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New Cabinet meeting for first time – follow live

Liz Truss cabinet reshuffle: Who’s in and who’s out?

Liz Truss’s newly appointed Cabinet is meeting for the first time following a brutal reshuffle.

As she axed more than half of the members of her predecessor’s Cabinet, the new prime minister was branded an “imbecile” by the wife of sacked veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer.

Culling supporters of her leadership rival Rishi Sunak not long after entering office on Tuesday, Ms Truss began appointing a cabinet of close political allies – but one incoming minister still told The Times: “I doubt she’ll last two years.”

The new prime minister made Suella Braverman home secretary, James Cleverly foreign secretary and Therese Coffey deputy prime minister and health secretary, also controversially handing climate change sceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg responsibility for Britain’s energy policy.

One former special adviser to a minister in Boris Johnson’s cabinet told The Independent he feared the new prime minister was creating a “cabinet of cronies”.

Ms Truss is set to face Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in her first Prime Minister’s Questions later today on her first full day in power.


Kemi Badenoch arrives at Downing Street 20 minutes after start of first Cabinet meeting

Newly-appointed international trade secretary Kemi Badenoch arrived at No 10 at 8.50am – 20 minutes after Cabinet was due to meet for the first time.

She said “morning” to photographers and journalists who greeted her.


Rees-Mogg appointment branded ‘deeply worrying’ by campaigners

Friends of the Earth are among those who have reacted with dismay to the appointment of Jacob Rees-Mogg as energy secretary, branding his appointment “deeply worrying”.

The environmental organisation’s head of political affairs Dave Timms said: “Putting someone who recently suggested ‘every last drop’ of oil should be extracted from the North Sea in charge of energy policy is deeply worrying for anyone concerned about the deepening climate emergency, solving the cost-of-living crisis and keeping our fuel bills down for good.

“Extracting more fossil fuels is a false solution to the energy crisis. It’s our failure to end our reliance on gas and oil that’s sent energy bills soaring and left us teetering on the brink of catastrophic climate change.

“We need a forward-looking, modern energy strategy based on better home insulation and unleashing the full potential of the UK’s homegrown renewables power – not one rooted in dirty fossil fuels of the past.”


‘Ask the chancellor’ how defence spending pledge will be funded, says secretary of state

Members of Liz Truss’s new government have remained tight-lipped as they arrived at Downing Street for the first Cabinet meeting of her premiership.

Questioned by reporters on how Ms Truss’s pledge of huge extra defence spending would be paid for, defence secretary Ben Wallace replied: “Ask the chancellor.”

Ben Wallace and new veterans’ minister James Heappey arrive at No 10

(Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images)


Liz Truss is appointing ‘broad church’ of all the talents, says deputy PM

Ahead of the new Cabinet meeting for the first time at 8:30 this morning, deputy PM Therese Coffey insisted that her close ally Liz Truss is appointing a “broad church” and is creating a diverse “government of all the talents”, despite criticism that she has culled all Rishi Sunak supporters.

“This is, I think, a government of all the talents that we have in this party,” she told Sky News. “Liz has appointed a cabinet of a mixture of whether it’s people of her proactive supporters, people who did not support her as well.”

One former minister told The Independent of fears that Ms Truss was creating a “cabinet of cronies”, putting personal loyalty to her over the competence needed at a time of virtually unprecedented crisis.

Ms Coffey said that as the rest of the junior ministerial appointments will be made on Wednesday, “people will be able to see that we will continue to focus on having a broad church of people in our government”.


Coffey insists she is ‘not seeking’ to change abortion laws despite past voting record

The new health secretary Therese Coffey has insisted that she is not seeking to undo any aspects of abortion laws.

Ms Coffey voted against same-sex marriage in 2013 and extending abortion rights in Northern Ireland.

Asked by Sky News about her stance on abortion, she said: “I’m conscious I have voted against abortion laws. What I will say is I’m the complete democrat and that is done, so it’s not that I’m seeking to undo any aspects of abortion laws.”


Deputy PM refuses to say whether UK will borrow to fund cost-of-living support

Therese Coffey has refused to comment on whether the UK will borrow to fund energy help for consumers.

Asked whether the package to support households will be funded through general taxation or borrowing, the newly-appointed deputy PM told Sky News: “Ultimately, we receive money through taxation from people and businesses and then redistribute that accordingly to the priorities set out in our manifesto and the needs of the country. So more will be said about that, aspects of that in during this week”.

She added: “People, including you, will just have to wait for the detail of that.”

Ms Coffey, who is viewed as Ms Truss’s closest friend in Westminster, said the new Cabinet “will continue to make sure that we do strain every sinew put everything that we can in order to get our economy growing again”.


Wife of sacked MP claims Truss ‘lied’ to secure his support during Tory leadership race

The wife of sacked minister Johnny Mercer – who branded Liz Truss an “imbecile” during her Cabinet reshuffle yesterday – has accused the new PM of having “lied” during her leadership campaign.

Reacting to James Heappey’s appointment to her husband’s former role as minister for the armed forces and veterans, Felicity Cornelius-Mercer alleged that she heard Ms Truss “on speakerphone” pledging to “keep veterans affairs where they are” while asking for her husband’s support in the leaderhip race.

“Reversing the seven years of work my husband did getting veterans away from the MoD where it failed him and so many others, and showing she lied in the leadership election to ‘keep veterans affairs where they are’ (yes I heard her on speakerphone to him asking for his vote). Nice,” Ms Cornelius-Mercer tweeted.


Therese Coffey ‘sure’ government’s cost of living help will ‘assure’ people

The new deputy PM and health secretary Therese Coffey has insisted that Liz Truss’s cost of living support – expected on Thursday – will “assure people”.

“Clearly we’ve just been through a significant leadership campaign but I know that Liz, being the serious person that she is and recognising that we need to hit the ground running, we have been working on plans as potential [for] what we could do,” Ms Coffey told Sky News.

She added: “We’re still certainly working to make sure we finalise the details of plans on each of the points that we’ve set out, and I know that this week – as the prime minister’s said yesterday – there will be a further announcement, and I’m sure that that will assure people, indeed when they hear what is going to be offered.”


Iain Duncan Smith ‘seriously thinking’ about running to chair foreign affairs select committee

Tory former leader Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed that he turned down Liz Truss’s offer of a position in his Cabinet as the leader of the House of Commons.

“I’m a great believer that, frankly, if i go to a new job, I need to add value to it, I need to add something else. Being leader of the House is not something I think that I would any particular value,” he told LBC.

Asked whether he would like to be chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Sir Iain replied: “I am actually seriously thinking about standing for that.”


Truss cost of living help could be ‘too little, too late’, union warns

Liz Truss’s energy plan could ultimately be “too little, too late”, a union has warned, describing the new prime minister’s speech upon entering No 10 as “totally underwhelming”.

Ahead of an expected announcement of her plan to help households survive the cost of living crisis, the shopworkers’ union, Usdaw, urged Ms Truss to freeze the price cap as an “immediate measure”.

But the union warned that the government must not pass the costs of its potential support on to consumers in the longer term.

“After twelve years of Conservative rule and a summer of zombie government, we are totally underwhelmed by what we heard from Liz Truss today,” said Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis.

“Our members were desperate to hear the new prime minister lay out a substantial and urgent plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, which would stem rocketing energy prices and bring inflation under control.

“They wanted to see a commitment to bring forward an employment bill that will end poverty pay and insecure work. However, instead we heard little to help the lives of working people struggling to make ends meet and her number one priority is tax cuts for the rich.”

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