Published:

292 comments

22.00

Final full list –

 

  • Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service – Rt Hon Theresa May MP
  • First Secretary of State, and Minister for the Cabinet Office – Rt Hon Damian Green MP
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department – Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP
  • Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
  • Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – Rt Hon David Davis MP
  • Secretary of State for Defence – Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP
  • Secretary of State for Health – Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
  • Lord Chancellor; and Secretary of State for Justice*– Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP
  • Secretary  of State for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities – Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
  • Secretary of State for International Trade, and President of the Board of Trade – Rt Hon Liam Fox MP
  • Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Rt Hon Greg Clark MP
  • Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
  • Secretary of State for Transport – Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
  • Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
  • Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords – Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
  • Secretary of State for Scotland – Rt Hon David Mundell MP
  • Secretary of State for Wales – Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
  • Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
  • Secretary of State for International Development – Rt Hon Priti Patel MP
  • Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Rt Hon David Gauke MP
  • Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster* (and Conservative Party Chair) – Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP

The following also attend Cabinet:

  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP
  • Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons – Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) – Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP
  • Attorney General – Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP
  • Minister of State (for Immigration), Home Office – Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP

Further announcements regarding other ministerial appointments and confirmation of existing appointments will be made in due course.

 *  unpaid

19.30

This is the one genuinely disappointing re-appointment to date.  I have nothing whatsoever against McLoughlin, who was a resourceful Chief Whip and is a great Party servant, but it is unfair to put him in charge of clearing up the campaigning mess that took place on his watch – see Mark’s piece this morning.

Indeed, this move could prove fatal, if the Party is thrown into a second election within a year.  Conspiracy theorists might argue that McLoughlin’s return is intended to frighten off MPs from pushing a leadership change that might be followed by an autumn election. Maybe they are right.

19.00

And on that farm he had a dog. With a bow-wow here, and a bow-wow there…

This is quite a clever appointment. Gove is back at the centre of events, but not too near it.  The Environment Secretary has become a post for a fourth Brexit musketeer, and Gove will hopefully be free to think through what British farming will look like after we leave the EU.

So: a year in exile, and now he sits with Boris Johnson round the same Cabinet table.  On the surface, the appointment looks like a surprise: Gove and May quarelled viciously in government, and she lost Fiona Hill, the co-Chief of Staff who has just resigned again, after a spat.

But in another it isn’t.  Gove was discreetly used during the election campaign by May Central.  And now what is left of it has decided he is needed.

Brandon Lewis, tipped by ConHome for promotion, will attend Cabinet as a Home Office Minister.

18.45

Whatever may nor may not be happening to Gove, it’s nothing to do with being Leader of the House.  Instead, Andrea Leadsom has bagged the post.

This is at least a sideways move and arguably upwards for the former Environment Secretary.  It is also, at first glance, a strange apppointment.  Leadsom seemed a good fit at Defra – in so far as May would let her do anything.

But the Prime Minister seems to think she needs Leadsom now, and has moved her just a little closer to the centre of power.  A few days ago, the latter was tipped for the sack.  Now, she is a Government lynchpin.

 

18.30

James Brokenshire back at Northern Ireland. Would have been odd to move him under present circumstances.

Also: is Gove really on his way to Downing Street?  If so, will he be Party Chairman? Leader of the House? Not much else left.

Karen Bradley reinstated at Culture, Media and Sport.

17.30

Chris Grayling back at Transport. Priti Patel back at International Development. Gavin Williamson back as Chief Whip.

We are reaching the death-knell of this shuffle – or, to be more accurate, mini-shuffle.  The lack of room the Prime Minister has for manoeuvre is now visibly cramping her in.

Party Chairman, anyone?

17.15

Jeremy Hunt re-appointed as Health Secretary.

Hunt is already Britain’s longest-serving occupant of the post, and one can’t help wondering if he now has the world title in his sights.

His persistence is another sign of May’s limited options.  Health is a potentially explosive portfolio, demanding a seasoned politician to defuse it.  There are few potential successors – so Hunt stays put.

Alan Cairns stays as Wales Secretary.

17.00

David Lidington to Justice – and to become Lord Chancellor.

