ConservativeHome set out the possible shape of the Prime Minister’s reshuffle earlier this week. Despite the worst campaign foul-up in modern times, our anticipation of the new Cabinet has been accurate so far – with the three occupants of the great offices of state, plus the Brexit Secretary, reappointed as we believed they were all likely to be. The member of that quad most at risk was Philip Hammond, but Theresa May is not now in a position to move him.
This is because in losing her majority she has lost her authority – probably permanently. She is dependent upon Tory MPs in the Commons, and indeed on those from other parties, to make the new Government work at all. We will return to this subject later today
For this reason, she now needs to broaden her Cabinet in a way that she wouldn’t have considered previously. She needs her most heavyweight critics off the backbenches and in her government. She should therefore consider recalling Michael Gove, perhaps with a brief to re-think the constitution and devolution post-Brexit, and send Dominic Grieve to Justice. We also recommend the return of our columnist, Nicky Morgan – maybe to Education.
Gove has now served a year in the wilderness after last summer’s leadership election farrago. And the Prime Minister could do without having Grieve tearing into the Great Repeal Bill from the backbenches. But in any event, this is a time for humility, reconciliation – and all hands on deck.