Former chancellor and current UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has made appointments on 25 October 2022 to his cabinet following the formal announcement of his tenure as PM.
Sunak is the third prime minister in three months, succeeding Liz Truss who holds the record as the UK’s shortest serving PM.
Truss won the Conservative Party leadership election in early September 2022 after Boris Johnson was ousted from Number 10 in July 2022.
Sunak confirmed Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mel Stride as work and pensions secretary, following the resignation of Chloe Smith, who was in the role for just under 50 days.
Stride has been a member of parliament since 2010, representing central Devon. Since then, he has held various roles including financial secretary to the Treasury and City minister, paymaster general, lord president of the council, and leader of the House of Commons.
As work and pensions secretary, he will be responsible for the business of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), including strategy, planning and performance, reporting and governance requirements. He will also have direct responsibility for departmental expenditure.
Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said: “We often talk about the revolving door at the DWP but Chloe Smith’s tenure as secretary of state for work and pensions is short even for this role.
“The incoming secretary of state for the DWP, Mel Stride, must understand that building a pension takes decades and creating successful pension policy also takes a long time and there needs to be stability at the helm of the DWP for the next few years, particularly while people are under significant cost strain.
“Whether Stride in this new role decides to also shift Alex Burghart from his recent new role as the minister for pensions and growth is yet to be seen. Since Ian Duncan Smith concluded his post in the role back in 2016, all but one of his predecessors have measured their time in the role in months rather than years. The only one to have stayed longer than a year is Thérèse Coffey who was in the role around three years.
“In contrast, Chloe Smith can measure her time in days. While she has made next to no impact at the DWP due to her lack of time, the instability caused by this endless carousel for pensioners continues to cause significant concern.
“Pensions by their very nature are long-term and complicated and Stride needs to take this role on for the long term and not use it has a springboard into another role so that any changes in policy are carefully planned and crucially don’t create unintended consequences.
“There still needs to be a lot of change within pensions but this will require cross-departmental collaboration between Stride and Hunt. Progress in relation to pensions has been hampered by the political backdrop such as Brexit, Tory infighting and the pandemic. With the cost-of-living crisis rearing its ugly head we still have to wait for meaningful change for some time yet.”