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Rishi Sunak appointed PM and Cabinet reshuffle – October 2022

The IfG team provides the latest analysis and charts as Rishi Sunak is appointed PM and forms his Cabinet.

Rishi Sunak leaving Downing Street

The UK had its third prime minister of 2022 as MPs chose to replace Liz Truss with Rishi Sunak. The IfG team tracked the result of the Conservative Party leadership contest and worked out what the changes meant for the work of government on this live-blog.

Cabinet complete

26 October 2022, 10:00

Last night prime minister Sunak completed appointments to his cabinet, which meets for the first time today before his first PMQs. While there was a degree of stability among the full members of the cabinet, there has been a lot of change among those who attend but are not full members. Only Tom Tugendhat, leadership contender in the summer, retains his security role. Johnny Mercer is back as veterans minister, a role he did twice under Boris Johnson. We have a new chief secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, and paymaster general and minister for the Cabinet Office, Jeremy Quin. Former secretaries of state Andrew Mitchell and Gavin Williamson are both now attending cabinet again, the former as international development minister and the latter in an unclear role - minister without portfolio. The minister for climate change, Graham Stuart, seems to be no longer attending cabinet - we will find out later today or tomorrow whether that role has been retained at all.


Sunak will be holding his first cabinet shortly before heading to parliament for PMQs. We will assess how the rest of his government shapes up over the next few days.

Back to the future

25 October 2022, 19:01

So we’re wrapping up our live blog for this evening – most the full cabinet has been appointed, with a fair degree of stability and some familiar faces returning to government after a few weeks off. Sunak brought back home secretary Suella Braverman, who resigned last week after breaching the ministerial code, former Johnson ministers including Michael Gove, Oliver Dowden and Dominic Raab, and Mel Stride who served as leader of the House of Commons for a few months under Theresa May. There was stability with Ben Wallace remaining at defence, Kemi Badenoch remaining at international trade and James Cleverly remaining at the Foreign Office. And Sunak’s rival for No10, Penny Mordaunt, remains as leader of the House of Commons. The only completely new faces in the cabinet are Gillian Keegan (education) and David TC Davies (Wales Office), both of whom have had a number of ministerial roles in the past but never a job at the top table.

Cabinet moves as of 25 October 2022

That means the government looks like this at this point - we are still waiting to see who will be transport secretary. We will see how much more change there is tomorrow.

UK government ministers as of 25 October 2022

Sunak’s pitch for the leadership was all about party unity, so does this back to the future reshuffle deliver that? Will he be able to keep all wings of the party on side? And will he maintain the same degree of stability at lower ministerial ranks? We’ll be continuing to follow appointments throughout the week and we’ll bring you a more detailed analysis of the new government in a few days’ time.

Continuity at the Northern Ireland office

25 October 2022, 18:38

Chris Heaton-Harris has been confirmed as remaining secretary of state for Northern Ireland. There’ll be no time to rest as the deadline for executive formation expires on Friday. If as expected, Stormont has not been re-established, Northern Ireland’s caretaker ministers will cease to hold office, and the secretary of state will be obliged to call fresh elections. Heaton-Harris has insisted that the government will go ahead and set a polling date of 15 December, but many have not excluded the possibility of a last-minute U-turn.

There is much concern in Northern Ireland that new elections would re-spark the fractious debate on the protocol and leave Northern Ireland with a political vacuum. Few expect that the outcome would do much to resolve the current impasse. But delaying the election would require primary legislation to change the rules that were set less than a year ago, and the UK government will want to be conscious of not appearing to pander to the political parties.

Cabinet moves, 18:35, 25 October 2022

Alister Jack also remains secretary of state for Scotland - he'll be dealing with the SNP's continued push for another independence referendum. There have only been four secretaries of state for Scotland since 2010, and Alister Jack has done it since Johnson entered No10 in 2019.

Stability, stability, stability?

25 October 2022, 18:26

Kemi Badenoch remains as international trade secretary - though takes on the women and equalities brief - and Michelle Donelan remains at DCMS. Michael Gove is also back in government after a brief stint away - he was the only minister fired during the mass resignations that brought down Johnson. He returns to his former department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, taking responsibility for the union and intergovernmental relations with him. Gove is one of the most experienced ministers in government, having served almost continuously since 2010, with a couple of very small breaks.

