Heappey replaced and reappointed

After Rishi Sunak announced the main cabinet positions in his government, he turned his attention to ministers. And one of the first changes involved Wells MP James Heappey. Heappey was the Minister of State for the Armed Forces and Veterans under Liz Truss. He has now lost the Veteran Affairs part of the job, and presumably the right to attend cabinet with it.

He may have paid the price for not deciding to back Rishi Sunak until the 11th hour. Just a couple of hours before Johnson announced he was pulling out of the race for Prime Minister.

The new minister for Veterans will be Johnny Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View. The role comes with the invitation to attend Cabinet meetings. It is not clear as yet, if Heappey will lose his government position altogether, or simply continue as Minister if State for the Armed Forces.

On 27 October Downing Street officially confirmed that Heappey had been reappointed as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence.

After managing something of a record for number of times being photographed with the new Prime Minister in 24 hours, Rebecca Pow will be hoping for a ministerial post. The publicity shy MP for Taunton was booted out of her role at Department of the Environment when Liz Truss came to power. However now that Pow has backed Rishi Sunak in both leadership contests this summer, she will be hoping.


  • Johnny Mercer is the Veterans Minister again (he previously resigned from the role and it was tacked on to the responsibilities of the Armed Forces Minister).
    James Heappey appears to still be Armed Forces Minister; With the Ukraine conflict ongoing that is a busy role as can be seen from James Heappey’s statements in the House of Commons, Twitter and Facebook feeds.

    • Thank you – good point which we mangled in the original article. Updated and hopefully clarified now.

      • Why not change the title of the article or at least add the words “in part”?
        James Heappey has not been replaced by Johnny Mercer as you can see from the Parliamentary website:
        After all James Heappey’s title has reverted back to the original one he had before Mercer resigned.
        During Covid 19 his role as part in the COBRA response (such as the speedy construction of the Nightingale Hospitals by the military) necessitated his attending cabinet, now that the pandemic is over that ministerial role just seems to have normalised.

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