By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter.
It is possible to imagine a Conservative Cabinet consisting only of men. Come to think of it, the present one has more male Liberal Democrat MPs than female Conservative ones.
But is it possible to imagine the present Parliamentary Party furnishing an all-women Cabinet?
I have had a go, have come up with the following, and expect no-one to agree with it (least of all women Tory MPs for whom there wasn't room).
Theresa May – Prime Minister
Theresa Villiers – Foreign Secretary
Priti Patel – Home Secretary
Elizabeth Truss – Chancellor of the Exchequer
Maria Miller – Leader of the Commons
Sayeeda Warsi – Leader of the Lords
Margot James – Business Secretary
Penny Mourdaunt – Defence Secretary
Anna Soubry – Justice Secretary
Ann Milton – Health Secretary
Charlotte Leslie – Education Secretary
Karen Bradley – Work and Pensions Secretary
Anne McIntosh – Environment Secretary
Sarah Newton – Communities Secretary
Angie Bray – Culture Secretary
Amber Rudd – Transport Secretary
Justine Greening – Climate Change Secretary
Eleanor Laing – Scottish Secretary
Esther McVey – Welsh Secretary
Neville-Jones – Northern Ireland Secretary
Nicola Blackwood – International Development Secretary
Dr Therese Coffey – Minister
Tracey Crouch – Chief Whip
Lorraine Fullbrook – Minister without Porfolio (Party Chairman)
Cheryl Gillan – Minister without Portfolio
Andrea Leadsom – Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Laura Sandys – Cabinet Office (Lady Privy Seal)
Nicky Mogan – Cabinet Office (Paymistress General)
Helen Grant – Attorney-General
- My selection has something to do with seniority, something to do with fitting Ministers to posts in which they have an interest (i.e: Penny Mordaunt at Defence), and something to do with my own bias. You will have your own.
- I have listed full members of the Cabinet alongside those who are simply "entitled to attend". The total comes to 30 which is much the same as the real number of 32.
- Laura Sandys once told me correctly that government in general is bad at strategic planning, so she can have a go at being Oliver Letwin. To Nicky Morgan falls the Maude-like task of slimming down the civil service and quangocracy.
- Cheryl Gillan has been brought back to bring a bit of experience to an inexperienced Cabinet. Pauline Neville-Jones is there to terrify Northern Ireland into tranquility.
- It goes almost without saying that all this is not to say what a future Cabinet either will or should look like – but, rather, a way of making the point that in future there will be more Tory women Ministers, and there is more than enough talent to appoint on merit.
There are roughly four rows in Carla Millar's brilliant illustration – some seated at the Cabinet table, some standing round it – and below are members of this Cabinet, each with a number. A version of Carla's picture with matching numbers stands to its right.