Reshuffle 1) May “wants Cabinet to reflect ‘modern and diverse’ Britain after next week’s reshuffle”

“Theresa May will move or sack at least six members of her cabinet in a reshuffle tomorrow designed to refresh her top team. An aide said she wanted to “make sure the government reflects the modern and diverse country” we live in… The plan to promote female and ethnic minority MPs into the ministerial ranks is an attempt to banish the Tory image as “pale, male and stale”. The cabinet reshuffle has been mapped out on a whiteboard in May’s private office in No 10; changes to lower ministerial ranks will be announced on Tuesday.” – Sunday Times

  • Watch carefully as May shuffles the pack and see her change nothing – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Who gains from the reshuffle will matter much less than what it does. Here are five priorities – including housing as its focus.

Reshuffle 2) Will Hunt replace Green as First Secretary of State?

“On Saturday night, May was said to be preparing to appoint the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to replace Green although it was also reported that the announcement may be delayed while the NHS winter crisis continues. Boris Johnson, who some said a week ago could be moved, is now thought to be safe in his role, at least for the time being. More sweeping changes in junior ministerial ranks on Tuesday are planned by the prime minister, it was claimed. May was said to be putting the finishing touches to a series of promotions for younger MPs to roles in government.” – The Observer

Reshuffle 3) Greening amongst those ‘fighting for their jobs’

Justine Greening is fighting for her job as Theresa May prepared to appoint a new education secretary in a drive to reinvigorate the Government’s approach to schools, The Telegraph can disclose. Ms Greening’s successor will be tasked with leading a major push to convince voters that the Conservatives are the party of education ahead of the local elections in May. The inclusion of a new education secretary in a blueprint for a refreshed Government comes after private polling revealed that the Tories’ record in the sector was a significant factor behind the party’s losses in last year’s general election. However, in an indication that Ms Greening could resist any attempt to move her, the Education Secretary posted a series of messages on Twitter heralding her achievements in the role and twice declaring: “School standards are rising.”” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Education Secretary unveils new child literacy drive – The Observer

Reshuffle 4) Speculation that ‘big four’ will be left in post

“Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle will see her seek to bring in new faces to her ministerial team in a bid to inject ‘youth, energy and fresh thinking’. Government source said the Prime Minister was not intending to move any of the ‘big four’ – Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd or Brexit Secretary David Davis. Justine Greening faces being demoted or sacked from Education Secretary as Mrs May tries to put schools at the heart of a Tory revival. Business Secretary Greg Clark and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom could also be moved, while Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin has signalled privately he is ready to retire from front line politics.” – Mail on Sunday

  • For the Tories to succeed, May and Hammond must learn to get on – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sun on Sunday


  • Voters don’t pay attention to personnel, May must win the policy battles – Sunday Times

Reshuffle 5) Kennedy, Ghani, Sunak, and Fernandes tipped for promotion

“Those heading upwards probably include Brandon Lewis who is likely to be made Party chairman. Justice Minister Dominic Raab may be in line for a Cabinet post. Rising stars Seema Kennedy, Nusrat Ghani and Rishi Sunak are all tipped for ministerial jobs. Party managers are also keen for Kemi Badenoch, who only won her seat in June, to take on a senior role with the party… The changes will also allow Mrs May to promote Tory MPs who were elected in 2015.” – Sun on Sunday

May ‘disgusted’ by Young’s tweets…

“Theresa May was last night engulfed in a row over obscene tweets sent by her controversial new university tsar – casting a huge shadow over her imminent Cabinet reshuffle. The Prime Minister last night voiced her ‘distaste’ for a string of sexist and obscene tweets sent by Toby Young – whose position on the new Office For Students watchdog was put into deeper jeopardy as it was revealed that he posted a sick sexual ‘joke’ about starving children on Comic Relief. The campaigner’s misogynistic Twitter messages threaten to undermine Mrs May’s attempts to rebrand the Tories as a women-friendly Party with the expected promotion of several female MPs to the Cabinet tomorrow.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Prime Minister warns new watchdog over online conduct – Sunday Times
  • Fears for standards as new student fails exams at 11 top universities – Sunday Times


  • It’s time to rethink Toby Young’s appointment – Rob Halfon MP, Times Red Box
  • May must learn to face down Britain’s 140-character crisis – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

…as she scraps plans for hunting vote in ‘green blitz’

“Theresa May has revealed that she has scrapped the Tory pledge to overturn the ban on foxhunting after a public outcry that contributed to the Conservative setback in last year’s general election. In an interview broadcast today, the prime minister said there would be no vote on a repeal of the law during this parliament, as disclosed last month by The Sunday Times. May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that her own support for foxhunting has not changed, but admitted that she had received a “clear message” from the electorate to change her government’s approach to it as well as to “school funding, tuition fees and housing”. An aide made clear the next Tory manifesto would be unlikely to offer a vote on hunting: “We want to focus on issues that matter most to people – building more homes, continuing to raise school standards, investing in the NHS and delivering a good Brexit.”” – Sunday Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Modernisers Revisited. Meet “Onward” (Or perhaps “Onward!”) – the new C-Change.

