Rishi Sunak names new top team as Richard Holden and Lord Cameron resign

Former prime minister Lord Cameron does not feature in the interim shadow cabinet, the Conservative Party has confirmed.

Suffering a net loss of 251 MPs in last week’s General Election, the Tories have named their opposition frontbench who will lead them into the new Parliament.

Lord Cameron led the Conservative Party into power 14 years ago, securing 306 seats in the 2010 election and a coalition with the 57-strong Liberal Democrats.

Lord Cameron in Downing Street, London
Lord Cameron, former prime minister and foreign secretary, has resigned from Rishi Sunak’s top team (Lucy North/PA)

“United as a party, we will be ready and able to hold this new Labour government to account every step of the way,” Mr Fuller said in a statement.

“The Conservative Party has had a difficult election and it is important that we regroup and reflect on these results.

“We should also challenge ourselves candidly and deeply on the strengths of the Conservative Party across the country and outline where improvements can be made.

“I am honoured to be asked to act as interim chairman of the Conservative Party and to be working alongside colleagues in the shadow cabinet.”

Richard Fuller
Richard Fuller, interim Conservative Party chairman (Aaron Chown/PA)

Among them were former defence secretary Grant Shapps and former Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, who lost their seats to Labour candidates in Welwyn Hatfield and Portsmouth North.

Former education secretary Gillian Keegan and former justice secretary Alex Chalk also lost their seats in Chichester and Cheltenham to the Liberal Democrats.

Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak and interim opposition chief whip Stuart Andrew, a former sports and gambling minister, appointed their party’s new top team.

Among the new line-up shadowing their former posts are Oliver Dowden, now as deputy leader of the opposition, Jeremy Hunt as shadow chancellor, James Cleverly as shadow home secretary and Victoria Atkins as shadow health secretary.

Claire Coutinho has kept her energy security and net zero portfolio in opposition, as have Steve Barclay (environment, food and rural affairs) and Mel Stride (work and pensions).

Kemi Badenoch has taken on Michael Gove’s former levelling up, housing and communities brief.

Her former portfolios have gone to Kevin Hollinrake (business and trade) and Mims Davies (women and equalities).

The top team also includes James Cartlidge as shadow defence secretary, Ed Argar as shadow justice, Andrew Griffith as shadow science innovation and technology, Chris Philp as shadow Commons leader, former schools minister Damian Hinds as shadow education secretary, Helen Whately as shadow transport and Julia Lopez as shadow culture media and sport.

On his departure, Lord Cameron wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “It’s been a huge honour to serve as Foreign Secretary, but clearly the Conservative Party in opposition will need to shadow the new Foreign Secretary from the Commons.

“So I told Rishi Sunak that I would step back. I’m delighted that the shadow foreign secretary role has gone to my good friend Andrew Mitchell.

“As a committed Conservative I will continue to support the Party and help where I can as we rebuild from the very disappointing election result.”

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