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There’s a case for a reshuffle as soon as possible (because the Cabinet should be better structured and more purposeful) and one for waiting until after the local elections at least (because Cabinets never work perfectly – and May’s current appointments have been in place for less than a year).

But either way, she needs a Minister, or more than one, to take over the responsibilities undertaken by Damian Green.

Route One is to move a senior Minister to the Cabinet Office as a Cabinet member. We have previously recommended David Lidington or Jeremy Hunt. The latter suggestion has been enthusiastically followed up elsewhere. Another option would be to appoint Chris Grayling, who unlike Hunt is not seen as a possible future leadership candidate and who, as May’s former leadership campaign manager last time round, would have the trust of Downing Street.

Route Two is to appoint a more junior Minister to the Cabinet Office. He or she would not usually chair Cabinet committees, nor be a full Cabinet member. Ben Gummer filled this role before last summer’s general election. Matt Hancock has previous Cabinet Office experience. Other Ministers of State that this site has tipped include Greg Hands, Damian Hinds, Dominic Raab, Alok Sharma and Mel Stride. The three women Ministers of State are Ann Milton, Sarah Newton and Claire Perry.

Either way, there is no need for a new First Secretary of State. Route Two would be consistent with this site’s own Cabinet recommendations, which include Milton and Esther McVey, whose communication talents are currently being wasted in the Whips’ Office, plus Raab.

74 comments for: May doesn’t need a First Secretary of State

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