Whatever happens to Liz Truss at the next reshuffle, whenever it happens, she will go into it as one of the small number of Cabinet members past and present who have topped our Members’ Panel League Table. The International Trade post sends its occupant out to bat for Britain and away from domestic political turmoil. The freedom-orientated and ever-combative Truss is making the most it.
The key to her achieving pole position is not so much her tiny ratings rate (from 73 per cent to 75 per cent, but Rishi Sunak’s own small fall (from 81 to 75 per cent). There may be some nervousness at the margins from respondents about future tax rises.
Ben Wallace is up from ninth on 40 per cent to third on 66 per cent. That undoubtedly reflects his success in winning a multi-year defence settlement at a time when other departments have only a single-year one – with enough money to at least get by. And the former soldier seems a better fit in his department than some other Cabinet ministers.
Michael Gove is down from fourth on 54 points to fifteenth on 30 points. That will be a consequence of his support for tough anti-Covid restrictions.
The Priti Patel bullying claims – our reading of Sir Alex Allen’s report into them is that it concluded she should resign because she may have broken the code unintentionally – have made next to no difference to her rating, which has dropped by a marginal three points.
And Boris Johnson? He is down by eight points and hovers just below the relegation zone. Matt Hancock evaded it this month by a sliver.