He is the third non-lawyer in a row to hold the post once occupied by Thomas.  But I suspect that the judges won’t mind at all: he is a courtly, highly intelligent, civilised operator and a committed public service. And he will bring a fine mind and, dare I say it, Christian conscience to the festering business of prison reform.

Two reservations. 1) His range and reach as Leader of the House will be hard to replicate, and these qualities will be needed more than ever in this hung Parliament. 2) As well as being a fairly static shuffle, this one is also leaning a bit Remainish, with Green as First Secretary of State and Lidington, a former Europe Minister, gaining promotion.

 

16.45

Justine Greening stays as Education Secretary.

This is the point at which we can start thinking that this will be a static reshuffle, with the Prime Minister unable to take risks or make major changes.

Greening has had difficulties at the department over schools funding and grammar schools. The Conservative Manifesto offered her a way out of the first. Does Nick Timothy’s departure allow her one from the second?

And Sajid Javid is back at Communities and Local Government,

His is another name that was floated as a potential casualty.  But so far, May is playing it safe.  Javid will return to continue, we hope, his push for more housing.

Furthermore, he is developing an interest in integration, which he is well-positioned to pursue politically as the sole Muslim in the Cabinet (at present).

16.30

Liam Fox stays at International Trade.

Fox was scarcely visible during the national campaign, leading to speculation that the Prime Minister might move him – or axe him altogether.

Were she thinking of doing so, her lack of a majority now means that discretion is the better part of valour.

16.15

Liz Truss is Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

That’s a demotion from a department of her own to second fiddle in someone else’s – Philip Hammond’s – and keeps the spiky former Justice Secretary out of the public eye.

Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt in Number Ten.

16.00

David Gauke is Work and Pensions Secretary.

Green wasn’t on ConHome’s list for such a big elevation – though we thought he might be made Chancellor – but Gauke was bang on our list for the welfare department.

He is a man of the Right who has transitioned through Team Osborne – he has been in the Treasury team since 2010 – to Camp May (and who for interest was a Remainer last summer).

15.45

Damian Green is First Secretary of State – in effect, Deputy Prime Minister.  George Osborne had the title when Chancellor of the Exchequer under David Cameron after the 2015 election.

  • This is May circling the wagons – the former Work and Pensions Secretary is one of her oldest political allies: their relationship reaches back to undergraduate days at Oxford
  • He takes charge of Ben Gummer’s former fiefdom at the Cabinet Office – so will be at the centre of events.
  • Green is of course another former Remainer.  Some will say that Ministers should no long be looked at through a Remainer/Leaver lens.  But in the current political context, the appointment will make some Brexiteers very nervous.
  • And the former Work and Pensions Secretary is now in play as a “Stop Johnson” leadership candidate should the eventuality arise.

Justine Greening also in Downing Street.

Greg Clark reappointed as Business Secretary.

15.15

Liz Truss first to be seen going into Downing Street.

Damian Green next in

There is persistent speculation that May will appoint a Deputy Prime Minister. Names floated: David Davis or Michael Gove.  The last would bring the former Education Secretary very close to Boris Johnson in the top team, which doesn’t sound like a very strong and stable idea to me.

13.30

Paul Goodman reporting

Beth Rigby of Sky News and others are tweeting that May will complete her Cabinet resuffle this afternoon.  We understand that details are due to be announced from 14.00.

On Friday, she reappointed the three holders of the “great offices of state” – Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd – to their current positions as Chancellor, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary respectively.

She also sent David Davis back to the Brexit Department, and Michael Fallon returned to Defence.  This was all as ConservativeHome predicted in its advance look at the shuffle last week, though we had a questionmark against Hammond’s return.

Which leads us to the big question for this afternoon.  It looks as though the Prime Minister may have wanted to move her Chancellor, but is now in no position to do so.

Will she play it safe and move or sack as few people as possible, thereby guarding her back against ex-Cabinet colleagues seeking revenge?

Or will she move at least a handful – on the ground that, if she doesn’t, the media and her opponents will unite to claim that she’s a lame duck Prime Minister, who no longer has the freedom to choose her own Cabinet?

292 comments for: CABINET RESHUFFLE: LIVE BLOG. Green is First Secretary of State – in effect, Deputy Prime Minister. And Gove is back at the top.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.