Continuity call for Cameron’s key Conservatives

George Osborne reappointed as chancellor and Theresa May as home secretary

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne and home secretary Theresa May on their way to No 10 Downing Street on May 8th, 2015, after the Conservative Party had won the British general election. Both are to keep their pre-election portfolios. Photographs: Getty Images

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne and home secretary Theresa May on their way to No 10 Downing Street on May 8th, 2015, after the Conservative Party had won the British general election. Both are to keep their pre-election portfolios. Photographs: Getty Images

 

George Osborne has been reappointed the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer and Theresa May as home secretary, as re-elected Conservative prime minister David Cameron put a stamp of continuity on the first cabinet of his government.

Mr Osborne was also officially made the most senior cabinet minister beneath the Prime minister with the title first secretary of state - effectively equivalent to deputy prime minister - which was previously held by William Hague.

Mr Osborne arrived at 10 Downing Street shortly after the prime minister announced that he was set to announce a number of cabinet posts, followed shortly afterwards by Ms May and foreign secretary Philip Hammond.

In a series of messages on Twitter, Mr Cameron said: “I have reappointed George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will also be First Secretary of State - the ranking Cabinet Minister.

“I am glad to announce that Theresa May will remain as Home Secretary.”

Mr Osborne’s reappointment is a mark of the prime minister’s appreciation of his handling of the Treasury throughout the five years of coalition government, and continues a record of continuity in the two top posts of government since 2010.

12-seat overall majority

The chancellor’s “long-term economic plan” was a centrepiece of the election campaign which delivered the Conservatives a 12-seat overall majority in the House of Commons, and his plans for £30 billion (€41.27 billion) of “consolidation” to eliminate the deficit will be at the heart of the new government’s agenda.

Meanwhile, Ms May’s reappointment is a mark of her success in a post which is often seen as a graveyard of ministerial ambition, because of the high chances that events beyond their control might bring the home secretary down.

During the course of the election, Mr Cameron repeatedly told voters they could secure the stability of having Mr Osborne back at the Treasury by voting Conservative on Thursday. He also praised Ms May for her part in his team.

He named both as potential contenders to replace him as Tory leader when revealing he intends to stand down at the end of a second term.

Mr Cameron was also expected to name holders of the posts of home secretary, foreign secretary and defence secretary, but wait until Monday to name the rest of his cabinet, with more junior jobs being shared out later in the week.

The prime minister has a greater scope for patronage among Conservative MPs now that he no longer has to make space in his cabinet for five Liberal Democrat MPs, as well as a dozen or more in the lower ministerial ranks.

Press Association