Robert Buckland claims Truss will employ Sunak supporters
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Sir Robert Buckland, secretary of state for Wales, told Express.co.uk that he is confident Liz Truss will harness the “brightest and the best from across the party” to ensure unity across the Conservative benches. He said the Tory Party “owe it to the country to come together” and get behind the new leader to tackle what is a mountainous challenge over the coming months and years as soaring energy bills and a worsening cost of living crisis, compounded by skyrocketing inflation, threaten to derail the country.
Sir Robert said: “Liz will harness the brightest and the best from across the party. I do not view her as a particularly factional politician.
“She is somebody who has friends and allies across the length and breadth of the Conservative Party. I am sure that throughout her government she will deploy people and talent regardless of their support in the leadership election.
“I think it is important that some of the negativity that we heard in the campaign, that a line is drawn under it. It seemed to me to be very unhelpful to hear this blue-on-blue attack.
“I believe that this result is a chance to draw a line under that and move decisively onwards behind the new leader and to give [Ms Truss] the support I think she deserves.
“History is littered with examples of how divided parties lose elections.
“We are not immune to that by any means and it seems to me we owe it to the country to come together, particularly at a time when people are not focusing on the minutiae of Westminster bubble politics but on the bills they are worried they are going to receive in the Autumn, whether it’s energy bills or the general cost of living itself.
“That is what matters to people up and down the country, and to actually take a line from Boris Johnson, we as politicians must stop talking about each other and talk about what the people’s priorities are.
“Focusing on what the people care about, what the public care about, is our duty now.”
Liz Truss is expected to spend the rest of Monday finalising her choices for Cabinet and wider ministerial roles, as well as writing her first prime ministerial speech.
A number of Truss supporters are expected to be announced for Cabinet positions, though several positions remain uncertain.
Current business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, a long-term supporter and friend of Ms Truss, is expected to be announced as the Chancellor, taking over from Nadhim Zahawi.
Mr Kwarteng co-authored the book Britannia Unchained with Ms Truss in which a cogent plan for running the country was laid out, has been a loyal backer during the leadership contest, and even lived on the same road as the new PM in Greenwich.
The education secretary James Cleverly, another long-term supporter of Ms Truss, is reported to be poised for the new foreign secretary role, taking over from the new Prime Minister.
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Rishi Sunak himself has been tipped for health secretary, given his experience in running government departments, but has played down his desire to be in Ms Truss’s cabinet due to disagreements over economic policy. Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi may also be an option.
Regarding the home secretary position, the incumbent Priti Patel is expected to be replaced by attorney general Suella Braverman, a hard-line right-winger who unsuccessfully launched her own leadership bid.
Last week, Tory peer Lord Robert Hayward said it was imperative Ms Truss did not just elect “her mates” into serious Cabinet positions, as the unity of the party and future success in elections rested on overcoming the last few months of blue-on-blue attacks.
While Lord Hayward and Sir Robert have outlined the importance of unifying the party and electing MPs from opposing camps, it remains to be seen whether any Sunak supporters, or indeed the former chancellor himself, will be called up.
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