Britain’s second-ever woman prime minister, Theresa May, appointed seven women to her cabinet on Thursday, meaning that women make up roughly 30 percent of the new PM’s closest advisors. Liz Truss, formerly secretary of environment, food, and rural affairs, was promoted to justice secretary. Justine Greening, the openly gay former international development secretary, now heads the education department. Karen Bradley, a former chartered account, now oversees culture, media, and sport, and Natalie Evans, the former chief operating officer of New Schools Network, a charity that helped set up free schools, has been named new leader of House of Lords.
Not everyone is happy with the new appointments, however. Priti Patel, the new head of international development, has controversially advocated reinstatement of capital punishment — specifically hanging. Patel has also said on record that international aid should serve as a tool for U.K. business interests and that her new department should be abolished.
Advocates for the environment, meanwhile, are concerned about the naming of Andrea Leadsom, May’s brief rival for Conservative Party head, as the new environment secretary. Leadsom, who supports fox-hunting and selling off Britain’s forest, has routinely opposed measures aimed at curbing climate change. In 2015, after being appointed minister at the department of energy, Leadsom told the All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Gas and Oil that she had asked her department whether it was true that climate change really existed.