Cabinet moves, 18:20, 25 October 2022
Michael Gove's ministerial experience

Therese Coffey appointed as Defra secretary

25 October 2022, 18:12

Therese Coffey - a key ally of Liz Truss and her deputy prime minister - has been appointed as Defra secretary and Steve Barclay has been appointed to replace her as health secretary, a role he held for a couple of months earlier this year, after the mass resignations from Johnson's government. Coffey has worked at Defra previously, as both parliamentary under-secretary and minister of state. 

And Barclay has done various roles in government, including as chief of staff to prime minister Johnson while also being chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. Will he hold the health role for longer than last time?

Cabinet moves, 17:55, 25 October 2022
Therese Coffey's ministerial experience
Steve Barclay's ministerial experience

Barclay inherits a health and social care system in the midst of a systemic crisis. In the face of rising demand, the performance of primary care, secondary care, and adult social care has arguably never been worse.

One of the core problems he faces is staffing. In the NHS, the number of fully qualified GPs has fallen in the last year and while the number of hospital doctors and nurses are rising, the health and social care select committee estimate that there are still 12,000 and 50,000 too few, respectively. In social care, 50,000 people left the workforce in 2021/22. This is not an easy problem to solve. The government agreed to a pay increase for NHS employees that is equivalent to roughly 5% of its wage bill, but this still represents a real-terms pay cut and risks more people leaving the workforce for relatively better paid and less stressful jobs in other sectors, such as retail and hospitality. If the new Secretary of State cannot stem the flow of employees out of both services, performance and quality of care will deteriorate further.

Vacancy rates by type of role, June 2017 to June 2022
Change in the size of the adult social care workforce

Gillian Keegan appointed as Education secretary

25 October 2022, 17:52

Gillian Keegan - formerly a minister at education, health and the foreign office, has been promoted to the cabinet as education secretary, and Mel Stride returns to government as DWP secretary. 

Cabinet moves, 17:45, October 2022

Keegan has had a quick rise to the cabinet, moving through various junior ministerial posts.

Gillian Keegan's ministerial experience

Stride has been out of government since Johnson became prime minister. 

Mel Stride's ministerial experience

Mordaunt undaunted

25 October 2022, 17:29

Penny Mordaunt, Sunak's rival for party leader and prime minister, has remained in her previous post as leader of the House of Commons. Given the difficulty the government has faced in getting its backbenchers to support it in the Commons, she will be busy (though not as busy as she would have been in No10).

cabinet moves, 17:20, 25 October 2022

Leader of the House has changed hands a couple of times this year, but Jacob Rees-Mogg previously held the job from the start of Boris Johnson's premiership.

timeline of leaders of the House of Commons, May 1997 to 2022, by party

Braverman back at Home Office and Shapps gets down to business

25 October 2022, 17:39

Suella Braverman - who resigned as home secretary last week, ostensibly over a security-related breach of the ministerial code but also, according to reports, over disagreement with Truss about immigration policy - is back as home secretary. This tension demonstrates the competing implications of immigration policy – of controlling numbers and strengthening the economy. That tension has not gone away in the last week. The new PM and home secretary will need to resolve it, agree clear objectives for the government’s immigration policy and an approach to managing this key policy area across Whitehall. The medium term fiscal plan will be a key moment to look out for – will the new government signal changes to immigration policy as part of its approach to growth? And what will the home secretary’s power be over those decisions?

Suella Braverman's ministerial experience

The home secretary role has changed hands a number of times recently - will Braverman stick around for longer this time? 

IfG senior researcher Rhys Clyne writes:

"The Home Office is one of the four “great offices of state”, but it has often proven to be the third rail of UK politics, prone to crises and controversies. Herbert Morrison described ministers finding its corridors “paved with dynamite” as far back as 1942. She will need to lead the Home Office’s improvement programme in response to the Windrush Scandal, including taking a more compassionate approach to its services and to working more transparently, as recommended by Wendy Williams. This is even more difficult in the face of low morale and internal opposition to departmental policy."

