LONDON — In her choice of cabinet members, Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, will give the first clues about the direction of her government, and how magnanimous she will be toward her defeated Conservative Party rivals.
The signs so far suggest only limited efforts to heal the divisions made public during a surprisingly bitter party leadership contest.
Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the Exchequer who lost the leadership race to Ms. Truss on Monday, is not expected to join the new team. The post he quit in July is expected to go to Kwasi Kwarteng, a free-marketeer and friend of the incoming prime minister.
Another Truss ally, the education secretary James Cleverly, is likely to become foreign secretary. The other of the “great offices of state” — the job of home secretary — is expected to go to Suella Braverman, a right-winger and hard-line Brexit enthusiast.
Ben Wallace, the defense secretary who enhanced his reputation through his handling of the Ukraine crisis, is expected to keep his job. Overall, there is unlikely to be any real tilt to the center compared to a Boris Johnson cabinet that leaned staunchly to the right.
Constructing cabinets is a complex task, not least because those offered jobs often try to bargain for different positions.
The first announcements are expected later on Tuesday, but how long it takes Truss to complete the process will depend on whether those she offers jobs accept them.
In selecting their top team, prime ministers tend to consider not only the competence and reliability of possible appointees but also the overall political balance of the cabinet.
Ms. Truss seems to be aiming for a sweet spot between rewarding loyalists and embracing some of those who also ran in the leadership race or supported Mr. Sunak.
One of Ms. Truss’s staunchest supporters, Thérèse Coffey, is expected to gain a promotion, as is Jacob Rees-Mogg, a prominent free-marketeer and supporter of Mr. Johnson.
It appears that there is unlikely to be forgiveness for Mr. Sunak’s most prominent and outspoken supporters, including Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, and Michael Gove, a former cabinet minister who described Ms. Truss’s economic plans as a “holiday from reality.”
But other former rivals are likely to be brought in alongside Ms. Braverman, who ran for party leader but was defeated by Mr. Sunak and Ms. Truss in the first stage of the contest. They include Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch, who are likely to be offered jobs either in the cabinet or in senior ministerial roles.