secretary
Andrea Leadsom replaces Greg Clark as business secretary. The full remit of this role is business, energy and industrial strategy. Her early career was in the financial industry and included a position as institutional banking director for Barclays. She has been an MP for South Northamptonshire since 2010 and leaves the role of leader of the house of commons.
A prominent Brexiteer and supporter of the leave campaign, Leadsom held a senior supporting role at the Treasury prior to taking the position of energy secretary in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition Government from 2015-2016.
She was made Leader of the House of Commons in the 2017 snap election but quit in protest of Theresa May’s Brexit strategy earlier this year.
Elsewhere Rory Stuart loses his job as international development secretary to Alok Sharma, Liz Truss takes the place of Liam Fox as international trade secretary, Gavin Williamson replaces Damian Hinds as education secretary and Grant Shapps takes over from Chris Grayling as transport secretary.