Liberal Democrat leader and “kingmaker” Nick Clegg will become Deputy Prime Minister and join four of his MPs in the UK’s first coalition Cabinet for 65 years.
George Osborne will also be Chancellor of the Exchequer and William Hague Foreign Secretary in the new Conservative/Lib Dem administration, Downing Street confirmed.
Ahead of the Cabinet’s historic first meeting later today, senior Conservative sources confirmed the two men were retaining the roles they held in the Tory shadow cabinet, scotching widespread speculation that the Chancellor’s job might go to Kenneth Clarke or even Lib Dem Vince Cable.
Conservatives Liam Fox and Andrew Lansley have also reportedly been given the posts of Defence Secretary and Health Secretary respectively – both keeping their briefs from opposition – with Lib Dem education spokesman David Laws also apparently stepping up into the role of Schools Secretary.
Mr Clegg’s former chief of staff Danny Alexander is also said to have been made Scottish Secretary.
The MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey won one of 11 seats for the Lib Dems in Scotland, compared to just one for the Conservatives.
As for the popular Mr Cable – a clear winner in the televised Chancellors’ Debate before the election – there was speculation that he will be appointed Mr Osborne’s number two as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, perhaps with responsibility for business and banking.
One glaring omission last night was the identity of the new Home Secretary.
It was looking increasingly like the Tories’ shadow Chris Grayling had missed out on the crucial position, with his Lib Dem rival Chris Huhne and Conservative shadow education spokesman Michael Gove being tipped for the role.
Mr Grayling attracted controversy in the run-up to the election for suggesting that people who ran bed and breakfasts in their homes should have the right to turn away homosexual couples.
The need to give jobs to Liberal Democrats means some members of Mr Cameron’s shadow cabinet are likely to be awarded less senior jobs than they had been expecting in the run-up to the General Election, providing the first big test of his man-management abilities as PM.