March 18, 2018

Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle marred by resignation

13 January 2018, 03:54 | Devin Moran

Image Housing is among the problems Theresa May must address


It has also been reported that Justine Greening, the education minister, and Business Secretary Greg Clark could be moved to other positions in the cabinet.

Jeremy Hunt: The Health Secretary is the favourite to replace Damian Green as First Secretary of State, but Theresa May could delay his move until after the winter.

May's Cabinet reshuffle was more limited than expected with the big names all keeping their jobs, including the gaffe-prone Boris Johnson keeping his position as Foreign Secretary, the newly promoted Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson staying on and Philip Hammond hanging on as Chancellor of the Exchequer after his Autumn Statement, or budget, was received well by Tory MPs.

She did not indicate which ministers are set to lose their jobs.

An interim deal on Brexit in December however gave May new impetus, and a long-anticipated reshuffle was arranged.

A new chairman of May's Conservative party was announced on Twitter, only for the tweet to be deleted and another man named for the post.

The Times' front page called the reshuffle "shambolic" while The Daily Telegraph declared it the "night of the blunt stiletto".

"Today I expect the rest of the picture to show that it's more about preparing the ground for a post-Brexit reshuffle at a senior level", Crispin Blunt, a Conservative lawmaker, told Reuters.

British Prime Minister Theresa May begins the new year with a reshuffle of her top team.

May's spokesman rejected the accusation, saying: "This is about the prime minister putting in place the right team to tackle the challenges the country faces".

She was offered the welfare ministry "but declined to take it", a Downing Street source said.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson tweeted: "Sorry to see @JustineGreening leave government - she brought her non-nonsense, northern accountant's eye to every brief and is a real role model for LGBT+ Conservatives".

For her part Greening said in a tweet that educational issues like social mobility matter "more than my ministerial career", and vowed to continue to work for young people as a member of parliament.

But Mr Lidington will fill in for Mrs May at Prime Minister's Questions and take on some of the responsibilities for chairing influential Cabinet committees, including some relating to Brexit. It has emerged that the government has taken advice on the legality of European Union warnings to businesses that Britain would be treated as a "third country" after March 2019.

Former justice secretary David Lidington was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office, but was not awarded the title of First Secretary of State enjoyed by his predecessor Damian Green. Veteran Sir Patrick McLoughlin leaves cabinet after eight years, serving under May and Cameron, and has previously served in John Major and Margaret Thatcher's cabinets.

Downing Street said that as a result of the reshuffle there are now more women attending Cabinet, more female ministers and more members of the Government from a black and minority ethnic background than before.

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