Ministers 1) Lidington announces Parole Board review

“Justice Secretary David Lidington has announced a review into the Parole Board’s controversial decision to recommend the early release of Black Cab rapist John Worboys. The decision to release the 60-year-old nine years after he was jailed prompted anger from victims and questions around why not all of the 102 complainants had their cases brought to trial. Worboys was found guilty of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 female passengers, including one rape. It is feared Worboys could have carried out 100 attacks. The government faced significant pressure from opposition parties, with almost 60 Labour, Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru MPs writing to Mr Lidington to ask whether victims could appeal the Parole Board’s decision before Worboys’ release.” – Mail on Sunday

Ministers 2) Rudd faces calls for action on Iran

“Amber Rudd is facing calls to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation over its suppression of protesters and support for militants. Dozens of MPs from across the Commons have backed a motion calling for the Home Secretary to include the regime’s elite unit on an official list of proscribed organisations and impose sanctions on its officials. The disclosure comes after the group, formally called the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was deployed to put down anti-government unrest in Iran during a week of protests that left more than 20 people dead. Of 69 MPs backing the Commons early day motion, more than 30 are Labour backbenchers – a fact likely to embarrass Jeremy Corbyn, who has since been criticised for failing to personally condemn the actions of the Iranian regime.” – Sunday Telegraph

Ministers 3) Tobias Ellwood: We must maintain our military might, our freedom and prosperty depend on it

“So our defence spending debate is about more than just the number of warships, planes, tanks and personnel. As the new Defence Secretary has implied, it’s about retaining the convincing hard power that allows us to speak with authority to friends (including the US, our closest ally) and foes. Yet as the world moves faster and becomes more dangerous there is a tragic collective naivety about the durability of peace. Our country, our economy and our values are vulnerable to a range of growing dangers that have no respect for borders. We face a pivotal moment. What sort of nation do we want to be? Do we aspire to influence the world as a force for good, or are we happy to withdraw to a more reactive footing, with all the negative consequences that may entail – not only for our for security but our economy too? I choose the former.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • I will not countenance more Armed Forces cuts, and I’m not alone – Johnny Mercer MP, Sunday Telegraph

Sex-pest MPs may face by-elections

“MPs accused of sexual harassment could be suspended or kicked out of parliament under plans being considered by a cross-party group of MPs. The group, set up by the prime minister to tackle sexual harassment in Westminster, is expected to recommend formal sanctions against sex-pest MPs imposed by an independent regulator. The ultimate sanction would see MPs face a by-election in their constituency if they refuse to resign from the Commons over their behaviour. The disclosure comes days after a leaked draft report suggested that MPs accused of sexual harassment would need only to apologise or complete an online training course as punishment.” – Sunday Times

Corbyn under attack for failure to join pro-single market coalition

“Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of a lack of leadership after rejecting a call to join a cross-party coalition to keep Britain in the EU single market after Brexit. The SNP said the Labour leader was failing millions of working families after he turned down an invitation to coordinate efforts with other parties to block government moves to take the UK out of the single market when it leaves the EU. Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, is due to meet the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green party on Monday to discuss a common approach to the issue in the weeks ahead. But in a letter to Blackford, Corbyn declined an offer to take part, saying the initiative was based on a “flawed” assumption about the nature of the single market.” – The Observer

  • Thornberry ‘torn apart’ over Opposition’s Brexit stance – Sunday Express
  • Remain’s ‘Project Fear’ warnings about the economy have been ‘wildly wrong’ to date – Sunday Telegraph
  • May to get tough are Brexit rebels’ victory – Sunday Express


  • Ignore Blair and Clegg on Brexit, they are yesterday’s men – Dia Chakravarty, Sunday Telegraph
  • Britain’s trading future lies across the Pacific – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph
  • Momentum’s latest victory poses a conqueror’s dilemma – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer

>Today: Barnabas Reynolds in Comment: How to achieve a successful Brexit deal for financial services

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: There is scant evidence that May is about to u-turn on the Customs Union

Author of explosive new White House book stands by claims about Blair

“Michael Wolff has scoffed at Tony Blair’s denial that he told Donald Trump MI6 may have leaked details of his team’s contacts with the Russians. Repeating the allegation made in his book Fire And Fury, Mr Wolff said that the former Prime Minister may have made the claim to ‘curry favour’ with Mr Trump, having once been so close to Bill and Hillary Clinton in the past. The row dates back to last March, when The Mail on Sunday revealed how Mr Blair had secretly visited the White House in a bid to win a new role as a Middle East adviser to the President. We reported how, weeks after Mr Trump’s inauguration, Mr Blair held talks with the President’s senior adviser Jared Kushner. Mr Kushner is married to the President’s daughter Ivanka.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Trump ‘would resent’ not being invited to the royal wedding – Mail on Sunday


  • Toddler-in-chief is right where voters wanted him – Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

News in Brief:

  • Those who want to stop Brexit should make the transition as long as possible – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • Three new year’s resolutions for May – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • If Corbyn wants a mass movement he must radically revive the unions – Michael Chessum, New Statesman