Cabinet: David Cameron's new line-up

Here is a guide to the cabinet following the reshuffle which began on 14 July, 2014:


  • 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 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.

    He became Foreign Secretary in the July reshuffle, following the departure of William Hague.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

    A self-made millionaire and devotee of Margaret Thatcher, Sajid 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 Michael Fallon

    He has served as MP for Sevenoaks in Kent since 1997. He had previously served as MP for Darlington from 1983-92.

    He was educated at Epsom College and the University of St Andrews. While he was out of politics, he served as director of several companies including Quality Care Homes.

    A resolute Thatcherite, he served as a minister under her and John Major. He held a number of posts including parliamentary private secretary to the secretary of state for energy, government whip and schools minister.

    From 2010-12 he served as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, where he developed a reputation as a firefighter. In 2013 he was made minister of state for energy. He was promoted to defence secretary in the July reshuffle.

    He is married with two children.

  • Education Secretary Nicky Morgan

    After studying law at Oxford University, she worked as a solicitor specialising in corporate law and advising a range of private and public companies from 1994, until her election as MP for the marginal seat of Loughborough in 2010.

    In April 2014 she was appointed financial secretary to the Treasury and minister for women and was promoted to education secretary in the July reshuffle. She will also continue as minister for women and equalities.

    As a committed Christian, Morgan voted against same-sex marriage, although she supports gay civil partnerships.

    She is married with a son.

  • 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 Liz Truss

    A qualified management accountant, she became MP for South West Norfolk in 2010 and was appointed education minister in 2012.

    She was brought up in Yorkshire and attended Roundhay, a comprehensive school in Leeds, and went on to read philosophy, politics and economics at Merton College Oxford.

    Socially liberal, she was a founder member of the free enterprise group of Conservative MPs arguing for more deregulation of the economy.

    She was promoted to the cabinet as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs.

    She is married with two daughters.

  • 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.

  • Leader of the Commons 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.

    In the July reshuffle, Mr Hague announced that he would be standing down as foreign secretary, prior to leaving parliament in 2015. He will serve the remainder of his time in politics as leader of the Commons.

  • 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 Stephen Crabb

    Stephen Crabb was first elected as MP for his home constituency of Preseli Pembrokeshire in 2005 and was re-elected in May 2010 with an increased majority.

    He grew up in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, where he attended Tasker Milward School. He holds degrees from Bristol University and London Business School.

    He worked as a marketing consultant and has also been a volunteer youth worker.

    A rugby player and marathon runner, Crabb for three years ran Project Umubano, the Conservative Party's social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

    He became parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Wales Office in September 2012 and was promoted to Welsh secretary in the July reshuffle.

    He is married with two children.

  • 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.

A number of other senior Conservatives are also able to attend cabinet meetings:

  • Chief Whip Michael Gove
  • Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Francis Maude
  • Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin
  • Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Minister of State for the Cabinet Office Greg Clark
  • Attorney General Jeremy Wright
  • Leader of the House of Lords Lord Privy Seal Baroness Stowell
  • Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Minister of State for Energy, and Minister of State for Portsmouth Matthew Hancock
  • Minister of State for Employment Esther McVey
  • Minister without Portfolio Grant Shapps

There is also one Lib Dem minister granted the right to attend cabinet:

  • Minister of State for Cabinet Office and Minister of State for Schools David Laws

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