LONDON: James Cleverly was reappointed as Britain’s foreign minister on Tuesday, becoming the most senior ally of former prime minister Liz Truss in the government of new prime minister Rishi Sunak.
Cleverly had twice backed a rival to Sunak – first supporting Truss in the summer leadership contest, then on Saturday endorsing former prime minister Boris Johnson in the race to replace her before Johnson said he would not run.
As foreign minister, he has maintained Britain’s strong support for Ukraine in the war with Russia.
In the role he is also in charge of talks with the European Union over post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland. Both sides say there has been an improved atmosphere around the talks since he came into the job.
Cleverly, 53, has risen rapidly through the governing Conservative Party’s ranks since he was first elected as the member of parliament for the English town of Braintree in 2015.
He has also served as education minister and previously held junior roles in the foreign ministry.
He made his own pitch to be leader in 2019, when former prime minister Theresa May stepped down, but was the first candidate to drop out of the race.