Cameron begins to form new cabinet
New prime minister David Cameron began forming his cabinet today after entering Downing Street.
As yet, the cabinet contains only one woman and no out gay ministers. Posts still to be filled include culture secretary, Welsh secretary, Northern Ireland secretary and transport secretary.
However, senior female Tory MP Sayeeda Warsi is among those expected to join the cabinet, while out gay MP Nick Herbert was shadow environment secretary.
To claim power, Mr Cameron had to enter into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, meaning that many senior Tories who expected to be handed cabinet jobs have been pushed aside in favour of Liberal Democrat politicians.
Under the terms of the coalition, five posts have been given to members of the third party. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg becomes deputy prime minister, and will fill in for Mr Cameron at prime minister’s questions in his absence.
Vince Cable has been named business secretary and David Laws becomes chief secretary to the Treasury. Danny Alexander is expected to become Scottish secretary, while Chris Huhne is tipped to become environment and climate change secretary.
None of the most high-profile gay MPs in the party have been given a cabinet post. While the Tories were in opposition, Nick Herbert was shadow environment secretary and Greg Barker was shadow climate change minister.
Alan Duncan was shadow leader of the House of Commons until last September. He was demoted after he was secretly filmed complaining about MPs’ expenses.
However, the three may still be given ministerial positions. Around 20 government jobs are expected to go to Liberal Democrats.
Theresa May is the only woman in the cabinet. She has been made equalities minister and home secretary, although she has little experience of the latter post. She is only the second woman to be home secretary, after Jacqui Smith.
Chris Grayling was expected to get the post, having been shadow home secretary. However, he was dropped after a string of gaffes, including saying that he thought bed and breakfast owners should be able to bar gay couples.
Today, PinkNews.co.uk published an analysis of Mrs May’s voting record. The research showed that the only recent gay rights measure she voted in favour of was civil partnerships.
Yesterday, PinkNews.co.uk was told by a member of Mr Cameron’s new team that he would be making a new announcement to the gay community shortly. It is understood that the coalition with the Liberal Democrats will encourage the government to be more gay-friendly.
Mr Cameron has given the position of defence secretary to Liam Fox and secretary for work and pensions to Iain Duncan Smith. These roles are being seen as his concession to the Tory right-wing.
Mr Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice recommended last July that some rights of same-sex partners who are not biological parents should be downgraded.
At the winter 2009 Conservative Party Conference, Mr Cameron praised the former Tory leader and said he would be put in charge of mending “broken” society.
George Osborne, who recently promised Peter Tatchell that he and Mr Cameron would “consider” gay marriage, has been made chancellor. Although calls were made to install Vince Cable in the role, Mr Osborne, as a close friend of Mr Cameron’s, was expected to get the job.
William Hague was named as foreign secretary, a post he held in the shadow cabinet for five years. Meanwhile, Andrew Lansley was named health secretary and Ken Clarke was made justice secretary.
Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles was made communities secretary and Michael Gove was named education secretary.
Before the election, gay rights charity Stonewall compiled a database from all MPs’ voting records since 2005. Each MP was given a percentage score and the results for Mr Cameron’s new cabinet can be seen below.
The votes were on lesbian fertility treatment, the Equality Act and incitement to hatred offence on grounds of sexual orientation.
George Osborne – 64 per cent
William Hague – 29 per cent
David Cameron – 36 per cent
Theresa May – 14 per cent
Iain Duncan Smith – 14 per cent
Andrew Lansley – 36 per cent
Liam Fox – 21 per cent
Ken Clarke – 29 per cent
Eric Pickles – seven per cent
Michael Gove – 50 per cent
More from PinkNews
Nick Clegg – 86 per cent
Vince Cable – 71 per cent
David Laws – 79 per cent
Danny Alexander – 79 per cent
Chris Huhne – 86 per cent
Related topics: General Election 2010