The real winners of the reshuffle have been the 2010 intake of Tory MPs. Several star names — including Nick Boles, Matt Hancock and Sajid Javid — have been moved up to junior ministerial posts today. While David Cameron was criticised for removing several females as Secretaries of State, he has attempted to make up for this by appointing four female hopefuls as under secretaries.
All of these recruits are members of 2010 intake and look to be interesting members of the reshuffled government. Ladbrokes have gathered the odds for each minister’s chances as future Conservative leader, so here are the four female stars of Cameron’s reshuffle:
Liz Truss – 50/1
Education Minister responsible for early years education
Chairman of the Free Enterprise Group of MPs and the member for South West Norfolk. Similar to the other female appointees, Truss does not come from a traditional Tory background. She was once a member of the CND, a leading Liberal Democrat at university and her father refused to campaign for her in 2010 because of the clash between their politics. But Truss has made considerable waves as a Conservative in her two years in Parliament, leading the New Statesman to dub her Iron Lady 2.0. She is the co-author of ‘Britannia Unchained’, a book coming out next week that looks at how Britain can learn from other nations to prosper. She also co-wrote ‘After the Coalition’ last autumn, which explores how to make Britain fit for purpose. You can hear more of this MP and her priorities in this episode of our View from 22 podcast.
Truss has recently published research on affordable childcare and will no doubt push her agenda in government. Sadly, she will have to resign her chairmanship of the Free Enterprise Group in order to take up her new role.
Anna Soubry – 100/1
Under Secretary at Health
Previously a PPS to Simon Burns and MP for Broxtowe, Soubry makes a natural transition into the Department of Health under Jeremy Hunt. Joining the Conservative Party at university, Sorby was the first female Conservative to sit on National Union of Student’s Executive. During this period, she was a member of the Tory Reform Group and once called for abortion on demand. Later in life, Soubry became a newsreader on Grampian TV’s North Tonight before retraining as a barrister. A member of David Cameron’s A-list of candidates, she holds her set with just a 0.7 per cent majority and was once blown kisses by Ed Balls. Before becoming a PPS, Soubry briefly served on the Select Committee on Justice and voted against MPs being allowed to tweet from the House of Common chamber.
Esther McVey – 100/1
Under Secretary at Work and Pensions
Described by Dods as a ‘glamorous, sparky, fast-talking Liverpudlian television presenter and actress-turned-businesswoman’, McVey is the MP for Wirral West. In a previous life, she was a presenter on GMTV with Eamonn Holmes before joining her family construction business and founding Winning Women, to aid women in entrepreneurship. McVey has acted too, appearing in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. She also has a slim majority of 2,436 votes and soon became PPS to Chris Grayling when entering parliament. She has campaigned for a flight path from London to Liverpool to boost the economy of Merseyside. McVey is a college friend of Kate McCann.
Helen Grant – 200/1
Under Secretary at Justice
A former lawyer and MP for Maidstone and The Weald, Grant was the Conservative’s first black female British MP. The Guardian once described her as ‘political gold dust’. She has also been a non-excutive director of Croydon NHS Primary Care Trust. In politics, she was once a member of the Labour Party but has since worked with Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice think tank and aided Oliver Letwin Party’s policy review before inheriting Ann Widdecombe’s safe seat. In parliament, she has sat on the Justice Select Committee, actively criticised plans to reform legal aid and is a member of all-party groups on the armed forces and Conservative Friends of India. The Daily Mail profiled her in 2008, where Grant was quoted saying she will ‘never play the race card – I never have and I do not want my journey to be seen as some kind of sob story’.
As Fraser wrote earlier, accusations that the Prime Minister is unconcerned about female representation are nonsensical:
‘It’s difficult to understate how concerned David Cameron is about his standing with female voters. If he dropped Cheryl Gillan, Caroline Spelman and Sayeeda Warsi from the Cabinet he was always going to get some stick. It was also likely that he would offset this even more women promoted into the government – hence this strange talk of the ‘next generation being brought forward.’
This explains why he has decided to bring four of the brightest young hopefuls in the Conservative party into government. All of these new ministers are ones to watch.Tags: Autumn reshuffle 2012, Free Enterprise Group, UK politics