Mr Barclay now becomes the 10th Environment Secretary since 2010 as he takes over from Therese Coffey – in what will be seen as a demotion.
Ms Coffey is leaving the Cabinet for now after resigning from the post.
Victoria Atkins has taken over the key Health brief, as Mr Sunak apparently tries to promote good TV performers ahead of the election.
She has previously served in five ministerial roles, most recently as Financial Secretary to the Treasury under Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
Ms Coffey said: “In my years of service and different ministerial posts, I am proud to have delivered for people, the planet and prosperity throughout that time.”
Esther McVey made a stunning return to Government as Mr Sunak’s “common sense tsar” in her new role as Cabinet Office minister. The Daily Express columnist, a part-time TV presenter for GB News, was previously work and pensions secretary under Theresa May.
The new position will see the MP attend Cabinet as a minister without portfolio.
The overall reshuffle meant that, for the first time since the Tories won the 2010 election, there are no women occupying any of the four great offices of state.
Downing Street said it was not focused on “tick-box diversity” as it defended having four privately educated men now holding the four most senior positions in the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “The Deputy Prime Minister [Oliver Dowden] went to a state school. This is about having a strong and united team that’s focused on delivering for the public and bringing in some of that experience, with David Cameron on the foreign policy brief to deliver the best for the country.
“That’s what we’re focused on rather than tick-box diversity.”
She insisted that other women were getting good jobs in Government, saying: “You will see a lot of women rising up the ranks today.
“What I will also say is Conservatives don’t do tick-box diversity.”
Elsewhere, Sunak loyalist Richard Holden took over from Greg Hands as Conservative Party chair, while Laura Trott – Mr Cameron’s former speechwriter – became Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Mr Hands has paid the price for a slew of disastrous by-elections, sliding down the ranks to Business and Trade Minister.
Mr Holden has risen from a data entry officer junior role at Tory headquarters in 2007. He also worked as a special adviser to former defence secretary Michael Fallon and was involved with Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign in 2019.
Health Minister Neil O’Brien, a chief architect of the new smoking ban, quit his role.
Another Health Minister, Will Quince, quit ahead of standing down at the next election, while Jesse Norman also quit as Transport Minister.
Paymaster General Jeremy Quin and veteran Schools Minister Nick Gibb also stood down from the Government. Amid a rental and mortgage crisis, Rachel Maclean was fired as Housing Minister, leaving the role open for the 16th time since the Tories took power.
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Ms Maclean said: “Disappointed. Was looking forward to introducing the Renters Reform Bill to Committee tomorrow and later the Leasehold and Freehold Bill. It has been a privilege to hold the position.” She was replaced by Lee Rowley, who will leave his local government minister role.
Mr Sunak also appointed Nigel Huddleston as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Andrew Griffith as Technology Minister. Elsewhere, Jo Churchill was appointed to the Department for Work and Pensions, Damian Hinds to the Department for Education and Andrew Stephenson to the Department of Health.
A No10 spokesman said: “This reshuffle will give the PM a united team to deliver the change this country needs for the long term.”
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