Cabinet reshuffle: David Cameron's new line-up

Here is a guide to the cabinet following the appointment of a new culture secretary:


  • Prime Minister David Cameron

    Conservative David Cameron was virtually unknown outside Westminster when he was elected Tory leader in December 2005 at the age of 39.

    The Old Etonian had dazzled that year's party conference with his youthful dynamism and charisma, reportedly telling journalists he was the "heir to Blair".

    He has sought to match the former PM by putting the Conservatives at the centre ground of British politics.

    After the 2010 election he led his party into coalition with the Lib Dems, making tackling the UK economy's deficit its priority.

    He has faced criticism from some on the right of the party but Mr Cameron has insisted the coalition will see through its full five-year term.

    Before becoming leader, he was the Conservatives' campaign co-ordinator at the 2005 general election and shadow education secretary.

    He was special adviser to Home Secretary Michael Howard and Chancellor Norman Lamont in the 1990s before spending seven years as a public relations executive with commercial broadcaster Carlton.

  • Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

    In just five years, Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, a contemporary of Mr Cameron, went from political obscurity to the absolute front line of British politics.

    After becoming MP for Sheffield Hallam at the 2005 election, he was promoted to Europe spokesman, before moving on to the home affairs role.

    When Sir Menzies Campbell resigned as leader in 2007, he entered the race to succeed him, in the end narrowly beating Chris Huhne.

    He really came to prominence during the televised debates ahead of the general election, being judged in polls to have been the big winner of the first one.

    However, this appeared to do little to help the Lib Dems when they actually lost seats on 6 May. The party, though, retained enough MPs to become the vital players in the hung parliament.

    After taking his party into coalition with the Conservatives - and U-turning on a previous pledge to reject university tuition fees - Mr Clegg saw his personal poll ratings slump, but he has pointed to areas where Lib Dem policies have come into force on taxation and consitutional issues.

    Like David Cameron, he has insisted the coalition is working in the national interest and will continue for the full parliament.

  • Chancellor George Osborne

    One of David Cameron's closest friends and Conservative allies, George Osborne rose rapidly after becoming MP for Tatton in 2001.

    Michael Howard promoted him from shadow chief secretary to the Treasury to shadow chancellor in May 2005, at the age of 34.

    Mr Osborne took a key role in the election campaign and even before Mr Cameron became leader the two were being likened to Labour's Blair/Brown duo. The two have emulated them by becoming prime minister and chancellor, but have avoided the spats.

    Some prominent Conservatives have urged Mr Osborne to do more to promote economic growth.

    Before entering Parliament, he was a special adviser in the agriculture department when the Tories were in government and later served as political secretary to William Hague.

  • Home Secretary Theresa May

    Theresa May is the second woman to hold the post of Home Secretary.

    She was the first woman to become Conservative Party chairman, under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith.

    She then took up the culture and family portfolios before being made shadow Commons leader by David Cameron.

    She has been a keen advocate of positive action to recruit more women Tories to winnable seats and was a key architect of the "A list" of preferred candidates.

    A passionate moderniser, she famously ruffled feathers when she told Tory activists they were seen as members of the "nasty party".

    In her role as home secretary, she has overseen widespread changes to the immigration system.

    Mrs May was the shadow work and pensions minister ahead of the election.

  • Foreign Secretary William Hague

    Since he returned to frontline politics in 2005, Conservative William Hague has become a key adviser to David Cameron, and was seen as de facto deputy party leader.

    The foreign secretary has plenty of experience to call upon, having been Tory leader himself from 1997 to 2001 and shadow foreign secretary until the election.

    A witty and engaging Commons performer who is popular with grassroots Tory members, Mr Hague entered Parliament in 1989 having been special adviser to Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe. He was soon promoted to be a social security minister and in 1995 entered the cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales.

    In addition to his duties as shadow foreign secretary, Mr Cameron put Mr Hague in charge of rebuilding the party in the North of England, as chairman of its Northern Board.

  • Business Secretary Vince Cable

    Vince Cable has had a long journey to reach the front rank of politics, having been a Labour and then an SDP supporter before its merger with the Liberals to become the Liberal Democrats.

    An economist by profession, he entered Parliament as MP for Twickenham in 1997 and has gradually built up his powerbase among the Lib Dems.

    As the party's deputy leader and Treasury spokesman he saw his stock rising during the credit crunch because of his earlier warnings.

    When he stood in as temporary leader after the resignation of Sir Menzies Campbell, he memorably described Gordon Brown as going from "Stalin to Mr Bean".

    Has had a colourful time in government, notably when he was recorded by under cover reporters saying he was at war with Rupert Murdoch's News International. He has been mentioned as a possible future leader of his party.

