Liz Truss has three weeks before she is likely to walk through No 10’s black door as prime minister, facing a difficult in-tray. Here we take a look at how senior roles could shape up.
One of the first big outriders for Team Truss, Kwasi Kwarteng, is widely expected to become chancellor, and the pair have a far closer economic ideology than Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak ever had. Thérèse Coffey is Truss’s other dedicated cabinet loyalist and is expected to get a plum promotion, probably to the Cabinet Office.
Other former leadership contenders including Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt and Suella Braverman are likely to get senior jobs, as well as James Cleverly, Truss’s number two in the Foreign Office, and Simon Clarke, a Boris Johnson ultra-loyalist who is now chief secretary to the Treasury and tipped to become business secretary.
Ben Wallace will be keen to stay at defence, while Brandon Lewis has done hard yards on the broadcast rounds over the summer defending Truss and will expect a promotion. Other newer converts to the cause may get demotions, such as Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid.
Tom Tugendhat is likely to be the most prominent Truss backer who will go from the backbenches to a beefy ministerial job, perhaps even in the cabinet.
Roles could also go to European Research Group members who gave Truss the group’s endorsement, including veteran Brexiter names such as Iain Duncan Smith and John Redwood, who have been tipped to get posts. Truss also has a clutch of ambitious 2019 MPs backing her who could get on the payroll, including Dehenna Davison, Mark Jenkinson and Brendan Clarke-Smith.
David Canzini, a former colleague of Sir Lynton Crosby who came into Downing Street under Johnson, is expected to remain in No 10. Ruth Porter, a public affairs veteran and co-director of Truss’s campaign, could get a key role in Downing Street. David Frost has routinely hinted he would like to work in a Truss-led Downing Street.
Truss’s most senior communications adviser, Adam Jones, could become her director of communications, and a big job is also likely to go to Sophie Jarvis, the former head of government affairs at the Adam Smith Institute, who has been very close to Truss in her three years as a special adviser.
Others who had key communications roles in the campaign include Truss’s press secretary, Sarah Ludlow, a former aide to Rory Stewart; Jason Stein, a former adviser to Truss and latterly to Prince Andrew and Amber Rudd; and Harry Methley, a former special adviser to Priti Patel.
Truss wants the Treasury’s permanent secretary, Tom Scholar, to move on if she enters No 10, according to the Sunday Times. A close Whitehall ally of Truss, Antonia Romeo, is tipped to take over and move from her role as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice. Romeo became close to Truss at the international trade department. Another Truss ally who may get a promotion into No 10 is Sir Tim Barrow, her political director at the Foreign Office.
Truss may want to take a fresh look at the recent Downing Street shake-up announced by Boris Johnson as a final roll of the dice, which created a separate role of No 10 permanent secretary, filled by Samantha Jones. Reviews of the new arrangement from insiders have been mixed to say the least.
Allies of Truss have made it clear that Dominic Raab’s fierce attack on Truss’s economic plans have massively damaged his chances of remaining in cabinet. Priti Patel has steadfastly not endorsed either candidate and the chances are she will be offered a diminished role. Michael Gove has been described by allies of Truss as “serially disloyal”.
George Eustice and Steve Barclay are Sunak-backing cabinet ministers who may need to be eased out to make space. A return to the cabinet for Oliver Dowden, Robert Jenrick or Jeremy Hunt now looks unlikely. And after the leadership contest exposed deep divisions between Truss and Sunak on strategy, it is hard to see how the pair can put things back together.