THERESA MAY is set to shake up her Cabinet – and would be wise to bring in a clutch of rising stars who can reach out to young voters and end the Tories’ stale image.
The PM’s reshuffle, which could come any time between January and May, will be an opportunity to refresh the party by promoting the next generation.
It is likely to see the departure of experienced Cabinet ministers – with the front bench currently boasting an average aged of 51.
But the Tories believe they have a new set of talented MPs ready to step in to their shoes.
Mrs May is keen to renew her Government in a bid to win back the support of younger Brits who have been drawn to Jeremy Corbyn.
Here The Sun introduces eleven of the Tory stars who the PM must think about promoting at the reshuffle.
Victoria Atkins: Trail-blazing MP who’s an expert in fraud
Former barrister Victoria Atkins, 41, was the first Tory MP who entered Parliament in 2015 to become a minister.
She has an impeccable party pedigree – her father Sir Robert Atkins was a Conservative MP for 18 years, then an MEP for 15 years.
Ms Atkins, whose husband runs the country’s largest sugar firm, is a junior minister in the Home Office but is tipped to rise higher.
James Cleverly: Witty tweeter who takes the fight to Labour
James Cleverly, 48, is developing a strong public profile thanks to his sassy Twitter account where he takes potshots at Labour as well as sharing wry observations about everyday life.
In response to a Met Office “yellow snow warning” last week, the MP tweeted: “Dear @metoffice, there is important information here, but couldn’t you come up with a name other than ‘Yellow Snow Warning’? Here is my ‘Yellow Snow Warning’ – never eat it!”
He is also a standard-bearer for diversity in the Tory party, blasting Jeremy Corbyn for promising to “unlock the talent” of non-white Brits.
The former TA major, who joined Parliament in 2015, is widely expected to become a minister at the next opportunity.
Brandon Lewis: Theresa’s go-to man due a promotion
Brandon Lewis, 46, already attends the Cabinet as immigration minister, but is not technically a member.
The MP for Great Yarmouth is often sent out to represent the Government in the media and House of Commons, showing the trust that Mrs May and his Home Office boss Amber Rudd have in him.
He is widely expected to be promoted to a more senior job at the next reshuffle as a reward for being such a safe pair of hands.
Mr Lewis is a close ally of former Cabinet heavyweight Eric Pickles – the pair once hosted a show on an Essex radio station called The Eric and Brandon Show.
Kemi Badenoch: Young star mistaken for a Labour MP
Kemi Badenoch, 37, is seen as the brightest star among the intake of Tories who entered Parliament after June’s election.
She introduced Theresa May at the party conference, drawing praise for her barnstorming speech where she declared: “There are very few countries in the world where you can go in one generation from immigrant to parliamentarian – that is the British dream.”
One of the few black women in the Commons, she was mistaken for a Labour MP when she first arrived in Parliament.
While she is unlikely to be promoted so soon after becoming an MP, Mrs Badenoch is almost certain to reach higher office in years to come.
Dominic Raab: Passionate Brexiteer and close ally of Gove
Dominic Raab, 43, is regarded as one of the most talented among the pro-Brexit Tories who helped win the EU referendum.
He was sacked by Mrs May after last year’s vote – but was brought back alongside his ally and former boss Michael Gove when the PM needed to shore up her power following the General Election.
His loyalty to Mr Gove led to embarrassment during the Tory leadership election – when he wrote an article backing Boris Johnson as leader, before going on TV just hours later to back Mr Gove instead.
Mr Raab is now in line for a promotion to the Cabinet – partly because that would allow Mrs May to shore up her support among Brexiteers on the back benches.
Esther McVey: Comeback queen ready to rise again
Esther McVey, 50, already has experience attending Cabinet as employment minister under David Cameron.
The ex-TV presenter lost her Wirral West seat in 2015 – but returned to the Commons this year, taking over George Osborne’s old constituency of Tatton.
She was quickly brought back into the Government as deputy chief whip, and Mrs May could be tempted to promote her to the Cabinet.
Ms McVey is hated by the hard left – John McDonnell once led a rally against her where he asked, “Why aren’t we lynching the bastard?”
Rishi Sunak: Heir to Hague who married in to billions
Rishi Sunak, 37, became an MP in 2015 when he was elected to the seat of Richmond in Yorkshire, previously held by William Hague.
An Oxford-educated Brexit supporter, Mr Sunak is in line to become a junior minister after impressing from the back benches.
His political progress has been closely followed in India, because his wife Akshata is the daughter of billionaire tech tycoon Narayana Murthy, founder of one of the country’s largest firms.
He has admitted to a formidable sweet tooth – eating a chocolate muffin for breakfast every morning and slurping down gallons of Coke.
Rory Stewart: Writer and walker who governed part of Iraq
Rory Stewart, 44, was already known as an author before he was elected to Parliament in 2010.
He wrote one book about walking across Afghanistan and another on his experience as deputy governor of two provinces in Iraq following the Western invasion.
Mr Stewart also worked as a private tutor for Princes William and Harry before working as a Harvard professor and running a charity in Kabul.
He is currently a Foreign Office minister but has long been tipped for the Cabinet – despite being a member of Labour as a teenager.
Nusrat Ghani: Campaigning Tory tipped to rise
Nusrat Ghani, 45, is the state-educated daughter of two Pakistani immigrants and worked for charities until she entered the Commons two years ago.
She has campaigned against child sex abuse, and called for an end to the term “honour killing” because it is disrespectful to the victims.
Tom Tugendhat: Army veteran giving Boris a grilling
Tom Tugendhat, 44, was elected chairman of the Foreign Affairs select committee this year after just two years in Parliament.
He is open about his ambitions – admitting recently that “it would be great to be Prime Minister” despite having never been a minister.
In his current role he is responsible for grilling Boris Johnson over foreign policy, and has criticised the Foreign Secretary for relying on being funny, in a sign of his growing confidence.
He is the son of a High Court judge, and his uncle is a Tory peer who was once targeted by IRA assassins.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Unlikely celebrity who swears he doesn’t want a promotion
Jacob Rees-Mogg, 48, became a social media star this summer after showing off his huge family (he has six children) on Instagram and Twitter.
His old-school style and eloquent public speaking have led to calls for Mogg to become a minister and he is a bookies’ favourite to be the next Tory leader.
But the Somerset MP insists he has no interest in becoming Prime Minister – and some believe his conservative views on abortion and gay marriage mean he can never reach beyond the Tory faithful.
If he does make it to the front bench, it is likely to be in the role of party chairman, building bridges between activists and the Cabinet.
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