  • Chief Whip Sir George Young

    Sir George Young was replaced as leader of the Commons by Andrew Lansley in the September 2012 reshuffle, but was recalled and given the Chief Whip post a few weeks later following the resignation of Andrew Mitchell.

    Sir George, 71 at the time of his return to the cabinet, is one of the most experienced members of the government and has served a number of roles in Conservative administrations since the 1970s.

    He was elected as MP for Acton in 1974 and became a junior minister in the Thatcher government in 1979.

    In 1994 he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and was promoted a year later to transport secretary. Switching seats to North West Hampshire in 1997, he was given the shadow Commons leader's job in the Tory opposition the same year.

    From 2001-09 he served as chairman of the Standards and Priveleges committee, which required him to ajudicate allegations of MPs misconduct.

    Sir George was educated at Christ Church Oxford and is married with two sons and two daughters. He is a keen cyclist and received the nickname "the bicycling baronet" after appearing in a British Rail advert promoting the transport of bikes on trains.

  • Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

    Eric Pickles was first elected to the Commons in 1992, representing an Essex seat far from his Yorkshire roots.

    He has extensive local government experience, having led Bradford District Council for three years up to 1991.

    He has also served in a variety of shadow ministerial roles, including transport, local government and social security spokesman, earning a reputation for loyalty and good humour.

    He boosted his reputation and profile in the party by masterminding its landmark victory over Labour in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election and was appointed party chairman in 2009.

    And he became a regular and confident media performer in the months leading up to the 2010 general election.

  • Conservative Chairman Grant Shapps

    Mr Shapps, the MP for Welwyn Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, since 2001, has made a name for himself as a keen and frequent media performer.

    In his twenties he started a printing company.

    In 2005, Mr Shapps became a deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, experience which will be useful in his new job as chairman.

    Until the reshuffle, he served as housing minister, a role without full cabinet status but one which allowed him to attend meetings.

  • Culture Secretary Sajiv Javid

    A self-made millionaire and devotee of Margaret Thatcher, Sajiv Javid is the first Asian male Conservative cabinet minister.

    He became an MP in 2010 and is regarded as one of the Conservatives' fastest-rising stars.

    He was a City banker and became a Treasury minister in 2013.

  • Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

    Philip Hammond has built up a reputation as an articulate and effective Commons performer since being elected MP for Runnymede and Weybridge in 1997.

    A former director of companies supplying medical equipment, he was initially a member of the Conservative shadow health team before going on to serve as trade and industry spokesman. He also backed Michael Portillo's 2001 leadership bid.

    In summer 2002, he went to shadow the now defunct Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and local government department before being made shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, at the age of 51, in the July 2007 reshuffle.

    He became Transport Secretary after David Cameron's coalition took power after the 2010 election, building on his reputation there as an effective performer before being shifted into the defence brief after the resignation of Liam Fox from the job in October 2011.

  • Education Secretary Michael Gove

    Tory Michael Gove was seen as one of the brightest talents in the 2005 intake. The former Times journalist is a key member of David Cameron's inner circle who helps write many of his speeches.

    As the Tories' housing spokesman, Mr Gove made a name for himself as an effective Commons performer in attacks on the government's home information packs.

    He was drafted into the shadow cabinet as children, schools and families spokesman, at the age of 39 when his leader split the education brief in two to reflect Gordon Brown's Whitehall changes.

    Mr Gove headed the Policy Exchange think tank for three years before landing the safe seat of Surrey Heath.

    He had previously said he was prepared to give up a post in the new cabinet to ensure the deal with the Lib Dems went ahead, but he stuck with the education brief in government bringing forward a series of radical changes such as free schools and exam reforms.

  • Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey

    Liberal Democrat Ed Davey was appointed Energy and Climate Change Secretary on 3 February 2012 following the resignation of Chris Huhne.

    Mr Davey was elected MP for the newly created seat of Kingston in 1997 and has held a series of frontbench roles. Popular within the party, he was seen as an outside contender to succeed Sir Menzies Campbell when he stood down in 2007.

    After serving as the Liberal Democrat spokesman for foreign affairs prior to the 2010 election, he was appointed business minister responsible for the Post Office, Royal Mail and employment relations in the coalition government.

  • Environment Secretary Owen Paterson

    Conservative MP Owen Paterson covered the Northern Ireland portfolio in opposition and in government before being moved to environment in David Cameron's reshuffle.

    He entered the shadow cabinet for the first time, at the age of 50, in David Cameron's July 2007 reshuffle.

    A former managing director of the British Leather company, he entered Parliament as MP for Shropshire North in 1997, concentrating on rural issues as a junior agriculture spokesman and chairman of the Conservative Rural Action Group.

