How chaotic is our government you ask? Here’s one answer: almost half of all senior cabinet posts have had as many people fill the role since the 2019 election as they had in the previous nine years.
With three prime ministers in 50 days, the turmoil at the very top of government has stopped civil servants from doing their jobs and continued this week as Rishi Sunak fired and rehired a cabinet.
Why does it matter? Well it’s taking place during a cost of living crisis, with inflation topping 10 per cent and the Trussell Trust food bank network preparing to hand out 1.3 million emergency food parcels this winter.
The Big Issue looked at the turnover of full cabinet roles with a departmental portfolio since the 2019 general election and compared them to the previous nine years, back to when the Conservatives entered Downing Street in 2010. Strap in.
Posts with at least as many holders since the 2019 election as between 2010 and 2019
- Chancellor: 5 since 2019, 2 from 2010-19
- Home secretary: 4 since 2019, 4 from 2010-19
- Housing secretary: 4 since 2019, from 2010-19
- Health secretary: 4 since 2019, 3 from 2010-19
- Business secretary: 5 since 2019, 4 from 2010-19
- Education secretary: 6 since 2019, 4 from 2010-19
- Northern Ireland: 4 since 2019, 4 from 2010-19
- Trade: Role created in 2016. 3 since 2019 and 1 before
Some offices are more turbulent than others. Since 2010 the country has had 11 culture secretaries, nine education and justice secretaries and eight environment, housing and work and pensions secretaries.