It was meant to be the reshuffle that changed the Cabinet to reflect the growing diversity of the UK.
At least six members of her Cabinet, the press were briefed, faced the chop.
Young blood was to be given a chance – as were more women and non-white MPs.
In an interview with Andrew Marr in December, Mrs May promised to shape up her cabinet. She said ‘some changes do have to be made and I will be making some changes’.
One source told the Guardian that ‘more women and more people from diverse backgrounds’ would be running the country from today onwards.
But in what has almost universally been accepted as a PR disaster, the make-up of Mrs May’s top team shows very little has changed – indeed, things have, if anything, got even more male, pale, stale and rich.
Theresa May may have launched the year-long Race Disparity Audit, which detailed the disparities of how people from different races fare dramatically differently when it comes to public services, prison, education and health. Despite these groundbreaking findings, her reshuffled cabinet still only contains one non-white MP – Sajid Javid.
The Conservatives have already spoken of their fear of losing the younger generation’s vote, and bringing in some younger voices could have reassured the 18-30 voters of the potential for positive changes. YouGov identified 47 as the crossover age at which voters were more likely to back the Conservatives in June’s election, and with an average age of 51 (down only one year pre-shuffle) younger voices are definitely still lacking.
Male to female ratio of ministers
There are currently 67 female MPs out of the Conservative’s 317 seats, which equates to 21%. In comparison, Labour has 119 female MPs (of 262 seats – 45%) and SNP 12 (of 35 seats – 32%). Tory backbencher Philip Davies, who sits on the Commons Women and Equalities committee, voiced his concerns that some people might not have been promoted ‘simply because they are a white male’.
He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘It certainly does not do anyone any favours to promote people who are not ready for promotion just because of their gender or race.’
However, the Prime Minister’s reshuffle suggests Davies has little to worry about – although May’s reshuffle does actually represent the biggest change in recent politics.
Theresa May has previously been praised for having the lowest number of Oxbridge educated ministers in her cabinet since Labour PM Clement Attlee in 1945. David Cameron’s 2015 Cabinet was made up of 43% state-educated MPS, and the Coalition cabinet faired even worse, at only 21%.