    A Eurosceptic and member of the right wing Cornerstone Group, which campaigns for traditional Tory values, he helped Iain Duncan Smith during his 2001 leadership bid and was briefly parliamentary private secretary to Ann Widdecombe. He has also served in the Opposition whips office.

  • Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

    Jeremy Hunt was moved to the health brief after the overseeing the smooth running of the 2012 London Olympics.

    The MP for South West Surrey since 2005, he became the Conservatives' culture spokesman in 2007. He was previously the party's spokesman on disabilities and welfare reform.

    Mr Hunt, a fluent Japanese speaker, founded a company called Hotcourses, offering guides to help students find the right course before entering university.

    As culture secretary he had a chequered time, coming under pressure over his dealings with Rupert Murdoch's News International takeover bid.

  • Int. Development Secretary Justine Greening

    Justine Greening was promoted to the cabinet in October 2011 at the age of 42.

    Miss Greening, the MP for Putney since 2005, became economic secretary to the Treasury after the 2010 election, succeeding Philip Hammond as transport secretary after he was promoted to defence secretary.

    Born and educated in Yorkshire, Miss Greening studied economics at Southampton University, before getting an MBA from London Business School and worked as a finance manager at British Gas owner Centrica before joining the Commons.

    Her move from transport was widely perceived to be a result of her vocal opposition to the idea of a third runway being built at Heathrow.

  • Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

    Chris Grayling's elevation to the post of Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary represented something of a comeback.

    Prior to the 2010 general election he had been shadow home secretary but, when the coalition was formed, he was made employment minister, rather than given a cabinet role.

    Seen as being on the right of the party, Mr Grayling's appointment to the justice role will be intended to reassure some Conservatives who were unhappy at predecessor Ken Clarke's prison reforms, claiming they were too lenient on criminals.

    Educated at Cambridge University, he is a former BBC News producer and the author of books on subjects including the Bridgewater Canal and Anglo-American relations.

  • Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers

    A former barrister, Ms Villiers was elected MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005. Prior to that, she was a Member of the European Parliament for six years.

    In December 2005, Mr Cameron promoted her to shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

    In 2007, she was made a shadow transport minister, a brief she continued to hold when the coalition came to power.

    A self-described Eurosceptic, she takes over from Owen Paterson in the post of Northern Ireland Secretary.

  • Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael

    Mr Carmichael has been appointed Scottish Secretary in the government's latest reshuffle. He replaces Michael Moore - a leading figure in the No campaign for the Scottish independence referendum.

    Mr Carmichael, the MP for Orkney and Shetland, has been the Lib Dems' chief whip and a government deputy chief whip since the formation of the coalition. He was previously the party's Scottish spokesman.

    Born in 1965, Mr Carmichael had a traditional upbringing on a hill farm on the Inner Hebrides island of Islay. He developed an early interest in politics, joining the Liberal Democrat party at just 14.

    He went on to work as a hotel manager before studying law at Aberdeen University. He then became a procurator fiscal depute, working mostly in the criminal courts.

    He was elected to the UK parliament in 2001, replacing Jim Wallace as MP for Orkney and Shetland.

  • Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander

    Danny Alexander was Nick Clegg's chief of staff and the Liberal Democrats' campaign co-ordinator throughout the election.

    He was also the former media chief of pro-euro campaign group Britain in Europe, which brought together leading Labour and Lib Dem voices with business groups.

    First elected to Parliament in 2005, he rose to prominence when Mr Clegg became party leader in 2007.

    He was the author of the party's 2010 election manifesto, becoming the Scottish Secretary in David Cameron's initial coalition cabinet.

    Mr Alexander was promoted to chief secretary - a crucial role overseeing spending cuts - to succeed David Laws after was forced to quit over his expenses after less than three weeks in the job.

    He is one of four key ministers, known as "the Quad", who meet to discuss the direction of much of the coalition's policy.

    The Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP won one of 11 seats for the Lib Dems in Scotland.

  • Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

    Patrick McLoughlin was the Tory chief whip while the party was in opposition and carried on after the 2010 general election as the government chief whip.

    The former miner is the MP for Derbyshire Dales.

    When the Conservatives were previously in power, he was a minister at the departments of transport, employment, trade and industry, and in the whips' office. In opposition, he became deputy chief whip in 1998.

    Mr McLoughlin's mother was a factory worker and he worked as a farm labourer before following his father and grandfather into the pits.

    His move to transport in the reshuffle has raised speculation the government is planning to alter its current stance opposing a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

  • Welsh Secretary David Jones

    Elected MP for Clwyd West in 2005, Mr Jones was a middle-ranking minister in the Wales Office before being promoted to the cabinet.

