May names Britain's new cabinet after election drubbing

May's weakened position in the Conservative Party meant that all the senior ministers kept their jobs and there were few changes in the cabinet lineup.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

May called the election in a bid to strengthen her mandate ahead of EU exit talks. Instead, she has left Britain's position in disarray, days before the divorce negotiations are due to start on June 19.

Britain's embattled Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday unveiled her full cabinet, making few changes after losing her parliamentary majority in a snap election.

May also shrugged off suggestions her days in Downing St  were numbered.

Asked if she is now just a caretaker leader, May noted, "I said during the election campaign that if elected I would intend to serve a full term."

May made Damian Green, former work and pensions secretary, her deputy by naming him first secretary of state.

Treasury chief secretary David Gauke moves in to take Green's place, while the leader of the House of Commons, David Lidington, becomes justice secretary.

Lidington's move sees him replace Liz Truss, who has faced criticism in the justice role and has been moved by May to Gauke's former post as treasury chief secretary.

A surprise appointment came with the naming of Michael Gove as environment and agriculture minister, less than a year after he was sacked from the cabinet by May.

"I genuinely didn't expect this role," he told Sky News.

The minor reshuffle has been seen as a reflection of May's weak position after she called a snap election, only to lose seats in Thursday's vote in a dramatic change of fortunes.

In announcing the remainder of her cabinet on Sunday, May kept Jeremy Hunt on as health secretary despite him being vilified for his handling of the treasured National Health Service.

Liam Fox stays on as international trade secretary, a post created in the wake of Britain's decision last year to leave the European Union as the country searches for new partners outside of the bloc.

Downing Street announced on Friday that there would be no reshuffle among the government's top ministers, including Finance Minister Philip Hammond despite reports ahead of the election that he may be sacked.

Boris Johnson stays on as foreign minister, alongside fellow eurosceptic David Davis as Brexit minister.

May's replacement last year as interior minister, Amber Rudd, keeps her post, as does Defence Minister Michael Fallon.

TRTWorld and agencies