January 22, 2018

British PM completes cabinet reshuffle amid criticism

13 January 2018, 04:37 | Winifred Adams

Theresa May's chaotic Cabinet reshuffle: Brandon Lewis appointed Conservative Party chairman - latest news

Theresa May's Cabinet

She is anticipated to lose her role as education secretary in next week's Cabinet reshuffle, Tes reports.

The reshuffle - the biggest of Mrs May's tenure - was prompted by the resignation of Damian Green after he admitted lying over pornography on his office computer.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also spent more than 90 minutes in Downing Street where he resisted May's attempts to persuade him to switch to Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and allow Business Secretary Greg Clark to take on his role.

A desire to maintain that equilibrium partly explains why the two men remained in their posts, despite criticism of Johnson's performance as foreign secretary and calls from hard-line exit supporters for Hammond to be fired.

In one of the biggest promotions of the reshuffle, Mr Hinds, 48, replaced Justine Greening, who resigned from the Government after rejecting a post as Work and Pensions Secretary.

Ms Greening replaced Nicky Morgan as Education Secretary on July 14 2016 after Theresa May won the Conservative Party leadership election and became Prime Minister.

Questioned by a reporter this morning as she set out for a run, Ms Greening said leaving government was "the right thing to do".

This reshuffle helps us do just that by bringing fresh talent into Government, boosting delivery in key policy areas like housing, health and social care, and ensuring the Government looks more like the country it serves.

Beyond the hardcore mutineers, the ranks of disgruntled Tories have swollen since this week's reshuffle, joined not only by the ministers who were sacked but by those backbenchers who believed their hour was at hand, only to be overlooked when the time came.

Her first act was to replace the Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin as punishment for having spearheaded a poor campaign in the general election in June past year when the number of Conservative MPs slipped from 331 to 318, thereby depriving the Prime Minister of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

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Esther McVey becomes Work and Pensions Secretary.

"I am looking forward to working with Brandon Lewis and James Cleverly to continue to grow and build our party as a campaigning force".

Reinforcing the group with an extra member in Ms Greening could make winning tight Brexit votes even harder for the Prime Minister.

The Tories also received derision after publishing a tweet congratulating Chris Grayling on becoming party chairman - then deleting it seconds later.

Digital minister Matt Hancock takes over from his old boss as Culture Secretary.

The brother of former London mayor Boris Johnson, he will also be the minister for London in his new role.

Brexit Secretary David Davis remains in his role.

So too does leader of the house Andrea Leadsom, and recent additions Gavin Williamson (defence) and Penny Mordaunt (international development).

David Mundell stays on as Scottish Secretary.

And a backlash grew after Lewes MP Maria Caulfield was appointed the party's vice-chair for women - despite having led opposition to the decriminalisation of abortion.

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