owning Street has appointed Oliver Dowden as Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Dominic Raab who resigned earlier in the day following a report into claims he bullied colleagues.
The Cabinet secretary moves up to become Rishi Sunak’s right-hand man, while Alex Chalk has been named the new Justice Secretary in a dramatic day of political upheaval for the government.
It comes after the government released the findings of the Dominic Raab bullying inquiry, following the Deputy PM’s resignation on Friday morning.
Mr Raab, who was also the Justice Secretary, fired off an angry letter as he quit the Government around 24 hours after Mr Sunak had been handed the report by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.
In his investigation Mr Tolley found Mr Raab acted in an “intimidating” fashion with “unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct” in a work meeting while he was Foreign Secretary.
The report is a 47-page document. We bring you the latest updates below.
New deputy PM ‘deeply honoured’
Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said he was “deeply honoured” to take on the role.
“I look forward to working even more closely with the Prime Minister as we tackle the issues that matter most to the people of this country,” he tweeted.
Pictured: New Justice Secretary meets with PM
After Dominic Raab’s resignation this morning, Alex Chalk was appointed as the new Justice Secretary.
He met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at No 10 Downing Street earlier today.
details about the Cabinet reshuffle here.
Senior Tory MP to stand down at next general election
Julian Knight will stand down at the next general election following complaints.
The MP for Solihull made the announcement on Twitter on Friday afternoon. He claimed that a “false and malicious accusation” brought against him last December “did untold damage” to his health as well as causing “pain and distress” to loved ones.
He was suspended as a Tory after a serious sexual assault allegation was made against him, which the Metropolitan Police has since dropped.
Following their decision, Mr Knight made a request for “immediate return” to the parliamentary party – which was rejected following “further complaints.”
New Justice Secretary must ‘grasp the urgency’ of courts crisis
New Justice Secretary Alex Chalk must “grasp the urgency” of the crisis in the courts system, the chair of Criminal Bar Association has said.
Kirsty Brimelow said: “We look forward to continuing the Criminal Bar’s ongoing constructive work with the new Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor to rebuild the criminal justice system.
“The new Secretary of State must grasp the urgency of following through the final part of the deal between the Ministry of Justice and the Criminal Bar Association.
“There remain insufficient barristers to prosecute and defend in trials before the courts. Medium and long-term reform must start if the criminal justice system is to be pulled out of crisis.”
Raab faces £68k pay cut
Mr Raab is set to lose almost £70,000 from his salary after quitting as Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.
The Esher and Walton MP is however entitled to a £17,000 pay-off, if he is not appointed to another ministerial post within three week.
He can choose to refuse the payment.
Chalk is 11th Justice Secretary in 13 years
Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said that Alex Chalk, the new Justice Secretary, was the “11th Conservative Justice Secretary in 13 chaotic years that have destroyed the justice system”.
“Real change can only come with a Labour Government,” he said.
The Cheltenham MP takes over the department when victims, witnesses and defendants are waiting years for justice as courts are weighed down by huge backlog of cases,
The number of cases waiting to be heard has nearly doubled across England and Wales in the past four years, thanks to funding cutbacks, the pandemic and a feud between barristers and government over legal aid rates.
In London, data shows the capital’s crown courts are dealing with more than a quarter of the 60,898 backlog, compared with a 20 per cent share four years ago.
More mini-reshuffle news
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who has said she is standing down at the next election, will cover as Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology while Michelle Donelan is on maternity leave.
No 10 confirmed the appointment as it carried out a mini-reshuffle in the wake of Dominic Raab‘s resignation.
Reshuffle at MoJ and new Deputy PM
Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has officially been named as the new Justice Secretary, while Oliver Dowden is the new Deputy PM.
The new appointments are:
· Alex Chalk KC as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice;
· James Cartlidge MP as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence;
· Gareth Davies MP as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden MP, has also been appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
Cheltenham MP to replace Raab
Suggestions that Alex Chalk is set to replace Mr Raab as Justice Secretary.
The Cheltenham MP is in Downing Street meeting with the Prime Minister now.
PM accepts Raab broke Ministerial Code, No10 suggests
The Prime Minister accepts that Dominic Raab broke the Ministerial Code by bullying staff, Downing Street has suggested.
“You can see the aspects relevant to the code are set out in the report,” the PM’s spokesman said. “I think those speak for themselves.
“The Prime Minister thinks it’s right that any findings whatsoever that are deemed to be bullying, it’s right to resign. That’s the commitment the former Secretary of State made and he’s upheld that commitment.”
Asked whether Rishi Sunak would condemn the behaviour, the spokesman added: “Clearly, any bullying in general terms is unacceptable and there are clear rules that apply to that.”