Our recent Performance Tracker report looked at performance of the police - senior researcher Dr Matthew Fright made this point about one issue in the home secretary's in tray:

Following multiple scandals trust in policing has fallen, the Metropolitan Police is in special measures, the percentage of crime resulting in crime has fallen to 6% in 2021/22. In explaining such low charge rates, the policing oversight body, HMICFRS, has highlighted issues with prioritisation, a lack of capacity, poor digital forensics capacity and insufficient supervision.

timeline of home secretaries, May 1997 to 2022 by party

Two weeks ago the Institute discussed whether the Home Office was fit for purpose with a panel including Philip Rutnam, the former permanent secretary of the department who resigned, accusing former home secretary Priti Patel and her team of waging a vicious briefing campaign against him. You can watch that discussion here.

Grant Shapps - supply home secretary for the last week - has now been appointed to run the business, energy and industrial strategy department (BEIS), a hugely important role during an economic and energy crisis. This appointment also suggests that the prime minister is not planning to split BEIS apart, contrary to a commitment he made in the summer leadership campaign. 

Cabinet moves, 17:05, 25 October 2022

Shapps ran the Department for Transport during Johnson's premiership but was fired by Truss when she became PM, before being reappointed to the cabinet to fill the vacancy at the Home Office created by Suella Braverman's resignation.

Grant Shapps's ministerial experience

Nadhim Zahawi and Oliver Dowden moved

25 October 2022, 16:55

Musical chairs at 70 Whitehall, where Nadhim Zahawi has been moved from the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster to become minister without portfolio and party chair, a key role as we get closer to the next election.

Cabinet moves, 16:45, 25 October 2022

Oliver Dowden becomes chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, where he will oversee the workings of the Cabinet Office. A big theme for former CDLs was civil service reform, though this has dropped down the agenda recently - will it return?

Stability on foreign policy

25 October 2022, 16:49

With the war in Ukraine and a more challenging foreign policy landscape, the continuity in foreign and defence secretaries will help those departments manage the transition to the new prime minister. At defence, Wallace is one of the longest serving defence secretaries of recent times:

Timeline of defence secretaries, May 1997 to 2022, by party

The FCDO has also seen a lot of change in recent years. By staying as foreign secretary, James Cleverly will be able to continue to lead UK-EU negotiations on changes to the Northern Ireland protocol, which only recently restarted after being put on ice last February. The mood music has improved but if the UK government is serious about getting a deal, it will need to be willing to prioritise and compromise on its asks.

Alongside negotiations, the prime minister has indicated that he would continue to pursue the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which will unilaterally override huge parts of the withdrawal agreement. But doing so risks retaliation from Brussels. If Sunak and Cleverly want to avoid a potential trade war, they will need to focus their efforts on striking a deal with Brussels.

The FCDO has already lost another minister who attends cabinet, Vicky Ford - will Sunak appoint a replacement development minister or will that post be abolished only seven weeks after it was created?

Timeline of foreign secretaries, 1997 to 2022, by party

Cleverly and Wallace reappointed, Hart becomes chief whip

25 October 2022, 16:40

James Cleverly and Ben Wallace have been reconfirmed as foreign and defence secretary respectively - there had been some rumours that Wallace might resign over Sunak's refusal to commit to maintaining Truss's commitment to increase defence spending to 3% (exact spending decisions are yet to be made we believe) but stability has won out. Both Truss and Sunak stressed the importance of the UK continuing to support Ukraine in its war with Russia so stability at the MoD will have been a priority for them.

Cabinet moves, 16:£0, 25 October 2022

Simon Hart takes on a tricky role as chief whip, with party management a recurring challenge for recent prime ministers, as Cath Haddon pointed out yesterday:

"Even Boris Johnson realised (belatedly) that being able to hold together the Conservative parliamentary party is now fundamental to stability for the government. Rishi Sunak needs to prioritise this to get things done in government, but also to avoid an early general election. While the 2019 majority is the constitutional reason why the Conservatives can change leader without a general election, it cannot be taken for granted. A government as chaotic as the one led by Liz Truss, or a government that cannot get its business through parliament, will, as it did in 2019, lead to increased pressure to resolve the situation through a general election."

