Number 10 has released a photo of Theresa May’s first meeting with her new cabinet on Tuesday morning – but curiously, the prime minister is barely visible.
Many have taken to Twitter to point out yet another gaffe. “Another optics government win – Theresa May is pretty much invisible in the photo of her new cabinet,” one user said. Another person added: “If you are releasing a photo of the Prime Minister welcoming her new Cabinet, it might be an idea to feature her in the bloody picture.”
Another government optics win: Theresa May is pretty much invisible in the photo of her new cabinet pic.twitter.com/XA6J2aLUoC
— Claire Phipps (@Claire_Phipps) January 9, 2018
I’m breaking my vow of no politics twitter during my holiday just to say this – if you are releasing a photo of a Prime Minister welcoming her new Cabinet, it might be an idea to FEATURE HER IN THE BLOODY PICTURE https://t.co/iyXr0i9Vld
— Andy Silvester (@silvesterldn) January 9, 2018
Others have criticized the lack of diversity seen in Tuesday morning’s photo. Despite the PM reportedly vowing to remove “pale, male and stale” ministers in the reshuffle, the only non-white person seen in the photo is Sajid Javid, the secretary for housing, communities and local government, and there are just a handful of women.
“May’s cabinet as white as an episode of friends #completelywhite #completelywrong,” Ali Meghji said. Another person tweeted: “The ‘new’ cabinet may have more women but is extremely ‘white middle class – is that really a reflection on society? I think not.”
Twitter user Joe Deverall added: “Theresa May’s cabinet really does scream white and middle class doesn’t it. Not a single BAME person is actually quite worrying.” Another person tweeted: “Theresa May has done well kicking out ‘male, pale and stale’ members of her cabinet by promoting mostly old white men.”
The ‘new’ cabinet may have more women but it is extremely ‘white middle class’ – is that really a reflection on society? I think not.
— James Sharp (@JamesSharp87) January 9, 2018
Theresa May’s cabinet really does scream white and middle class doesn’t it.
— Joe Deverall (@josephsdeverall) January 9, 2018
— ali meghji (@alim1213) January 9, 2018
May’s #CabinetReshuffle was billed as being about providing fresh faces within cabinet..
Yesterday, 73% of cabinet ministers were male. Today: 74%
Yesterday, 27% were privately educated. Today: 35%
Yesterday, 43% had a South East constituency. Today: 46% pic.twitter.com/2XmXU4DPB2
— Ashley Kirk (@Ashley_J_Kirk) January 9, 2018
May’s cabinet reshuffle, which had been expected to be the biggest shake-up since her election, has been labelled a disaster. One MP quit instead of accepting a demotion and another minister refused to give up a portfolio.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt threw a spanner in the works for the prime minister when he refused a move to become business secretary. May had wanted to take Hunt away from the health brief, following the intense criticism he had faced over the NHS winter crisis. Instead, Hunt effectively received a promotion on Monday, having his responsibilities expanded to include social care.
As if one revolting MP wasn’t enough, May then had a two-hour showdown with Putney MP Justine Greening. The minister, who served as education secretary, chose to quit government altogether rather than take the helm at the Department for Work and Pensions.
By the end of Monday, three ministers had resigned. Another three had moved to other departments, and four had landed a promotion to cabinet portfolios.
On Tuesday, Number 10 sent out a press release saying that two more ministers had resigned. They are John Hayes, who was transport minister, and Philip Dunne, who was health minister. The same press notice says another two ministers have “left the government,” a euphemism for being sacked. They are Robert Goodwill, education minister, and Mark Garnier, international trade minister.