Cabinet update: Theresa May is surprise Home Sec

May 12, 2010
The Mole

The Mole: Cameron’s new Cabinet postings reviewed as they come in...

Well, you can't accuse David Cameron of making dull appointments. The first Cabinet postings have been filtering through this morning and there are certainly some surprises, the biggest being shoe fetishist Theresa May as Home Secretary. (Okay, fetishist may be a little strong, but she did once famously attend party conference in a pair of leopard-skin kitten heels.)

Michael Gove, the former Times hack who became one of Cameron's most trusted lieutenants during the election campaign and the subsequent coalition talks, is Education Secretary.

This puts paid to an earlier rumour that the Lib Dems' David Laws might get Education. Laws has been confirmed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

May's appointment means that Chris Grayling, the Tories' latest home affairs spokesman in opposition, is looking for something else to do, having apparently paid the price for his gaffe last month when he said B&B owners should have the right to turn away gay couples.

Don't forget those appointments we learned earlier today: George Osborne is Chancellor, William Hague is Foreign Secretary, Liam Fox is Defence Secretary and Andrew Lansley is Health Secretary.

Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister, but without a departmental portfolio. It is understood he will fill in at Prime Minister's Questions when Cameron is unavailable. And he is likely to be in charge if and when Cameron takes paternity leave later this summer.

Former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke, also a shoe man of course - though brown Hush Puppies, not leopard-skin - is to be Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary. This allows for the Lib Dems' Vince Cable to be Business/Banking Secretary.

Two other Lib Dems are also in the Cabinet: Chris Huhne, beaten to the party leadership by Clegg in 2007, becomes Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

Danny Alexander, a key figure in the Lib Dems' election campaign and the subsequent coalition talks, is Scottish Secretary. Ken Clarke isn't the only old-timer getting a top job: former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is appointed Work and Pensions Secretary.

Eric Pickles, Tory party chairman, becomes Communities and Local Government Secretary and Patrick McLoughlin has a Cabinet seat as Tory Chief Whip.

Sign up for our daily newsletter