Who'll be in Johnson's top team? New Prime Minister to announce senior Cabinet positions 'to reflect modern Britain'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Boris Johnson is set to appoint more women and ethnic minority MPs to his Cabinet (PA)

Boris Johnson will begin appoint his top team today in what is tipped to be an ‘ethnically diverse’ Cabinet.

Shortly after his visit to the Queen to officially become Prime Minister, Mr Johnson will start the important job of assembling a new set of ministers to deal with major problems, including how to deal with Brexit and the tensions with Iran.

Vacancies are already open up after four members of the current Cabinet resigned just hours before Mr Johnson picks up the keys to Number 10.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and Justice Secretary David Gauke all handed in their notice, paving the way for a new team.

All had already said publicly they could not serve under a Prime Minister who supports a no-deal Brexit and would likely have been sacked and replaced with supporters of Mr Johnson.

Priti Patel is thought to be lined up for a return to Cabinet as Home Secretary (PA)

Former international development secretary Priti Patel is one name tipped for a return to Cabinet as the new Home Secretary, according to reports.

Ms Patel's return comes almost two years after she was forced to resign over unauthorised meetings with Israeli officials with she was on holiday.

In what the new PM’s team have described as a "cabinet for modern Britain”, Ms Patel is expected to be joined at the top table by the Indian-born Employment Minister Alok Sharma.

Unlike Ms Patel, he voted Remain in the 2016 referendum but was quick to declare his support for Mr Johnson when he threw his hat into ring following Mrs May's decision to resign.

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Allies said that Mr Johnson was looking to welcome a record number of ethnic minority ministers around the Cabinet table while increasing the number a women attending Cabinet in their own right.

One appointment has already called a stir this morning after Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings was set to be named Mr Johnson’s senior advisor.

While the move is expected to be welcomed by Brexiteers, Remainer and independent MP Sarah Wollaston described it as “shameful”.

She tweeted: “If true, would be an appalling error of judgement to appoint someone who has been in contempt of Parliament.

“Very rare for this to happen and would be shameful to be rewarded by PM with such a high profile role.”

The hotly-contested role of Chancellor will likely see current Home Secretary Sajid Javid handed the keys to Number 11.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss was reportedly fighting for the job but is reportedly now set for the role of Business Secretary.

Remain supporter Alok Sharma is tipped for a role in Cabinet (PA)
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is set to be named Chancellor by Mr Johnson (PA)

There is also expected to be a return to government for Tracey Crouch who quit last year as sports minister after clashing with the Treasury over delays to a crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines.

Where things get more difficult for Mr Johnson is what to do with his opponent for the top job, Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt is said to want to stay as Foreign Secretary and has reportedly refused to be demoted to Defence Secretary.

Jeremy Hunt has reportedly refused to accept a demotion to Defence Secretary (PA)
Chancellor Philip Hammond signalled his intention to resign if Mr Johnson won the leadership election (PA)

Among the lower ministerial ranks, Mr Johnson is looking to bring on rising talent in the party, with promotions expected for Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak, Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden and Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick.

A source close to Mr Johnson said: "Boris will build a Cabinet showcasing all the talents within the party that truly reflect modern Britain.”

On entering Downing Street, Mr Johnson will also make an address to the nation - setting out his optimistic vision for the future for a post-Brexit UK.