The Conservative women on the rise in Cameron's reshuffle

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As David Cameron reshuffles his cabinet, a guide to female Conservative high-fliers who have been given promotions.


Elizabeth Truss

Age: 38

Education: Brought up in Yorkshire, Ms Truss attended Roundhay, a comprehensive school in Leeds, and read philosophy, politics and economics at Merton College, Oxford.

Career so far: Previously deputy director at the think-tank Reform, Ms Truss also worked for Shell and Cable & Wireless. A qualified management accountant, she became MP for South West Norfolk in 2010 and was appointed education minister in 2012.

What was she tipped for? Seen as a potential future leadership candidate in the longer term - in the shorter term she could possibly take over David Willetts' job as universities minister.

What job has she got? Promoted to the cabinet as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs.

What do her supporters say? One senior Conservative praised Ms Truss in the Daily Mail for her "poise and control", adding: "She is still young but people make the Thatcher comparison, and not just because she's an education minister. There is a touch of the Thatcher steel."

Personal life: Married with two daughters.

Nicky Morgan

Image source, Getty Images

Age: 41

Education: Ms Morgan grew up in Surrey and studied law at Oxford University.

Career so far: She worked as a solicitor specialising in corporate law advising a range of private and public companies from 1994 until her election as MP for Loughborough in 2010. In April this year Ms Morgan became financial secretary to the Treasury and minister for women.

What was she tipped for? A full cabinet post.

What job has she got? A senior cabinet post as secretary of state for education. She will continue in her role as minister for women.

What do her supporters say? Described by the Daily Mail as a protege of Chancellor George Osborne, her confidence at the dispatch box has won her many fans, although some detractors describe her as "headgirlish".

Personal life: Married with a son.

Esther McVey

Image source, LEON NEAL

Age: 46

Education: Liverpool-born, Ms McVey was educated at Belvedere School in the city before studying law at Queen Mary and Westfield University, London, and radio journalism at City University.

Career so far: Employment minister since the 2013 reshuffle, Ms McVey is a former GMTV presenter and a TV and radio personality. She helped her friend Kate McCann set up the Madeleine McCann Fund and started her own business, providing training and office space for start-up firms. She became MP for Wirral West in 2010, and is the only Tory MP in Merseyside.

What was she tipped for? If you believed everything you read, Ms McVey could have found herself in any number of roles - ranging from minister without portfolio to work and pensions secretary or culture secretary.

What job did she get? Despite all the speculation, Ms McVey is remaining in her post as employment minister. However, she will now attend the cabinet in that role.

What do her supporters say? Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller says: "Esther is working the department that I used to work in with Iain Duncan Smith and I think has proven herself to be a formidable advocate for employment and the employment programmes that are going forward. I would imagine she will continue to rise on up with her credentials and her clear talent."

Personal life: Unmarried and without children, Ms McVey shares a London flat with fellow Conservative MP Philip Davies.

Priti Patel

Age: 42

Education: London-born Ms Patel was educated at a Watford comprehensive school before studying economics at Keele University and completing her postgraduate studies at the University of Essex.

Career so far: After assisting her parents in running a number of small businesses around the South East and East of England, she worked in corporate communications for a variety of international companies, including Weber Shandwick. She became MP for Witham in 2010, is an elected member of the Conservative Party board, the 1922 Committee executive and the Public Administration Select Committee. Independently minded and known as a straight-talker, she is also a member of the Downing Street policy board and the prime minister's Indian diaspora champion, with the task of forging closer ties with Indian communities in the UK.

What was she tipped for? A number of papers suggested she could be a surprise inclusion in the reshuffle winners, although there was no specific role suggested.

What job did she get? She has joined George Osborne's ministerial team at the Treasury, as exchequer secretary.

What do her supporters say? Chancellor George Osborne is believed to be a fan, having described Ms Patel - who accompanied him on a recent visit to Mumbai - as a "champion of the British Indian community".

Personal life? Married with a son.

Amber Rudd

Image source, Getty Images

Age: 50

Education: She grew up in London and Wiltshire and graduated with a history degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Career so far: She worked in investment banking and venture capital before moving into corporate recruitment and financial journalism. She was elected to Parliament as MP for Hastings and Rye in 2010 as one of the so-called "A list" group of candidates. She became a ministerial aide to Chancellor George Osborne in 2012 and an assistant whip in 2013.

What was she tipped for? A ministerial job in the Treasury or another department

What job did she get? She has become a junior minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change with responsibility for energy efficiency, fuel poverty and the green industry.

What do her supporters say? Party chairman Grant Shapps has said Ms Rudd is among the "brightest and best" of the party's rising stars.

Personal life? Has two children from her marriage to the journalist AA Gill, from whom she is divorced. Her brother Roland, a public relations executive, is a prominent Labour supporter.

Penny Mordaunt

Age: 41

Education: Born in Torquay, Ms Mordaunt was educated at Oaklands RC Comprehensive School in Waterlooville and studied drama at the Victoryland Theatre School in Portsmouth. She worked as a magician's assistant for Will Ayling, a former Magic Circle president, before studying philosophy at the University of Reading.

Career so far: Ms Mordaunt is a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, and was director of communications for the National Lottery; head of campaigns for Diabetes UK; head of foreign press for George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 presidential election campaigns; and chief of staff for fellow Tory David Willetts. She was elected for Portsmouth North in 2010, and has been parliamentary private secretary to Philip Hammond at Defence.

What was she tipped for? There were suggestions that Ms Mordaunt, who recently made the headlines by taking part in ITV's diving contest Splash!, could be in line for a ministerial role at the MoD.

What job has she got? She becomes a junior minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as taking on a new role as minister for coastal communities.

What do her supporters say? Mr Cameron described Ms Mordaunt as a "real parliamentary star" after she became only the second woman in the Queen's reign to propose the loyal address about Portsmouth in the House of Commons.

Personal life? Lives with her partner; no children

Margot James

Age: 56

Education: Ms James was born in Coventry and went to school in Leamington Spa and Somerset before attending the London School of Economics, where she read economics and government.

Career so far: Ms James has had a career in business - starting work at her father's business before setting up her own company, Shire Health, which she sold in 2009. She was elected as MP for Stourbridge in 2010 and is parliamentary private secretary to Trade Minister Lord Green. She works on the Number 10 policy advisory board, focusing on the economy, business and trade.

What was she tipped for? According to the City AM newspaper, Ms James could see her stock rise, especially given her strong background in business.

What job did she get? Ms James has not been given a new role.

What do her supporters say? Maria Miller says Margot James is among a "hugely rich talent pool" from which David Cameron could pick. She also praised Ms James as "a very successful businesswoman".

Personal life? Lives with her partner; no children.

Harriett Baldwin

Age: 56

Education: Born in Watford, Mrs Baldwin was educated at the Friends School, Saffron Walden, in Essex; Marlborough College in Wiltshire; and read modern languages (French and Russian) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She also has an MBA from McGill University, Montreal.

Career so far? Harriett Baldwin was a pension fund manager with JP Morgan and was elected as MP for Worcestershire West in 2010. She was a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee before serving as parliamentary private secretary to Employment Minister Mark Hoban until February this year, when she joined the government as assistant government whip.

What was she tipped for? There was a suggestion she could take over from deputy chief whip Greg Hands if he was promoted.

What job has she got? She remains a government whip

What do her supporters say? Maria Miller told Sky News's Murnaghan programme: "I think [Mr Cameron] has got a hugely rich talent pool to draw from - people like Harriet Baldwin, who was a leader in her field in the City before she came to Parliament."

Personal life? Married with a son and two stepdaughters