THERESA May has appointed the relatively unknown minister Stephen Barclay as the new Brexit Secretary but in the remaining days of negotiations with the EU she will now be in full charge.

In a dramatic return to the Cabinet frontline, Amber Rudd becomes the Work and Pensions Secretary just seven months after resigning as Home Secretary over the Windrush scandal.

No 10 pointed out how Mr Barclay, 46 and a father-of-two, who represents North East Cambridgeshire, voted to Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

He was previously Minister of State in the Health Department, working before that as a whip and then as the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Asked if he was the Prime Minister’s first choice for the job – Michael Gove is believed to have turned it down - her spokesman said: “He was the PM’s choice for the job…He has experience across the Government.”

He explained how the negotiations were now in their “end state” with 10 days remaining. The PM would be leading them rather than Mr Barclay, which is a departure from the focus of his predecessor, Dominic Raab.

Mr Barclay would be in charge of “domestic delivery” of Brexit and the preparedness for that, which included both a deal and no-deal scenarios. The spokesman said the new Cabinet minister would be in charge of the implementation of leaving the EU, which would involve taking the lead on taking legislation through Parliament.

In another appointment, No 10 announced Surrey MP Kwasi Kwarteng, will join Mr Barclay at the Department for Exiting the European Union as a junior minister, replacing Suella Braverman, who also resigned earlier this week.

The PM’s spokesman explained Mr Barclay would be “dealing with the domestic preparedness for Brexit. In terms of the negotiations…the PM will be doing those.”

He said, following the draft withdrawal agreement and an outline political declaration, the focus in the next two weeks would be on turning that declaration into a more substantial future framework, which will eventually become a legally-binding treaty.

“That is what is currently being negotiated and that is what will be put to Parliament alongside the Withdrawal Agreement…So the Withdrawal Agreement is subject to us negotiating over the course of these coming days and having a framework which delivers on the referendum and represents a good deal for the UK.”

The ministerial rehabilitation of Ms Rudd, who quit in a row over immigration targets, comes after a report concluded she had been let down by her officials at the Home Office.

The Hastings MP was a prominent Remain campaigner during the referendum and her return to the Cabinet, in place of Brexiteer Esther McVey who resigned on Thursday, underpins how most of the main portfolios are held by those who opposed Brexit in 2016.

The PM’s spokesman said Ms Rudd was a “very experienced Secretary of State, who has worked across a number of departments” and had important work to do at the Work and Pensions Department such as implementing the Universal Credit programme.

“The PM is confident she will do an excellent job,” he insisted.

In other appointments, Stephen Hammond, who represents Wimbledon, becomes a Minister of State in the Department of Health and Social Care. A Remainer, he was sacked in 2017 as party vice-chairman after he rebelled on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Meanwhile, John Penrose, a Remainer-turned-Brexiteer, who is MP for Weston-super-Mare, becomes a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office.

Further appointments will be made later today, Downing Street said.