Simon Hart's ministerial experience

There have been many chief whips in recent months, with Hart the fourth this year:

Timeline of government chief whips, May 1997 to 2022

First appointments confirmed

25 October 2022, 16:26

After various sackings, we have our first appointments of the Sunak government: Jeremy Hunt remains as chancellor, and Dominic Raab returns as deputy prime minister and justice secretary, the job he was doing until Liz Truss became prime minister. Raab was a strong Sunak supporter throughout both leadership campaigns and replaces Therese Coffey as deputy prime minister (a post she also held alongside the health secretary role).

cabinet moves, 16:20, 25 October 2022

Dominic Raab has done various roles in government, including foreign secretary during the Afghanistan withdrawal. He has spent a large proportion of his time in government at the Ministry of Justice. A key question is whether the Bill of Rights Bill - shelved by the Truss government - will return. We discussed this topic at our event on 16 November.

Dominic Raab's ministerial experience
Timeline of secretaries of state for justice, May 2007 to 2022, by party

And Jeremy Hunt's confirmation as chancellor means he continues in his second great office of state position - after three years as a select committee chair during Johnson's time as prime minister, Hunt is now one of the most powerful ministers in government. If, as planned, he delivers his planned fiscal statement next Monday, this will be one of the first big tests for Sunak's government - and will be the focus of much of the new prime minister's work over the coming days. 

Jeremy Hunt's ministerial experience

Malthouse and Clarke leave government, Sharma leaves cabinet

25 October 2022, 15:23

Education secretary Kit Malthouse and levelling up secretary Simon Clarke have left the government. Alok Sharma has also left cabinet, though he retains responsibility for COP.

cabinet moves, 14:30, 25 october 2022

Kit Malthouse’s exit means that the Department for Education could get its fifth secretary of state of the year. This was his sixth ministerial post since entering government in 2018.

Kit Malthouse's ministerial experience

IfG Data Scientist Philip Nye comments here.

Timeline of secretaries of state for education, 1997 to 2022, by party

The economic crisis and opposition in parliament have also meant that plans to enact a schools bill have been left floundering – something else that will be in the new occupant of Sanctuary Buildings’ in-tray. Whoever is appointed as the next education secretary, those working in the sector will be looking for reassurance that they’ll last longer than their recent predecessors.

Our Performance Tracker report, published with CIPFA, demonstrates the challenges facing the new education secretary.

Tenure in days of education secretaries from 1945 to 2022, by party

Meanwhile, Simon Clarke’s exit from DLUHC after two months as secretary of state paves the way for the rumoured potential return of Michael Gove to the department.

Simon Clarke's ministerial experience

Rishi Sunak has now returned to Number 10, meaning we can expect appointments to begin soon.

Sackings continue

25 October 2022, 14:44

Six more ministers have left their posts in what is proving to be a wide-ranging cabinet clear out.

Cabinet moves, 14:30, 25 october 2022

Vicky Ford has left the Foreign Office, where she was minister for development (attending cabinet). This was her third ministerial role since entering parliament at the 2017 general election.

Vicky Ford's ministerial experience

Chloe Smith is out as work and pensions secretary. She first entered government in 2010, since when she has served in eight ministerial positions. This was her first cabinet role.

Chloe Smith's ministerial experience

Conservative Party chair, Jake Berry, has left his post as minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office. As chair, he oversaw the weekend’s leadership election alongside chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady.

Jake Berry's ministerial experience

Robert Buckland is also out as Welsh secretary, his second secretary of state role since first entering government in 2014. Though he supported Rishi Sunak in this month’s leadership election, he publicly switched his backing from Sunak to Liz Truss over the summer – perhaps something which team Sunak remembers.

Robert Buckland's ministerial experience

The youngest member of the cabinet, Ranil Jayawardena, has left Defra. This was his second government post, having served as a minister in the Department for International Trade from 2020–22.

Ranil Jayawardena's ministerial experience

First three exits under Sunak

25 October 2022, 13:35

The reshuffle has begun: Jacob Rees-Mogg has resigned as business secretary and Brandon Lewis has left the Ministry of Justice. The chief whip, Wendy Morton, has also tweeted that she is “heading to the backbenches”.

