Boris Johnson's government shake-up continues

17 September 2021

1:00 AM

17 September 2021

1:00 AM

After a rather quiet day, the reshuffle is back on, and Boris Johnson is proving to be even more brutal with the more junior ministerial jobs than he was in his clear out of the cabinet. So far, the following have left government:

  • Jesse Norman
  • Caroline Dinenage
  • Luke Hall
  • Graham Stuart
  • James Duddridge
  • Matt Warman
  • John Whittingdale
  • Nick Gibb

And these are the moves and promotions within government:

  • Lucy Frazer is financial secretary, moving from Justice.
  • Helen Whately is exchequer secretary, moving from Health and Social Care.

Home Office

  • Rachel Maclean has been made a parliamentary under sectary at the Home Office, having been moved from Transport.


  • Robin Walker is a minister of state, moving from Northern Ireland.
  • Alex Burghart has been made a parliamentary under secretary having served as Boris Johnson’s parliamentary private secretary.
  • Will Quince has been appointed parliamentary under secretary. He was previously under sectary for welfare delivery at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Health and Social Care

  • Gillian Keegan is minister of state, moving from Education.
  • Maggie Throup moves to be parliamentary under-secretary from being a whip.


  • Jo Churchill has been appointed a parliamentary under secretary of state at the department for environment, food and rural affairs.

Foreign Office

  • Vicky Ford has been made a parliamentary under secretary. She was previously minister for children.


Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

  • Lee Rowley has been promoted to a parliamentary under secretary and a whip.


  • Victoria Atkins is a minister of state, moving from the Home Office but staying as Minister for the Afghan resettlement scheme and Operation Warm Welcome.

Attorney General’s Office

  • Alex Chalk is promoted to Solicitor General from parliamentary under-secretary at Justice.

Housing, Communities and Local Government

  • Neil O’Brien has been promoted to parliamentary under-secretary. He was previously leading a review on levelling up.


  • Mike Freer has been appointed parliamentary under secretary.


  • Trudy Harrison has been made parliamentary under sectrary having served as Boris Johson’s parliamentary private secretary.

Work and Pensions

  • Chloe Smith moves from the Cabinet Office.

Northern Ireland

  • Conor Burns returns to the government as a minister of state.

Culture, Media and Sport

  • Chris Philp has been made a parliamentary under secretary, having been moved from the Home Office.


  • Amanda Solloway goes to the Whips office.


We’ll update this list as more changes are made. So far, the eye-catching moves include Jesse Norman leaving government. He has been a big thinker within the Tory party since 2010 and as financial secretary to the Treasury had been taking a lot of the parliamentary flak for the rise in National Insurance to fund social care.


Neil O’Brien’s move to MHCLG shows that Johnson wants this department to be more focused on ‘levelling, up’, given he has been leading a review on the policy. It also suggests that there isn’t going to be a dialling-down of the radicalism in this ministry, even though Conservative MPs are expecting a change of tone now that Robert Jenrick, who they felt was insufficiently sympathetic to their constituents’ concerns about planning reform, has been replaced by Michael Gove, whose Surrey Heath seat is right in the middle of the fight about more homes. Both Gove and O’Brien are well-respected not just for having lots of ideas but more importantly for knowing how to implement them. This department is going to be one to watch in the coming months.

Another striking change is that the Prime Minister has promoted both of his PPSs. Alex Burghart goes to Education while Trudy Harrison is joining Transport. Both have served Johnson for a good while but there have been gripes from backbenchers that they haven’t been sufficiently enmeshed in the parliamentary party, particularly in comparison to Rishi Sunak’s aides. This suggests the PM wants to change the way he relates to his MPs.

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