    He replaces Cheryl Gillan. Several Welsh Conservatives have expressed their delight that an MP with a Welsh constituency is now in the top job within the department. Ms Gillan's constituency is in England.

    A Welsh speaker, Mr Jones served as a member of the Welsh Assembly before going to Westminster.

    He is a fan of Liverpool Football Club and a keen user of the social networking website Twitter. He is also chairman of the Chinese Conservative Group.

  • Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith

    Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, is steering through a range of welfare changes in the role he has held since the 2010 election.

    A former army officer, who saw active service in Northern Ireland, Mr Duncan Smith entered Parliament in 1992 and rapidly established himself as one of the Maastricht rebels that made life so difficult for then Tory leader John Major. He was seen as a rising star of the Eurosceptic right and, after a spell as shadow defence secretary under William Hague, was the surprise victor in the September 2001 leadership contest, beating better-known and more experienced, Europhile candidate Ken Clarke.

    He had a torrid time as the Tory leader, failing to land many real blows on then PM Tony Blair and enduring a relentless barrage of criticism from the press and, in some cases, his own MPs. In November 2002, he urged his party to "unite or die" in response to persistent whisperings of a challenge to his leadership, but a year later he was ousted after narrowly failing to win the backing of enough MPs in a vote of confidence.

    After losing the Tory leadership, he has successfully reinvented himself as a social reform champion who, with his centre-right think tank Centre for Social Justice, has played an influential role in developing Conservative policy on welfare and the "broken society".

    David Cameron reportedly tried to persuade Mr Duncan Smith to move to become Justice Secretary in his September 2012 reshuffle, but Mr Duncan Smith opted to stay with the welfare brief.

  • Minister without Portfolio Ken Clarke

    Mr Cameron has previously said that Mr Clarke is a "big figure" with "great experience". He was the last chancellor to lead the UK out of recession - during the John Major government of the 1990s.

    His return to the Tory front bench in 2009 was seen as of a gamble for Mr Cameron, given that Mr Clarke - who held a host of ministerial jobs in the Thatcher and Major governments - had staunchly pro-European views.

    These views were widely seen to be the reason for his failure to win the three party leadership contests he entered - but Mr Cameron decided that Mr Clarke's experience was worth the risk of reopening party splits.

    Mr Clarke was president of the Union at Cambridge, became a QC in 1980 and after a succession of junior ministerial jobs he served as health, education and home secretaries before becoming chancellor from 1993 to 1997.

    He served as Justice Secretary from May 2010 until the move to a "roving role" as a "wise head" based in the cabinet office.

  • Leader of the Lords Lord Hill

    Lord (Jonathan) Hill of Oareford became leader of the Lords at the age of 52 in January 2013 when Lord Strathclyde resigned.

    Although this is his first Cabinet post, he has wide experience, having been at the Conservative Research Department and then special advisor to Ken Clarke at Transport in the 1980s before becoming John Major's political secretary in No 10 from 1992.

    He has also worked for public relations firm Bell Pottinger and in 1998 he became a founding director of PR and lobbying firm Quiller Consultants, where he remained until 2010 when he was made an education minister in the new coalition government.

  • Leader of the Commons Andrew Lansley

    Andrew Lansley, a former civil servant, became an active Conservative in the 1980s after a spell as private secretary to Norman Tebbit.

    In 1990 he became head of the Conservative Research Department and was one of the architects of the Tories' surprise 1992 election victory. However, he later faced criticism for his central role in the disastrous 2001 poll campaign.

    He returned to the shadow cabinet in 2003 under Michael Howard as shadow health secretary, the brief he continued to hold under David Cameron.

    Mr Cameron had long guaranteed Mr Lansley - who has played a key role in convincing people that the NHS is a high priority for the Conservatives - the role of health secretary in a government led by him.

    During his two years as health secretary, he steered through a large package of reforms of the NHS in England, despite facing opposition on a number of fronts.

  • Attorney General Dominic Grieve

    A Conservative activist from an early age - and the son of a former Tory MP - Dominic Grieve was elected to the Commons in 1997 as the MP for Beaconsfield in South Buckinghamshire.

    He is a barrister and was the shadow attorney general for four and a half years until June 2008, when he was appointed shadow home secretary.

    He filled the vacancy created when David Davis quit as an MP to fight a by-election on civil liberties and plans for a 42-day terror detention limit.

    Mr Grieve is an ex-member of the London Diocesan Synod with an interest in constitutional issues and an opposition to devolution - he is a past shadow Scottish affairs spokesman.

    Regarded as a skilled and assiduous Commons performer, he was the Tories' shadow justice secretary ahead of the election. The attorney general is not a full cabinet position under David Cameron.

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