Cabinet moves, 13:30, 25 October 2022

Jacob Rees-Mogg entered government in 2019 as leader of the Commons. He leaves his role at BEIS – which he held since September – having vocally supported Boris Johnson in the race to succeed Liz Truss.

Jacob Rees-Mogg's ministerial experience

Brandon Lewis entered government in 2012 as parliamentary under-secretary of state in what was then the Department for Communities and Local Government (now DLUHC). He has held eight ministerial positions in the 12 years since, including as secretary of state for Northern Ireland from 2020–22.

Brandon Lewis' ministerial experience

Before becoming the first female Conservative chief whip in Liz Truss’s government, Wendy Morton served as minister of state for transport and in various junior ministerial positions since 2017. She leaves government following a chaotic period as chief whip, during which she was rumoured to have resigned over last week’s controversial fracking vote.

Wendy Morton's ministerial experience

We’ll be following as the resignations, sackings and appointments play out throughout the rest of the day.

How will Sunak find the transition?

25 October 2022, 12:57

Our colleague Jill Rutter has looked at how Gordon Brown, a previous chancellor-turned-PM, fared when he moved down Downing Street, and how Sunak might compare:

“But Sunak is way less experienced than either of the last two chancellors to make the transition to No.10. Gordon Brown had been chancellor for 10 years, and shadow chancellor for years more, when he moved next door. John Major had been a whip, a social security minister, chief secretary, a brief and very unhappy foreign secretary as well as chancellor before taking over from Margaret Thatcher (in those days his rise still counted as “meteoric”).”

One of the big issues facing Sunak is how he deals with ethical standards and propriety during his premiership - he referred again to the issue in his Downing Street statement. The Institute held an event on this at Conservative Party Conference where there was widespread agreement that the issue needs to be properly dealt with. You can listen back to the event here.

Sunak's first cabinet

25 October 2022, 12:22

Sunak has entered Downing Street and will appoint his cabinet this afternoon. We will be following the appointments and updating this page with all the latest - this is how the government stands now, where will it be by the end of the day and how many moves will we see?

UK government ministers, 12:20, 25 October 2022

The cabinet currently looks like this - many changes have been rumoured so this could look quite different at the end of the day:

Cabinet moves, 11:30, 25 October 2022

Prime Minister Sunak

25 October 2022, 11:57

It's official: Rishi Sunak is now the prime minister of the UK. He has returned from his audience with the King and spoken to the media in Downing Street. He talked about the "profound economic crisis" facing the UK, after Covid and the war in Ukraine, and paid tribute to his predecessor Liz Truss, while saying he had been elected, in part, to fix the mistakes of her administration. He trailed "difficult decisions" on public services and referred to his tenure as chancellor during the peak of the pandemic.

He also pledged to earn the trust of the country, a veiled reference to Boris Johnson's scandals (to whom he also paid tribute). Sunak also committed to delivering on the 2019 Conservative manifesto priorities, including levelling up and embracing the opportunities of Brexit. 

Infographic showing key information about Rishi Sunak, the 57th prime minister of the UK

Sunak has less ministerial experience than Truss, and was only elected seven years ago (Johnson had 11 years in parliament before becoming prime minister, May had 19 and Cameron had 9). Sunak does however have more ministerial experience than Johnson did when he became prime minister.

A chart showing the ministerial experience of prime ministers upon assuming office, 1979-2022

Sunak will get straight into appointing his cabinet and making his first decisions. A few years ago the Institute published a guide to Becoming Prime Minister, which looked at what the first few hours, days and weeks of the job are like:

"It is when the new prime minister goes through the No.10 door that the real business begins. He or she will be clapped in the door by staff, be greeted by the cabinet secretary and soon after head into a meeting to receive pre-prepared civil service briefings. These briefings cover everything from living arrangements for the prime minister and their family, to the ministerial appointments process, key policy briefings, urgent decisions, protocols, security and intelligence information, and nuclear weapons release policy. Alongside these, the new prime minister is immediately launched into many rounds of phone calls with international leaders wishing them well in the new job."

More secretaries of state

25 October 2022, 10:44

Since the Conservatives entered government in 2010, there has been a high degree of turnover in many secretary of state roles - DCMS and the Cabinet Office have each since 11 senior ministers, while the FCDO has had three secretaries of state in the two years of its existence.

