Reshuffle: John Glen named Cabinet Office minister

Esther McVey also joins Cabinet Office as minister without portfolio
Photo: Imageplotter/Alamy Live News

By Jim Dunton

14 Nov 2023

Former chief secretary to the Treasury John Glen has been appointed as paymaster general and minister to the Cabinet Office, where his responsibilities will include civil service modernisation and reform.

Glen replaces Jeremy Quin, who had served in the role since October last year. Yesterday, Quin said he had wanted to “step back” from government to “concentrate on projects” in his Horsham constituency.

Glen is currently leading a cross-government review of public sector productivity, and is expected to reveal his findings alongside the autumn statement. He recently told CSW sister publication The House he said he wanted the civil service to have more “accountability for outcomes”, adding that “there isn’t the degree of urgency that I would like” at the moment.

Glen’s experience in government is heavily weighted to the Treasury, where he previously served as economic secretary from January 2018 to July 2022. He was appointed chief secretary to the Treasury by former boss Rishi Sunak last October.

Earlier in his career, Glen was also private parliamentary secretary to then-chancellor Philip Hammond from July 2016 to June 2017.

In yesterday’s raft of new appointments, Sunak also announced the return to government of Esther McVey as minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office. Reports suggested McVey, who is a former work and pensions secretary, would perform a “minister for common sense” role as a counterbalance for the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary.

The Sun said a government source had told it former TV presenter McVey would be "leading the charge on the government's anti-woke agenda".

Former Cabinet Office minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomed McVey’s return to government but described the idea of having a “minister for woke” as “silly”.

Rees-Mogg, who has been a colleague of McVey at right-wing channel GB News, also told Times Radio that Quin’s decision to leave government was “deeply regrettable”.

Sunak’s surprise decision to bring former PM David Cameron back into government as foreign secretary deflected attention from Braverman’s sacking yesterday. Former foreign secretary James Cleverly was moved to the Home Office as Braverman’s successor.

Other moves include Richard Holden’s appointment as Conservative Party chair and minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office, replacing Greg Hands who is now a minister of state at the Department for Business and Trade.

Elsewhere in the reshuffle:

  • Steve Barclay replaces Thérèse Coffey as secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Robbie Moore becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at Defra
  • Victoria Atkins replaces Barclay as secretary of state at the Department of Health and Social Care
  • Andrew Stephenson becomes minister of state at DHSC
  • Dame Andrea Leadsom becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at DHSC
  • Laura Trott becomes chief secretary to the Treasury, replacing John Glen
  • Bim Afolami becomes economic secretary to the Treasury
  • Nigel Huddleston becomes financial secretary to the Treasury
  • Lee Rowley becomes minister of state for housing in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Simon Hoare becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at DLUHC
  • Jo Churchill becomes minister of state in the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Paul Maynard becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at DWP
  • Andrew Griffith becomes minister of state the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • Saqib Bhatti becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at DSIT
  • Damian Hinds becomes minister of state in the Department for Education;
  • Gareth Bacon becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice;
  • Laura Farris becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state jointly in the Home Office and the MoJ
  • Anthony Browne becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport
  • Guy Opperman becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state at DfT
  • Fay Jones becomes parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Wales Office

Read the most recent articles written by Jim Dunton - Civil service spending on temporary staff hit £7.4bn last year

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