Reshuffle Due As David Cameron Seeks To Reshape His Cabinet

03/09/2012 06:40 | Updated 03 September 2012
  • Ned Simons Assistant Political Editor, The Huffington Post UK

MPs and ministers will be making sure their blackberries are fully charged with their volumes turned up to eleven this week, as David Cameron is expected to perform his first major cabinet reshuffle since coming to power in 2010.

The prime minister is believed to want to bring several new faces into government now in order to give them time to gain experience ahead of the next election in 2015, and MPs from the 2005 and 2010 intake will be waiting for a call.

Cabinet ministers who will be nervously thumbing their phones waiting for the call from No.10 include party chairman Baroness Warsi and justice secretary Ken Clarke, both of whom have been fighting demotion within the government.

Baroness Warsi took the unusual step of making a public plea over the weekend to be spared the chop, when she told the Daily Telegraph that the party needed more working class voices like hers and that she "fit the bill" for the job she currently had.

Clarke, who at 72 is one of the longest serving senior Tory politicians, has been reportedly fighting a move for him to be demoted to leader of the House of Commons.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is also believed to be in a precarious position as is environment secretary Caroline Spelman.

Several key figures including foreign secretary William Hague and home secretary Theresa May are believed to be safe in their jobs. A cabinet minister told The Huffington Post last month that they expected only "two or three" of their colleagues to be moved.

Cameron put to bed speculation that George Osborne could be moved as a result of Britain's poorly performing economy last month when he said the chancellor would "not be going anywhere".

And Osborne is said to have been one of the few senior figures involved in mapping out the reshuffle, making it unlikely he would text himself to tell him that he was out of a job.

Cameron's Cabinet

While some senior ministers are hoping to cling on to their jobs, several of their junior colleagues are snapping at their heels eager for promotion.

Housing minister Grant Shapps has been widely tipped as a replacement for Baroness Warsi as party chairman, and work and pensions minister Chris Grayling is a popular choice among the right-wing of Conservative Party to take over at the justice department.

While it would come as no surprise if current backbenchers Matthew Hancock, Nick Boles, Claire Perry and Liz Trust were given ministerial positions.

Other backbenchers however appear less sure of promotion, with Mark Spencer taking to Twitter on Monday morning to joke: "Still no call from Downing St, on the reshuffle, don't ring me I need to keep the line free!"

And Chris Heaton-Harris joined in the fun when he added: "If only it was April Fools Day! The fun I'd be having phoning fellow MPs pretending to be the No 10 switchboard."

It has also been suggested that international development secretary Andrew Mitchell could be moved to become the Tory party's top enforcer as chief whip.

Tory backbenchers have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of Cameron in recent months and the prime minister is likely to want to ensure his MPs are kept in line in the wake of a reshuffle which will inevitably disappoint just as many as it will please.

The Liberal Democrat side of the coalition cabinet is believed to be kept largely the same, but David Laws is widely tipped to be making a return to the front line.

Laws was forced to quit as chief secretary to the Treasury in the first days of the coalition over revelations about his expenses

Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams told the BBC on Sunday night that while there was a risk that Clegg would be criticised for bringing Laws back given the manner of his departure the government was "poorer for not having him on the front line".

"He is very clear thinker, I am a big admirer of him on that front," he said. "His influence has been felt, he is very much part of the inner circle of Nick Clegg."

04/09/2012 19:52 BST

Cabinet reshuffle - the juniors

John Hayes MP as Minister of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change

Norman Lamb MP as Minister of State at the Department of Health

David Heath MP as Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Hugo Swire MP as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Jeremy Browne MP as Minister of State at the Home Office

Daniel Poulter MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Health

Jeremy Wright MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice

Chloe Smith MP as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office

Stephen Hammond MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport

Sajid Javid MP as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, HM Treasury

Matthew Hancock MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State jointly at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education

Philip Dunne MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence

04/09/2012 18:10 BST

Mark Hoban becomes employment minister

Interesting swap for Hoban, who has been solid at the Treasury.

04/09/2012 18:08 BST

Reports: Jeremy Browne to the Home Office

@ MattChorley :

Sources close to Jeremy Browne say he is going to the Home Office - big job countering both May and Grayling on law and order #reshuffle

04/09/2012 17:54 BST

Jobs for former TV presenters Anna Soubry and Esther McVey

Anna Soubry MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health

Esther McVey MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions

Two former TV presenters get jobs in the government. McVey holds the fairly marginal seat of Wirral West.

Anna Soubry will be a fireband on the front bench - she is on-record as criticising David Cameron's women problem in the past. She spoke to HuffPost UK last year about her worries for legal aid cuts.

04/09/2012 17:51 BST

Helen Grant gets joint MOJ/Equalities job

helen grant

PM appoints Helen Grant as joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Ministry of Justice and for Women’s & Equality issues.

Helen Grant has been a fairly quiet backbencher and unflappably loyal. Along with Liz Truss, she's the second woman from the 2010 intake to get a junior ministerial job this evening.

04/09/2012 17:39 BST

Elizabeth Truss heads to Education..

truss

Described by the Spectator as a 'one woman think-tank', Truss will take on responsibility for early years education, we're told.

Check out HuffPost's interview with her from a few weeks ago...

04/09/2012 17:29 BST

Mehdi Hasan: Tory retoxification continues apace:

Huffpost's Political Director blogs here on the reshuffle. He writes, among other things:

Cameron capitulated to his party's right-wing, Eurosceptic, 'hang 'em and flog 'em' tendency by sacking One-Nation Conservatives such as Ken Clarke, Sayeeda Warsi and George Young and promoting ardent Thatcherites such as Chris Grayling, Owen Paterson and Theresa Villiers.

Check out the rest of the blog post here....

04/09/2012 17:27 BST

Greg Clark seemingly on-course for the Treasury

As either Financial or Commercial Secretary. Politicshome.com suggesting Clark - who is currently planning minister - will be the new City Minister.

04/09/2012 17:07 BST

Rumours: Greg Clark is leaving DCLG

greg clark

Unconfirmed at this stage. It would be a surprise if Clark were to not feature in the government somewhere. Highly intelligent and one of those who has managed to get planning reforms through without upsetting anyone.

Surely a job for him somewhere?

04/09/2012 16:58 BST

Paul Deighton, an Olympics organiser, gets a Treasury job and will be made a peer

Welcome to Westminster, Paul.

deighton

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