How The Hell Has Grant Shapps Managed To Have Five Cabinet Jobs In 12 Months?
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How The Hell Has Grant Shapps Managed To Have Five Cabinet Jobs In 12 Months?

Dec 11, 2023

Grant Shapps is no stranger to the walk up Downing Street to Number 10.

Grant Shapps was this morning chosen by Rishi Sunak to replace outgoing defence secretary Ben Wallace.

Incredibly, it is the fifth cabinet post he has held in less than a year.

Here, HuffPost UK examines the dizzying CV of the man who has come to embody the chaos which has engulfed the Tory government.

Shapps was appointed transport secretary on July 24, 2019, as Boris Johnson formed his first cabinet after replacing Theresa May as prime minister.

Compared with what was to follow, his time in the role was relatively long-lasting, taking him all the way to the day Johnson’s resignation on September 6, 2022.

After backing Rishi Sunak’s leadership campaign last summer, Shapps was initially overlooked for a cabinet job by new prime minister Liz Truss.

However, as her short-lived time in office reached its denouement, Shapps was called upon last October to become home secretary following the resignation of Suella Braverman for breaking security rules.

Incredibly, he only held the job for six days after Truss following her disastrous 45 days in No.10.

Shapps bid farewell to the Home Office to take over at BEIS in Sunak’s first cabinet.

But less than four months later, in February this year, he had to change his business cards yet again as the prime minister carried out a government shake-up.

With climate change moving up the political agenda, Sunak put his close ally in charge of the newly-created department for energy security and net zero.

With his undeniable gift for communication, Shapps was regularly sent out to explain how the government planned to transition to a green economy and hit its target of achieving net zero by 2050.

He was also a reliable Tory attack dog, accusing Labour of being in the pocket of Just Stop Oil - even if his efforts often backfired.

With Ben Wallace announcing that he planned to stand down from the government at the next reshuffle, several ministers were mooted as his replacement - but none of them were Shapps.

But despite having precisely no defence experience, Sunak again turned to his faithful friend to take over at the Ministry of Defence when Wallace’s resignation became official this morning.

Some Tories believe the PM has prioritised cronyism over ability, but others believe it is an inspired decision.

One former minister told HuffPost UK: “It’s useful to get him out of his current role, where is he more pro the switch to electric vehicles than others at the top of government.”

Another veteran MP said: “Making him defence secretary is a good call because he’s competent and political. He was also briefly chair of the all-party group on Ukraine.”

With the next election barely a year away, Shapps will be hoping that his days of wondering from department to department are finally over.

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Secretary of State for Transport Home Secretary Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial StrategySecretary of State for Energy and Net ZeroDefence Secretary