- Opponents accuse Boris Johnson of appointing a "Cabinet from hell" as he hires a Home Secretary who supported the death penalty, a deputy who believes feminists are "obnoxious bigots," and four ministers who voted against gay marriage legislation.
- Johnson, who became prime minister yesterday, conducted the most brutal cabinet purge in modern political history shortly afterwards to reunite the team that won the EU referendum campaign in 2016.
- Three ministers in Johnson’s new-look team have previously been sacked or forced to resign from Cabinet in disgrace.
- The SNP’s Pete Wishart said: "This is a Tory Cabinet from hell, which Donald Trump or Nigel Farage would be proud of – with members that want to scrap the Barnett formula, privatise the NHS, roll-back workers’ rights, undo the welfare state, cut taxes for the rich, and even bring back the death penalty," said SNP MP Pete Wishart.
LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s opponents have accused him of creating the "cabinet from hell" after he appointed a Home Secretary with a history of supporting the death penalty, a deputy who has called feminists "obnoxious bigots," and multiple ministers who voted against gay marriage legislation.
Johnson, who became prime minister yesterday, conducted the most brutal cabinet purge in modern political history, as ministers who backed his rival Jeremy Hunt were thrown out of Cabinet.
He shocked Westminster by bringing in Dominic Cummings, the controversial campaign director who ran the Vote Leave campaign, while dominating his top team with prominent Brexit campaigners.
Pledging to deliver Brexit by October 31, with "no ifs or buts," Johnson fired a total of 17 Cabinet ministers and gave many top jobs to MPs who had been involved in the Vote Leave team, handing Michael Gove the job of no-deal preparations as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Prominent Brexiteer Priti Patel, who replaces Sajid Javid as Home Secretary, holds a number of staunch views, including a history of supporting the death penalty.
In 2011, she said: "I do think that when we have a criminal justice system that continuously fails in the country and where we have seen murderers and rapists … reoffend and do those crimes again and again, I think that’s appalling."
"On that basis alone I would support the reintroduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent."
She later renounced her support for capital punishment in her role as International Development Secretary, a job from which she was fired in 2017 for holding a series of secret meetings with Israeli politicians during what she said was a family holiday.
Key Cabinet appointments
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister
Sajid Javid MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Dominic Raab MP, Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Priti Patel, Home Secretary
Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
Patel is one of three new ministers who have previously been sacked from Cabinet or forced to resign. New Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was sacked earlier this year following allegations that he had leaked sensitive information from a meeting of the National Security Council to a journalist.
Meanwhile Grant Shapps, the new transport secretary, was forced to resign as International Development secretary in 2015 in disgrace in the wake of revelations that he had been aware of a bullying scandal in his role as party chairman before the death of one of its young activists.
Four Cabinet ministers — Gavin Williamson, Esther McVey, Andrea Leadsom, and Jacob Rees-Mogg — have voted against allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Dominic Raab, the new Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State — which will see him deputise for Johnson — also holds highly controversial views on women.
He claimed in 2011 that "men are getting a raw deal" and said that "feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots." He stood by that position earlier this summer by saying it was "really important that in the debate on equality we have a consistency and not double standards and hypocrisy."
The Scottish National Party said that Boris Johnson’s new government was "shaping up to be the worst since Thatcher and was "packed full of extreme Brexiteers and rabid right-wingers who want to drag us back to a bygone era."
"This is a Tory Cabinet from hell, which Donald Trump or Nigel Farage would be proud of – with members that want to scrap the Barnett formula, privatise the NHS, roll-back workers’ rights, undo the welfare state, cut taxes for the rich, and even bring back the death penalty," said SNP MP Pete Wishart.
The Chairman of the opposition Labour party, Ian Lavery, described Johnson’s top team as "a cabinet of hardline conservatives who will only represent the privileged few."
He added: "We need a general election and a Labour government that will bring real change for the many, not the privileged few, which Johnson and his cabinet represent."
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