PM Theresa May to reshuffle her Cabinet on Monday

14 January, 2018, 21:11 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Theresa May must sell a compromise on the Brexit settlement to her own party

In: Well, for all of 27 seconds it was Chris Grayling, the UK's transport minister.

Until we hear otherwise, it's Brandon Lewis, previously immigration minister.

Monday's cabinet reshuffle tore back the curtains, revealing the prime minister's diminished authority in the cold, unforgiving light of a January morning.

"The first rule of a shuffle is that it must leave the party leader at least as strong when it ends as when it started".

Meanwhile health minister Jeremy Hunt convinced May at the last minute to scrap plans to move him to the business department, according to media reports. May's cabinet between those in favor of a decisive break with the European Union and those wanting to maintain close ties with the bloc.

Toby Young, whose appointment had been defended by senior ministers, said his position had "become a distraction" for the work of the Office for Students.

However, Mrs May said: "As Prime Minister, my job isn't just about what I think about something, it's actually about looking at what the view of the country is".

One former minister, George Osborne, sacked by May when she came to power in July 2016, led the criticism, calling the moves a "farce".

Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green is set to be replaced after stepping down last month over a pornography scandal, following on from the departures of Ministers Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, embroiled in separate controversies.

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"It allows a new generation of gifted ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole United Kingdom", she said in a statement.

Sajid Javid has had his responsibility for housing added to his existing Cabinet title in a sign of the issue's increasing political importance. Mark Garnier, who was cleared before Christmas over alleged inappropriate behaviour towards his personal assistant, lost his job as a trade minister.

The shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, said: "The secretary of state for health should be here ... not pleading for a promotion in Downing Street".

However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was seen to undermine May and her approach to Brexit talks is thought to be safe in his position.

The EU's approach "is frequently damaging to United Kingdom interests", the Brexit minister wrote, according to extracts published by the Financial Times.

The newspaper reported that education secretary Justine Greening is fighting for her job, partly because the Conservatives want to recast themselves as the party for education.

These scenarios are ones that the government has itself warned of, however Davis told the Prime Minister the government "cannot let these actions go unchallenged" - although was cautious about making any formal move.

But Monday's comings and goings were far from the radical refresh that had been trailed. Many prime ministers recoil from the prospect of antagonising the big beasts of the cabinet but moving even the medium-sized beasts proved too daunting for May.


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