Grant Shapps has been made defence secretary, in a mini-reshuffle sparked by predecessor Ben Wallace stepping down from cabinet.
It comes after Wallace announced in July he would be leaving the role and stepping down as an MP as the next election – after a political career spanning almost a quarter century.
Shapps, who has been energy security and net zero secretary, will now be undertaking his fifth cabinet post in a year, now at the Ministry of Defence.
He served as Boris Johnson’s transport secretary, was briefly Liz Truss’ home secretary and worked as business secretary under Rishi Sunak when the prime minister first took office.
Children’s minister Claire Coutinho was reportedly seen entering Downing Street this morning, amid speculation she could be in line to replace Shapps at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).
In a tweet, Shapps wrote: “I’m honoured to be appointed as Defence Secretary by Rishi Sunak. I’d like to pay tribute to the enormous contribution Ben Wallace has made to UK defence and global security over the last four years.”
Wallace himself shared a link to his resignation letter earlier this morning, adding: “That’s all folks! Been a privilege to serve this great nation.”
Former PM Johnson also weighed him, describing Shapps as an “excellent choice”.
But backbench Tory MP Mark Francois, who serves on the Defence Select Committee, told GB News the department was “complex” and would present “a very steep learning curve for Grant Shapps”.
He said: “Shapps is a bright bloke but he’s going to have to come up to speed very, very quickly.”