Secretaries of State (or equivalent) for each department, 12 May 2010 to 24 October 2022

Will Sunak bring in lots more people, or will he try to clamp down on high turnover? Bringing people (back) into cabinet allows him to reward allies and reach out to different groups in the party, but also risks further instability for the work of departments.

Liz Truss concludes premiership

25 October 2022, 10:21

Liz Truss has spoken on Downing Street, wrapping up her premiership before she heads to the Palace to formally hand her resignation to the King. She spoke about the "huge honour" of leading the country and marking the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Truss spoke about her energy bills package and the importance of energy independence. She also reiterated the importance of higher growth and her desire to see a lower tax UK. She ended by saying the UK must continue to support Ukraine, and that the new prime minister will have her support.

At exactly seven weeks in power, Truss is the shortest serving UK prime minister ever, by some way - she served less than half of the time of George Canning, the previous shortest-serving premier, who died in office in 1827.

Prime Ministers 1721 to 25 October 2022

Truss may only have served a few weeks in No10 but has been in government for over a decade, with several cabinet posts under her belt. However, that experience did not help her make a success of her time as prime minister.

Liz Truss' ministerial experience

Truss's premiership was short but eventful, with a lot happening in those seven weeks: 

Infographic showing events during Liz Truss' time as Prime Minister

Let the Rishuffle commence!

25 October 2022, 09:03

This morning Rishi Sunak will become the new prime minister - the youngest in around 200 years, and the first British Asian PM. We are expecting the new cabinet (again) to be appointed this afternoon and of course the Institute for Government team will be here to track all the ups and downs and work out what it means.

Will we see a return of some former big names like Dominic Raab, Steve Barclay and Oliver Dowden? Will Sunak give his rival for the premiership Penny Mordaunt a top job? And what will he do with all the Truss-backers in government?

At the moment, this is how government ministers split for their preferred candidates in this election - will we see a clean sweep of Sunak supporters in cabinet, as Truss did? Or will he reach out and appoint those who backed his rivals?

Ministerial endorsements for the next prime minister, 24 October 2022

As our colleague Cath Haddon pointed out yesterday, maintaining party unity will not be easy - Sunak will have to work hard to balance a whole host of competing interests and groups.

"The widespread support of his parliamentary colleagues will give Sunak a bit more of a honeymoon than Truss’s blunders afforded her, but Sunak needs to learn from both Johnson’s and Truss’s mistakes. Johnson marched his MPs up one embarrassing hill after another only to frustrate his supporters by repeatedly u-turning. And last Wednesday’s calamitous fracking vote should serve to remind Sunak that while an experienced chief whip is necessary, a clear and consistent No.10 strategy is also needed."

What should Sunak do now?

24 October 2022, 17:52

Now that Sunak has been confirmed as leader of the Conservative party, and soon prime minister, there is a lot for him to deal with. The IfG team have set out five key issues he needs to focus on to ensure he doesn't make the same mistakes as his predecessors, including managing his parliamentary party carefully and appointing a loyal, experienced team in No10. 

As our colleague Alex Thomas says:

"First, do appoint special advisers who you trust, are loyal and share your agenda for government. Your ‘chief of staff’ and top political team need to extend your reach across departments and to take vast numbers of decisions on your behalf. They need clear direction from the prime minister, to know your mind, work to your priorities and to have your best interests at heart."

Ministerial endorsements

24 October 2022, 15:03

Rishi Sunak picked up 36 public endorsements from members of the government, far more than either of his potential rivals, Penny Mordaunt or Boris Johnson.

After Johnson dropped out of the race on Sunday evening, 10 of his 22 supporters switched their support to Rishi Sunak. Mordaunt received only three endorsements from members of the government, herself included.

As Sunak takes office later this week, many of those supporters will be looking to hold on to government jobs – or to move up the ranks. Will Sunak, like Truss, appoint a cabinet of his supporters? Or will he prioritise stability, keeping much of the government in place? 

Ministerial endorsements for the next prime minister, 24 October 2022

Rishi Sunak to be next prime minister

24 October 2022, 14:03

It's official - Penny Mordaunt has conceded in the Conservative leadership election, meaning Rishi Sunak is the only person to have received more than 100 nominations from his parliamentary colleagues and therefore the next leader of the Conservative party.

