Liz Truss handed Treasury role as Gauke joins DWP

The post-election cabinet reshuffle has seen former justice secretary and CIMA member Liz Truss appointed chief secretary to the Treasury, after previous incumbent David Gauke was promoted to secretary of state for work and pensions

Truss, who is the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, entered parliament in 2010. Her first government position was in the Department for Education and she subsequently served as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs (DEFRA), becoming the youngest female cabinet minister in British history.

In 2016 May named Truss as secretary of state for justice and the first female Lord Chancellor in the 1,000 years of the appointment’s existence. Her time in the role attracted considerable controversy, not least because of her perceived failure to support more robustly the judiciary and the principle of judicial independence, after three judges of the Divisional Court came under ferocious attack from politicians and sections of the press for ruling against the government in the article 50 Brexit case.

Truss, a management accountant, worked for Shell, Cable and Wireless and was deputy director of the think tank Reform, before becoming an MP. Her husband Hugh O'Leary, is a chartered accountant and finance director.

Gauke spent seven years at the Treasury in total. He was appointed Exchequer secretary to the Treasury in May 2010, and promoted to financial secretary to the Treasury in July 2014 where he served until July 2016. He served as chief secretary to the Treasury from July 2016 to June 2017.

Financial secretary to the Treasury in the previous government Jane Ellison was a casualty of the election as she failed to retain her Battersea seat, after a 9% swing to Labour candidate Marsha de Cordova.

Ellison had been heavily involved in the introduction of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital project, and had also brought in tougher penalties on tax avoidance and pledged to maintain ‘a steady, predictable tax regime’.   

Ellison’s replacement has yet to be determined.

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