Priti Patel set to be exiled to the back benches as Liz Truss plots cull of big beasts

Ms Truss has also selected her Number 10 team, which would be headed as chief of staff by Mark Fullbrook, the political strategist who has been advising the Tories since the final years of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

Suella Braverman tipped to become home secretary

Supporters of Ms Patel have been dismayed by reports that Suella Braverman, the current Attorney General who also ran for the leadership, has been promised her job, and they are fighting a rearguard action in the belief that she still has a chance of staying on.

The Telegraph understands, however, that Ms Patel’s name is not currently earmarked for any other Cabinet job. Her decision to remain neutral in the leadership race by refusing publicly to declare support for either candidate appears to have backfired badly.

Allies of Ms Patel have said that “her mood at the moment is that it’s home secretary or nothing”, suggesting she would refuse another job even if one was offered.

They have privately appealed to Ms Truss to keep Ms Patel in her current role, insisting that “her political skills should not be underestimated” and that she would be a huge asset as the party prepares to fight a general election before 2025.

While some current Cabinet ministers have been told by Ms Truss that they will be given a role if she gets into Downing Street, there has been no such contact with Ms Patel, sources said.

It has come as a surprise to supporters of the Home Secretary, who has been a political ally of Ms Truss since they entered Parliament together in 2010. They pointed out that Ms Patel has lent members of her staff to the Truss campaign team, and has privately made it clear that she is backing Ms Truss.

However, she appears to have misjudged the effect of her decision not to endorse either candidate. Ms Patel believed that by remaining neutral, she would be able to keep her job no matter who won the leadership – and would avoid showing her hand to civil servants in her department, with whom she would need to maintain a good relationship.

Instead, her silence has opened the door for Ms Braverman, who swiftly pledged allegiance to Ms Truss when she was knocked out of the leadership contest – bringing many of her supporters with her.

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