Among them was Therese Coffey, who became the first woman to act as Deputy Prime Minister.
She takes this role on alongside becoming Secretary of Health, a position she has said she is ‘honoured’ to take.
The pair have a close relationship, with Ms Coffey working on the PM’s campaign for Number 10 this year.
From three failed attempts to get her foot in the door of the Conservative Party to being the Prime Minister’s right-hand woman, Therese’s journey to office has been colourful.
But who is Therese Coffey and how has her political career led to her becoming Deputy Prime Minister?
Who is Therese Coffey?
Therese Coffey is a British politician born on November 18, 1971, in Bilinge, Lancashire.
She grew up in Liverpool and attended St Mary’s College and St Edward’s College in the city.
She studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, for a year and was involved with the Oxford Union and rowing.
She then attended the University College London where she graduated, and was awarded a PhD in chemistry in 1998.
After graduation, she worked a number of roles for Mars Incorporated, including as finance director for Mars Drinks UK.
She then moved onto a role at the BBC as a finance manager in the Property Division.
When did Therese Coffey become Deputy Prime Minister?
Liz Truss made Therese Deputy Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary in her new government on September 6, 2022.
Her appointment made her the first woman to serve as Deputy Prime Minister.
On her appointment to the dual roles of Deputy PM and Secretary of Health, she wrote that she was ‘honoured’ to be taking on the position and that her first focus would be ‘ABCD – ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists.’
As Deputy PM, her main role is to stand in at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), chair the cabinet when the Prime Minister is absent, or hold important meetings.
The position does not have a salary and is expected to be carried out alongside the appointees’ normal duties.
What was Therese Coffey’s career path?
Therese began her career in politics in 2004 when she stood for election to the European Parliament for South East England.
The Conservative Party won 35.2% of the vote, giving it four seats, but Therese was seventh on the list and was not elected.
She missed out on a seat again in 2009 by just one place.
The following year she stood as Conservative Party candidate for Wrexham, in which she came third with 20% of the vote.
However, in the 2010 general election, she became the first female MP for Suffolk Coastal.
From July 2010 to 2012, she was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, when she was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Energy.
In July 2014, she was appointed an assistant Government whip, and a year later she was appointed Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.
Therese joined the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Opportunities in 2016, under Theresa May, and when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, Coffey was promoted to Minister of State.
In the House of Commons, she also sat on the Environmental Audit Committee from 2017 to 2019.
Following the resignation of Amber Rudd in 2019, Therese joined the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, retaining her position in Johnson’s 2020 cabinet reshuffle.
This year, she was campaign manager for Liz Truss in the Parliamentary stages of the 2022 Conservative Party leadership election, and she remained in a campaign role in the members’ vote stage of the election.
What is her relationship with Liz Truss?
Therese and Liz are said to be close allies and friends.
They are believed to have first met in the late nineties and early noughties while campaigning as young Conservatives and have been friends since, according to the Telegraph.
A source told The Telegraph: ‘Therese is the social glue in the party – she brings people together.
‘She’s famous for loving karaoke and hosting nights for MPs and staff. But that’s why it works.
‘Liz needs her for her social skills. They are a good yin and yang.’
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