The Daily Telegraph

Sunak allies jettisoned to make way for PM’S loyalists

Dominic Raab among Cabinet casualties while wife of veterans’ minister condemns his sacking


RISHI SUNAK’S high-profile allies were last night sacked from their Cabinet roles en masse to make way for Liz Truss loyalists.

Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps, Steve Barclay and George Eustice – the four most prominent backers of Mr Sunak in the Cabinet – were all asked to leave government yesterday.

Greg Clark, the Levelling Up Secretary, was also sacked after just eight weeks in the job, having not backed either of the candidate who made the final two in the Tory leadership race.

Mr Raab, who was deputy prime minister and justice secretary, was the first casualty of the Truss administra­tion.

He will be joined on the back benches by Mr Shapps, the former transport secretary who had been tipped to remain in the Cabinet despite supporting Mr Sunak in the leadership race.

Meanwhile, Mr Barclay, who was health secretary, and Mr Eustice, who held the environmen­t brief, have also been banished from front line politics.

The clear-out of Sunak acolytes came despite calls from Tory MPS urging Ms Truss to reunite the party by appointing some of her leadership rival’s backers to Cabinet posts – rather than just filling the top roles with her own supporters.

Meanwhile, several senior Conservati­ve figures also turned down jobs in Ms Truss’s new Cabinet, including former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who played a prominent role in her campaign. The former work and pensions secretary, who is understood to have been offered the role of Leader of the Commons in her administra­tion, opted to remain on the back benches.

He will be joined by Nadine Dorries, who resigned as culture secretary, saying she was “humbled” to have been asked by Ms Truss to remain in post but has declined. Ms Dorries, who has been tipped for a peerage in Boris Johnson’s valedictor­y honours list, promised to show the new Prime Minister “loyalty and support”.

Lord Frost, the former Brexit negotiator, was sounded out about the role of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, once occupied by Michael Gove, but he was said to have rejected it because Ms Truss wants the job to be far more narrowly focused than in Mr Gove’s time.

Ms Truss’s team also raised the possibilit­y of making Lord Frost the Leader of the House of Lords, but he told them he would be the wrong person for the job because it should go to someone who has been a peer for much longer than his two years.

Johnny Mercer, who was sacked as veterans’ affairs minister, left with a parting swipe at the Government. He said that former servicemen have been “so badly led down” by Whitehall, adding that it is nothing more than a “hollow promise” to claim that the UK will be the “best country in the world” to be a veteran in by 2028.

Mr Mercer’s wife last night criticised Ms Truss on social media, calling her an “imbecile” for sacking the “best person I know”.

Writing on Twitter, Felicity Cornelius-mercer said the “system stinks and treats people appallingl­y”.

She went on to sum up the parting conversati­on her husband had with the new Prime Minister.

“He asked her ‘why would you do this, who is going to be better at this role than me, which of your mates gets the job, you promised a meritocrac­y?’ PM – I can’t answer that Johnny,” she wrote.

“Best person I know sacked by an imbecile @trussliz.”

 ?? ?? Dominic Raab, who was deputy prime minister and justice secretary, was the first casualty of the Truss administra­tion
Dominic Raab, who was deputy prime minister and justice secretary, was the first casualty of the Truss administra­tion

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