UK Cabinet reshuffle makes government look "more like the country it serves"

UK Cabinet reshuffle makes government look

Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be "disappointed" but respects the former Education Secretary's decision to quit.

Sacked Education Secretary Justine Greening (ringed right) immediately joined the group of Tory remain rebels today during the first PMQs since the reshuffle.

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt, under pressure over a winter NHS crisis, refused to budge when he was asked to become business secretary, which is effectively a demotion.

The post ended up going to 46-year old Brandon Lewis who was the first to arrive at Downing Street to meet May.

She made very little changes to the top ranks of her cabinet, leading veteran Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames to say: 'I don't mean to be rude or to be seen to be disloyal but there needs to be a major improvement to the reshuffle tomorrow #doitwell'.

More junior ministerial changes are being made on Tuesday. He was replaced by culture secretary Karen Bradley, who will take on the task of attempting to resolve the impasse in the province between the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein which has left the devolved government at Stormont without an administration for a year. After Greening's refusal of the role as pensions secretary, May was forced to turn to Esther McVey, a vocal supporter of Brexit, to fill the job.

Ms Greening has been replaced by employment minister Damian Hinds.

Mrs May's shake-up was sparked by former First Secretary of State Damian Green's resignation following allegations of pornography being found on a Commons computer.

Research from the Sutton Trust showed 34 per cent of the 29 ministers attending cabinet went to independent schools, compared with 30 per cent of her first cabinet previous year. "Clearly my long-term health and my family are my priorities", he wrote.

In an official statement, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Brokenshire had "immersed himself fully in the role [of Northern Ireland secretary] by dedicating long hours to trying to make progress".

The fact that most senior ministers ~ pre-eminently the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the foreign, home and Brexit secretaries ~ still retain their portfolios suggests an anxiety on the part of 10 Downing Street not to rock the Whitehall applecart.

Also remaining at the top table is Michael Gove (Environment Secretary), Penny Mordaunt (International Development Secretary), Chris Grayling (Transport Secretary), Jeremy Hunt (Health Secretary) who has been given added responsibility for social care. The BBC had been reporting at the time that Grayling would be named party chairman but the report and the tweet, were both wrong.

James Cleverly, a prominent backbencher, is the new Tory Party deputy chairman.

Claire Perry will also be able to attend the Cabinet as a new Business Minister.

McLoughlin was moved out after heavy criticism in private from Conservative MPs for his role in the general election and the prime minister's disastrous party conference speech.

And, despite her intention to focus more on domestic matters, the next 12 months are likely to be dominated by negotiations with the European Union, leaving ministers with little time or energy to tackle issues like health, transportation and housing.

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