UK PM Rishi Sunak overhauls government departments after bumpy 100 days in power

U.K. Prime Minister has announced a mini overhaul of his government as he seeks to reassert his authority after a shaky first 100 days in office.

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U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday unveiled a new government department focused on energy security and announced a mini reshuffle of his cabinet as he seeks to reassert his authority after a shaky first 100 days in office.

Sunak named former business minister Grant Shapps as head of the newly launched Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, whose focus will be on securing “long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation.”

The prime minister also appointed former Trade Minister Greg Hands as his new party chairman, replacing sacked Nadhim Zahawi, in a mini-reshuffle of his top leadership team.

The energy security department is one of four new divisions to emerge Tuesday as Sunak delivers on a promise made last year — during his first bid for the Conservative Party leadership — to break up the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The U.K. previously had a Department of Energy and Climate Change, but it was merged with the business department in 2016.

The additional divisions include the Department for Business and Trade, headed by equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, and a revamped Department for Culture, Media and Sport, led by Lucy Frazer.

A further Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, fronted by Michelle Donelan, has also been created to advance Sunak’s vision to make the U.K. the next Silicon Valley.

According to a government statement, it will deliver “improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy.”

100-day shake-up

Sunak has been on the hunt for a new party chair since last week, when Zahawi was fired after multiple breaches of the ministerial code for failing to declare details of his tax affairs.

“The work starts right away,” replacement Hands said in a post on Twitter.

The overhaul comes after Sunak marked his 100th day in office Friday amid mounting pressure for him to reconsider the appointment of Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, who has been accused of bullying.

Sunak’s ruling Conservatives has been trailing the opposition Labour party in polls for several months now, as political scandal and a worsening economic outlook have seen voters grow disillusioned with the party’s 12-year tenure.

The latest YouGov survey shows the Tories 20 points behind Labour, with a general election due in less than two years.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss, who lasted just 44 days in office, returned to the political fray Sunday with a 4,000-word essay penned in the Sunday Telegraph.

In it, she blamed a “powerful economic establishment” for bringing her chaotic tenure to an early end in October, saying she was never given a “realistic chance” to implement her tax-cutting agenda.

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