Theresa May brings back Amber Rudd and takes charge of Brexit talks

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Theresa May has brought one of her closest allies back into government, appointing Amber Rudd as Work and Pensions Secretary.

The Prime Minister has also taken personal control of Brexit negotiations with Brussels, appointing a junior figure as Brexit Secretary to oversee domestic preparations for leaving the EU.

Stephen Barclay, a former whip and junior minister at the Treasury and Health department, takes over from Dominic Raab, who sparked chaos in government by resigning over the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement.

READ MORE: Brexit: Michael Gove decides not to resign in boost for Theresa May
Ms Rudd, who stood in for the Prime Minister in televised debates during the 2017 election campaign, resigned as Home Secretary in April over the Windrush scandal.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “She is a very experienced secretary of state who has worked across a number of departments.

“The Prime Minister is confident she will do an excellent job.”

There is just over a week left until a planned special EU summit to sign off the UK’s ‘divorce’ deal, and finalise a political declaration setting the direction of travel for future trade talks.

Downing Street said this would be handled by the Prime Minister and UK officials in Brussels.

READ MORE: Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigns over withdrawal deal
Following a spate of resignations this week, Mrs May appointed John Penrose as junior minister in the Norther Ireland Office and Stephen Hammond as junior Health minister.

She must also fill the post of International Development Secretary, previously held by Penny Mordaunt.