He will become prime minister later this week, once Liz Truss has handed in her resignation to the King. Sunak will then be invited to form a government.

It is an astonishing rise for someone who was only elected to parliament seven years ago (Blair was in parliament for 14 years before becoming prime minister, Cameron nine).

Rishi Sunak's ministerial experience

What will the new PM be dealing with?

24 October 2022, 13:09

Last week the IfG team looked at the key issues that the new prime minister will find at the top of their in-tray.

Cath Haddon looked at the issue of unity in the cabinet:

“After the failure of Truss’s government the next prime minister will need to bring in a range of perspectives, and importantly talent, from across the party in forming a cabinet. Turnover of ministers and appointment based on loyalty and political factions rather than merit was already a problem, even before the Truss cabinet started its own implosion because of those very problems.”

Tom Pope looked at the importance of a credible economic plan:

“Alongside their chancellor, the new prime minister will need to show that they have a credible economic and fiscal plan that can deliver sustainable public finances to avoid the instability of the last month.
The immediate decision will be over what happens on 31 October. There will be no time to test and put together a plan of tax rises and/or spending cuts with the prime minister’s input over a weekend. If the medium-term fiscal plan does go ahead, at most it can set out the government’s fiscal targets and a broad plan to meet them based on the latest forecast.”

Emma considered the new prime minister’s policy agenda:

“A new prime minister – and new government – will need to provide a sense of policy coherence. The last few years have been dogged by disjointed – even incompatible – policies, resulting in inaction and a damaging series of u-turns. The roots of this go back to the 2019 manifesto's ambitious spending pledges, which were irreconcilable with simultaneous promises to hold down taxes, reduce debt and not borrow to fund day-to-day spending. The incoherence continued with Truss’s market-spooking inability to articulate how she would reduce the size of the state to compensate for lowering taxes. Any new prime minister will need to develop policies that engage with the very difficult choices ahead – spending cuts, tax rises and the perilous state of core public services, rather than making more promises that cannot be kept.”

Alex looked at how the new PM might want to run No10:

“The Truss and Johnson governments were almost polar-opposite case studies in things that can go wrong with No.10 organisation. Truss gave her team a clear direction, albeit one that led them off a cliff, but her Downing Street was hollowed out, stripped of experience with old hands (whether political or civil service) treated with suspicion. Johnson had plenty of staff who were battle-hardened veterans by the end, but who faced in different directions and did not cohere around a clear mission. Both incarnations of No.10 failed to appreciate the importance of deft parliamentary handling and relationships with MPs.”

And Alice looked at the PM’s relationship with their parliamentary party:

“Liz Truss – and her predecessor – were both ultimately undone by their failure to have the support of enough of their own MPs, despite the apparent size of their Commons majority. The arithmetic facing the new prime minister has not changed, and he or she will inherit a parliamentary party that is clearly deeply fractured – and that has got used to rebelling. That will make it hard to get things done, particularly on the major and difficult decisions that need taking.”

Sunak vs Mordaunt

24 October 2022, 11:32

So who are the contenders for the premiership? Now that Boris Johnson has dropped out, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are the only ones left in the running – though it is not yet certain whether Mordaunt will hit the 100 nominations by this afternoon’s deadline.

Rishi Sunak's ministerial experience

Of the two of them, Mordaunt has more experience in ministerial posts - and was elected before her opponent - though Sunak has more senior experience having been chancellor for over two years.

Penny Mordaunt's ministerial experience

Another new Prime Minister

24 October 2022, 11:32

As the UK prepares for its third prime minister in as many months, the Institute for Government team will be tracking the result of the Conservative leadership contest and seeing what the new government looks like.

Today we’ll find out whether both the candidates – Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt – have the required 100 nominees to require a vote of the membership, or if MPs have swung behind one of them (expected to be former chancellor Sunak) to avoid a run-off.

Here’s a reminder of how the process works:

The process of the second 2022 Conservative Party leadership contest
Political party
Prime minister
Sunak government
Public figures
Rishi Sunak
Institute for Government

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