Simon Hart MP has been named the new Welsh Secretary in the first appointment of Boris Johnson’s mini cabinet reshuffle. Nicky Morgan has also retained her job as Culture, Digital, Media and Sport Secretary and will be elevated into the House of Lords.
Hart, the MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has been in the House of Commons since 2010 and was previously Minister of Implementation under Michael Gove at the Cabinet Office. He supported remaining in the European Union during the 2016 referendum and was the leader of the ‘Brexit Delivery Group’; a caucus of Conservative MPs who pushed for a deal with the European Union. Johnson also appointed Monmouth MP David TC Davies as the new Welsh Office Minister and Anne-Marie Trevelyan as a Minster of State at the Defense Office .
Morgan chose to stand down as an MP before the outbreak of the recent election and, whilst she was perhaps expected to be offered a life peerage, her being re-confirmed in her old job might be called a slight surprise. A prominent one-nation conservative, her reappointment might be seen as a message that Johnson’s second government will lean to the middle ground of conservative politics. Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor at The Times, has tweeted that it will be a temporary appointment until January.
Other appointments include the relocation of Kevin Foster from Wales Office Minister to the Home Office and Jeremy Quin to the Cabinet Office. Robin Walker, the MP for Worcester, has been confirmed to just be a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office; relinquishing his identical role at the Scotland Office.
Johnson is also expected to name a replacement for Zac Goldsmith after he lost his Richmond Park seat to the Liberal Democrats last Thursday. The new Minister for the Environment is likely to be confirmed on Monday night; as is a replacement for Hart at the Cabinet Office.
There are also rumours of demotions for a number of incumbent cabinet members including Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom however it is widely expected that the current crop of cabinet ministers will remain in place until the end of January.
Amongst those rumoured to be gaining a promotion this evening include former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins.