Female representation in Boris Johnson’s cabinet falls after reshuffle

Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma, Brandon Lewis and George Eustice were all promoted in Boris Johnson's resh

Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma, Brandon Lewis and George Eustice were all promoted in Boris Johnson's reshuffle. Photograph: TNE/PA. - Credit: Archant

The number of women attending Boris Johnson's cabinet has fallen, despite vowing to promote more to the top jobs.

Out of the 26 ministers attending the key government ministers, just seven are women - down from eight - and there are fewer women in the most senior roles.

It means that women now account for just 27% of cabinet positions.

Andrea Leadsom, Theresa Villiers and Esther McVey were all sacked in the reshuffle, and former culture secretary Baroness Morgan stepped down.

Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Therese Coffey and Baroness Evans kept their jobs - and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Amanda Milling and Suella Braverman were promoted.


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But the jobs of business secretary, environment secretary and culture secretary were all replaced by men.

It means the total number of ministers attending cabinet has shrunk from 32 to 26.

Analysis by the Sutton Trust also found that almost two-thirds of the cabinet (62%) attended independent schools - more than twice the proportion of Theresa May's 2016 cabinet.

The education charity said 31% of Johnson's new cabinet went to a comprehensive school - up from 27% in 2019, while 8% attended a grammar school.

Half of the cabinet studied at the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, compared to 27% of all Conservative MPs.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: "December's election led to a seismic shift in the political landscape.

"The falling of the red wall means Conservative MPs now represent a much more diverse range of constituencies than before, with constituents from many different socio-economic backgrounds.

"Yet in terms of educational background, the make-up of Johnson's cabinet is still over 60% from independent schools.

"Today's findings underline how unevenly spread the opportunities are to enter the elites and this is something Boris Johnson must address."

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