Reshuffle 1) Ministers disrupt May’s plans by refusing to move jobs

‘Theresa May’s New Year reshuffle unravelled last night, denting her hopes of putting the disasters of 2017 behind her. She had hoped to use a shake-up of her leadership team to stamp her authority on government. But the plans were torpedoed when senior ministers refused to move. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Mrs May he would rather quit than accept a move to the business department – forcing her to back down. And, following talks lasting more than two hours, the Prime Minister was forced to sack Justine Greening when she refused to move from education to work and pensions. Whitehall sources said Mrs May had also ditched plans to axe her former leadership rival Andrea Leadsom as Commons Leader.’ – Daily Mail

  • CCHQ appointments are aimed at restoring Party membership and the campaign machine – The Sun
  • Farce as Grayling is accidentally named Party Chairman on Twitter – Daily Mail
  • Lidington will stand in at PMQs – The Times
  • Greening quits rather than be moved from Education – The Sun
  • Hunt accidentally Likes a tweet about her going… – The Sun
  • …while Davidson expresses her support for her – The Times





Reshuffle 2) Brokenshire resigns for health reasons

‘He will be replaced in his role by Karen Bradley, the former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, but he will stay on as an MP. He hopes to take several weeks out before getting right back to work. Mr Brokenshire told the Prime Minister that he has been undergoing a series of tests and needs an operation to remove a “small lesion”. The Prime Minister expressed her sympathies and praised him for his “long hours, hard effort and complete focus” with trying to deal with “vital” Northern Ireland issues over the past year.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Brokenshire’s exchange of letters with May, informing her that he must stand down to undergo and recover from surgery

Toby Young quits Office for Students role

‘The caricature drawn of me in the last seven days, particularly on social media, has been unrecognisable to anyone who knows me. I am a passionate supporter of inclusion and helping the most disadvantaged, as I hope my track record of setting up and supporting new schools demonstrates. But some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong – and I unreservedly apologise. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for standing by me, and drawing a distinction between my earlier life and my subsequent record in education.’ – Toby Young, The Spectator

  • The same quango hires an adviser with a dubious record on free speech – Daily Mail
  • How can the reputation of teaching be restored? – The Times Leader
  • GCSE computer science coursework scrapped due to cheating fears – Daily Mail
  • Furore over Lily Allen’s dismissive comments about Rochdale abuse victims – Daily Mail

Juncker’s blunt message for those who imagine ‘Bregret’ will keep us in the EU

‘Mr Juncker told a conference in Brussels: “Don’t believe those who say that it’s not going to happen and that people have realised their error in the UK. I don’t think that that’s going to be the case. Our British friends will be leaving us on the 30th of March 2019.” But Labour MP Ben Bradshaw accused him of being out of touch. He said: “He needs to get out more and not assume statements of UK Government ministers speak for Britain.”’ – The Sun

  • He rejected the prospect of EU cuts, instead insisting member states pay more – The Times
  • Corbyn reiterates that we must leave the Single Market – The Guardian
  • We need a special relationship – FT Leader
  • The EU is happy to play for time – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph
  • Mediterranean holiday resorts beg Brussels for money – The Sun

>Yesterday: Howard Flight on Comment: Brexit offers the chance of a renaissance for the City

Fox: Labour’s protectionist attitude is irrational and harmful to the poorest

‘With a billion people taken out of poverty in the past generation, we have a moral duty to ensure that the full benefits of free trade are made available to those who follow us, especially in the developing world. Those on the anti-trade left would ensure that a more protectionist world denies the poorest that opportunity. They will use every red herring to cover up what is an essentially anti-capitalist agenda, as we saw with the European Left’s opposition to a trade agreement as benign as that with Trudeau’ s Canada. They would cause damage at home too; anti-trade policies would push up costs to consumers at home, making it harder to make wages stretch and diminishing living standards. Not that they would care as long as their international political crusade was succeeding. Here, in Britain, Labour’s approach to trade policy is as incoherent as it is irrational.’ – Liam Fox, The Times

  • Davis criticises the EU’s ‘no deal’ plans – FT
  • The UK pledges to mitigate possible VAT pain – FT
  • We’ve diverged from tracking Trump – Gideon Rachman, FT

>Today: Henry Newman’s column: Recently, a Cabinet minister for ‘No Deal’ might have been helpful. Now, it would risk looking crass.

Shadow Cabinet members send ‘solidarity’ to rail strikers wrecking commuters’ return to work

‘Outrage erupted today as one of Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest Labour allies sent “solidarity” to union workers causing chaos for rail commuters trying to return to work. Angela Rayner – touted as a potential Labour leader – insisted the RMT was only “reluctantly” taking action in a ‘health and safety’ campaign as she backed their FIVE separate strikes… Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald yesterday also sparked fury backed the RMT – and demanded the Government meet them for talks.’ – The Sun

  • Just a taste of the chaos to come if Corbyn wins – The Sun Says
  • Tulip Siddiq praises her tyrannical aunt as a ‘role model’ – The Times

BBC accused of censoring its own presenters in pay row

‘BBC journalists accused the corporation of censorship yesterday after some were told they could not host discussions about gender pay if they had shown support for Carrie Gracie. Many BBC employees, women and men, tweeted links to Gracie’s open letter announcing her resignation as China editor over the “botched” response to the gender pay scandal, with the hashtag #istandwithcarrie. Fran Unsworth, the broadcaster’s new director of news, told editors to remind staff of long-standing BBC guidelines on impartiality that prohibit presenters or reporters who have expressed views on a subject from conducting interviews on that topic. Some managers interpreted this to mean that any staff who had tweeted a link to articles about Gracie’s resignation could not host segments about gender pay.’ – The Times

Morgan: Oprah Winfrey could be the Democrats’ best hope to take on Trump

‘Make no mistake, Oprah Winfrey’s astonishing speech at last night’s Golden Globes was the moment she told the world: ‘I’m ready to be President of the United States’…‘A new day is on the horizon!’ Oprah shouted to them, ‘and when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me Too” again.’ It was a speech that made the heart pound and the tear ducts sting. It was also a speech that sounded distinctly…presidential.’ – Piers Morgan, Daily Mail