Friday, 19 January, 2018

Wanting a new start, May reshuffles Cabinet

MANCHESTER ENGLAND- OCTOBER 03 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech on day three of the annual Conservative Party conference Image Could it be 'bye bye Boris'
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2018, 22:29

UK Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to inject new energy into a government weighed down by Brexit on Monday, reorganizing her top ministerial team with an eye to strengthening the apparatus of her governing Conservative Party.

In a letter to Mrs May last month, extracts of which have been seen by the Financial Times, he warned it was potentially discriminatory of European Union agencies to have issued guidance to businesses stating that the United Kingdom would become a "third country" outside the European Union without any reference to a future trade deal sought by both sides.

Mr Davis described the EU's moves as "potential breaches of the UK's rights as a member state" and insisted "we can not let these actions go unchallenged".

David Lidington was appointed as minister for the cabinet office, replacing May's closest friend in parliament, Damian Green, who was forced to resign previous year over misleading statements over pornography found on his computer.

In a reshuffle that unraveled over the course of several hours and lasted into the night, it became clear that the key takeaway was how little wriggle room May seemed to have to enact change as minister after minister were confirmed in their posts.

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

"Damian Green's departure before Christmas means that some changes do have to be made, and I will be making some changes", she told a national newsbroadcaster.

Last year's flurry of high-profile resignations triggered repeated calls for a reshuffle, which until now went unheeded. It's a development that bodes ill for her ability to successfully navigate the next, even trickier stage of Brexit talks. Finally, media reported Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had simply refused to move roles.

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Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, kept his job at the foreign office, despite challenging May's strategy in 2017, as did fellow eurosceptic Liam Fox, the worldwide trade minister.

The biggest casualty was the education secretary Justine Greening, who after spending nearly three hours at Number 10 quit the government, rather than take on the Work and Pensions portfolio.

The Prime Minister reiterated her apology to patients affected by winter pressures, including to the thousands who have seen their operations cancelled, as she defended the preparations.

Grayling is a close ally of the Prime Minister, having been the campaign manager for May during her successful campaign to become the leader of the Conservative party.

Fellow member of parliament Heidi Allen wrote on Twitter she was "bitterly disappointed" at Greening's departure, saying: "A terrible shame we have lost such a progressive, listening, compassionate woman from government".

"I'm not a quitter".

"I look forward to working with our dedicated membership, volunteers across the country and the excellent team in CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters) as we look ahead to elections this year and beyond", the 46-year-old Lewis, a supporter of May's leadership bid in 2016, said in a statement.


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