There have been so many Cabinet reshuffles during the last year that another is most unwelcome. I imagine that it has been a bit like following French governments during the late 1930s before the fall of France – what De Gaulle called “the ballet of the a parties”.
So there is a case for moving no-one much at all. But Rishi Sunak is taking office during a profound economic crisis, in some ways equivalent to wartime, and needs a reshaping of the front bench to reflect the seriousness of the times.
That means taking his cue from the recall by Liz Truss of Jeremy Hunt. I’m not going to be so bold as to suggest horses for courses, but here are some categories of people and places for Sunak to think about.
Jeremy Hunt, Ben Wallace, Penny Mordaunt.
(All should stay where they are now.)
Greybeards and retreads
Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab, Steve Barclay, Esther McVey.
(Plenty of candidates here for the Home Office, Foreign Office, Work & Pensions.)
Grant Shapps, Kit Malthouse, Nadhim Zahawi, James Cleverly, Chris Heaton-Harris, Brandon Lewis.
(Sunak will want to maintain most of these.)
Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Therese Coffey, Michelle Donelan.
(Badenoch and Braverman are crucial here.)
Oliver Dowden, Robert Jenrick, Steve Barclay, John Glen, Mel Stride.
(Sunak will be under pressure to include at least some of these.)
Simon Clarke, Jake Berry, Alok Sharma, Tom Tugendhat, Chris Philp, Edward Argar, James Heappey, Vicky Ford.
(Ministers on the edge of Cabinet, or who it might be prudent to retain, or both.)
Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that there are currently 23 Cabinet places, including the Leader of the Lords and the territorial Secretaries of State…
…but that there are over 30 names above.
I’ve left out some people from the present Cabinet, because Sunak may want to operate on principle of “last in, first out” – and some of those named above aren’t going to make it.