Theresa May's new cabinet starters have work to do
Theresa May's new cabinet starters have work to do
Theresa May said a reshuffle of her Cabinet was imminent
12 January, 2018, 23:34
British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to refresh her government with a ministerial reshuffle Monday as she faces a crucial year for Brexit, but the shake-up began with a humiliating blunder.
Monday's cabinet reshuffle tore back the curtains, revealing the prime minister's diminished authority in the cold, unforgiving light of a January morning.
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.
May has limited political capital for bold moves and can not afford to upset the pro- and anti-EU balance of her cabinet following the loss of her parliamentary majority in the last election and persistent internal turmoil over Brexit and her leadership.
The reshuffle took on a freakish twist Monday morning as the official Conservative party Twitter account tweeted an image congratulating Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling on becoming the chairman of the Conservative party.
Brandon Lewis has been named the new party chairman, amid farcical scenes which saw the Tories' official Twitter account incorrectly announce that the job had gone to Chris Grayling.
The need for a reshuffle grew as deputy prime minister Damian Green stepped down last month over a pornography scandal, following the autumn departures of ministers Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, who became embroiled in separate controversies.
"No wonder Theresa May's struggling to negotiate Brexit - she can't even organise a reshuffle", opposition Labour MP Stephen Kinnock swiftly tweeted.
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There will also be a reshuffle among the middle-ranking and junior ministerial roles.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, McLoughlin said he felt it was the right time to leave the Cabinet "as we discussed some months ago".
As the new team gathered outside No 10 for a photo call - albeit a bit late - it at least demonstrated May's determination to put remaking her party on a par with tweaking the personnel in her cabinet on the first day of the new parliamentary term.
The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.
In a surprise development, James Brokenshire, a longtime ally of May's, resigned from his post as Northern Ireland secretary, citing upcoming lung surgery.
The reorganization will extend through Tuesday, when there could be a clutch of new mid-ranking ministers, commentators said.
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, was promoted to minister of state at the department for transport and minister for London.
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