Grant Shapps appointed business secretary

Michael Gove will return to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to “finish the job”, as the new prime minister appoints his cabinet.

Rishi Sunak spent this afternoon replacing the 10 Truss-era ministers who resigned or were sacked earlier today, including housing secretary Simon Clarke and business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The prime minister’s first move was to confirm – as had been expected – that Jeremy Hunt would stay on as chancellor. Grant Shapps has been moved to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


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Sunak said his government would focus on fixing the “mistakes” of his predecessor

Gove’s return was more of a surprise, although this too had been rumoured.

He left DLUHC in the summer after being sacked for perceived disloyalty to then-prime minister Boris Johnson and did not return to frontline politics during the short-lived premiership of Liz Truss.

A veteran of a succession of Conservative cabinets, Gove made headlines as housing secretary by ditching his predecessor’s controversial planning reforms, publishing the levelling up white paper, steering the Building Safety Bill through parliament and getting housebuilders to agree to carry out cladding remediation work on blocks over 11m. Gove is also minister for intergovernmental relations.

It is unclear whether Clark resigned his post – as did Jacob Rees-Mogg mere moments after Sunak’s first speech as prime minister – or was sacked.

See also: Michael Gove and housing: what you need to know

See also: Michael Gove’s threats to shut down housebuilders explained

He tweeted that it had been a “great privilege” to serve as secretary of state for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The pair’s fate had probably been sealed the moment Sunak was announced as having won the leadership battle.

Rees-Mogg said during the summer leadership campaign that he would not serve in a Sunak cabinet while Clarke at one point co-authored an article accusing Sunak of favouring a “Labour-lite economic policy”.

Elsewhere the appointment of appointment of Gillian Keegan, a supporter of apprenticeships who began her career at 16 in a car factory, as education secretary could indicate Sunak’s intentions in that area, while Suella Braverman’s return to the Home Office indicates the government will continue to take a hardline position on immigration.

Speaking earlier in the day outside Downing Street, in his first address as prime minister, Sunak spoke of fixing the “mistakes” of his predecessor.

“The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves,” he said.