image source, PA Mediaimage captionLiz Truss has been promoted to one of the key jobs in government

Liz Truss has been confirmed as the UK's new foreign secretary, as Boris Johnson rejigs his ministerial team.

The international trade secretary replaces Dominic Raab, who becomes justice secretary and deputy PM.

Mr Johnson has also sacked Gavin Williamson as education secretary, in sweeping changes to his Cabinet.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has also been fired – but chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel keep their jobs.

Michael Gove replaces Mr Jenrick, while keeping current responsibility for the government's "levelling up" agenda – spreading wealth and opportunity around the country – and handling demands for another Scottish independence referendum.

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Mr Raab – who has faced heavy criticism for his handling of the aftermath of the fall of Afghanistan – is understood to have had a long conversation with Mr Johnson before his new roles were announced.

'Deeply proud'

He stood in for Mr Johnson last year when the PM was in hospital with coronavirus and was already seen as the de facto deputy PM, but his new title will formalise it.

Dominic Raab helped shape the government's Global Britain foreign policy and toughened the UK's stance towards Russia and China.

But he also ran an unhappy ship with the Foreign Office struggling with budget cuts, low morale and a difficult merger with the International Development Department.

He was accused by his detractors of being a control freak who lost the trust of some officials and ambassadors.

And then the mishandling of the Afghanistan evacuation – and his decision to stay on holiday – prompted further criticism.

Liz Truss now becomes – after Margaret Beckett – only the second woman to hold the role of foreign secretary.

As a former trade minister, she is a known figure on the international diplomatic circuit, having negotiated trade deals that had to be replaced after Brexit.

She will bring some character – even panache – to a job that often requires a bit of human diplomacy.

But she will face an uphill task to revive an institution in the Foreign Office that has felt in recent times somewhat marginalised in government.

Mr Raab's day-to-day job will be as justice secretary and Lord Chancellor – the UK's most senior law officer.

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said it was undoubtedly a demotion, despite the "bauble" of the deputy PM role.

He replaces Robert Buckland at justice, who said on Twitter he was "deeply proud of everything I have achieved".

image source, Getty Imagesimage captionDominic Raab is no longer foreign secretary and Gavin Williamson has been sacked as education secretary by the PM

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani said Mr Buckland was a respected figure in the legal profession, but leaves office with 58,000 serious criminal cases waiting to come to a crown court.

'Failed children'

The incoming justice secretary will somehow have to convince the PM and Chancellor to stump up the huge sums of cash that critics say the system needs to reverse cuts in spending that date back to 2010, he added.

Labour's shadow justice secretary David Lammy said: "Appointing a failed foreign secretary who was fired for being missing in action to be the sixth justice secretary in six years shows how little this government cares about victims of crime."

Mr Williamson earlier confirmed his departure in a tweet, saying: "It has been a privilege to serve as education secretary since 2019.

"Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I'm particularly proud of the transformational reforms I've led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our Skills agenda, apprenticeships and more."

He has faced intense criticism over his handling of disruption to schools and exams during the pandemic.

Labour's shadow education secretary Kate Green said Mr Williamson had "failed children and young people, their parents and our hard working education staff throughout one of the most testing periods in our history".

Mr Jenrick – who has been under pressure over planning law changes – said it had been a "huge privilege" to serve as a minister.

Downing Street said the aim of the reshuffle was to "put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic".

Widespread rejig

Confirmation of the reshuffle came as Mr Johnson was on his feet in the Commons taking Prime Minister's Questions.

He remained in the Commons after PMQs, where he was able to sack ministers in his private office, away from the cameras in Downing Street, but he is now back at No 10.

Up to now, Mr Johnson has largely stuck with the cabinet team he appointed after winning the December 2019 general election.

The one major change came in February 2020, when Rishi Sunak became chancellor following the resignation of Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid returned to government in July this year as health secretary, following the resignation of Matt Hancock.