Reshuffle Due As David Cameron Seeks To Reshape His Cabinet

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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
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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!"

Still no call from Downing St, on the re shuffle, 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."

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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

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

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@ 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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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....

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

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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?

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Welcome to Westminster, Paul.


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@ timloughton : Regret 2 report after 7 yrs Shadow Minister and 2 as Minister 4 Children PM asked me 2 stand down-good luck 2 successor in this vital role

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This from Number 10 in the past few moments. These are all sideways moves, except for Fallon who gets a ministerial job. Also you could argue that Mark Prisk gets a promotion, given the expected focus on housebuilding already anounced by George Osborne.

And Mark Harper moves to immigration, but given the furore over Lords Reform and the AV referendum he's moving from internal political stress to dealing with the UK Border Agency. About the same level of grief, we'd say!

And of course, there's David Laws, snuck in at the bottom as if we wouldn't notice!

Mark Prisk MP as Minister for Housing in the Department for Communities and Local Government

Damian Green MP as joint Minister for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Simon Burns MP as Minister of State for Transport

Mark Hoban MP as Minister of State for Work and Pensions

Mark Harper MP as Immigration Minister, at the Home Office

Mike Penning MP as Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office

Andrew Robathan MP as Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the Ministry of Defence

Michael Fallon MP as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and a Member of the Privy Council

David Laws MP as joint Minister of State at the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office

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So Mike Penning, the charismatic ex-Army officer is off to Northern Ireland with Theresa Villiers. Simon Burns the health minister who really enjoys smoking too much, goes over to Transport.

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@ paulwaugh : No.10 confirms Sayeeda Warsi is a "SENIOR Minister of State". The 1st ever to hv that title.

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and apparently is not being replaced by another Lib Dem, according to reports.

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@ Mike_Fabricant : Even though I have quit (cleared my desk today), I shall be on front bench between 5 and 6pm as no-one yet appointed to replace me. A hoot.

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The fiery Labour MP says in a statement:

‘What an example to set for today’s children. An Education Minister who deceived the electorate in his election publicity, was expelled from Parliament for a week and has not yet faced the electorate for a fresh mandate.

'No disgraced politician is fit for public office unless and until the British people have given him a vote of confidence at the ballot box.

'Laws has not yet passed this fundamental democratic test.’

'The report on Laws voted through by Parliament and banning him for seven days described his behaviour as: ‘a series of serious breaches of the rules, over a considerable period of time’

‘This is shameful day for British politics.’

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'The people who've been appointed aren't necessarily right-wingers but have shown a degree of competence," Jackson tells Sky News.

He says he's particularly pleased about Grant Shapps becoming party leader and says he'll be a 'great asset to the Cabinet'.

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To see it, head to about 12:15 on the scrollbar.

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There's going to be a lot of questions if it's confirmed that Nick Herbert has quit the government. Herbert was Shadow Justice Secretary in opposition and was considered an unfair overlook for a cabinet post when the coalition was formed.

He's had the fairly onerous task of selling Police and Crime Commissioners to backbench Tories and the wider public, and also struggled to paint a positive gloss on the police cuts.

A fortnight ago he had a fairly rough ride on the Today programme at the hands of Evan Davis where he was accused of talking "boring waffle".

There is fevered speculation about what Herbert was offered - surely it had to be something.

The permutations of this are that Damian Green becomes policing minister in the wake of Herbert's departure. Mark Harper moves from constitutional reform to immigration behind Damian Green.

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A sideways move for Prisk from BIS.

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@ JGForsyth : Nick Herbert quits in reshuffle. Mark Harper to immigration, Damian Green to policing

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He had been tipped as co-chair of the Conservative party, and there was a lot of speculation this morning as Fallon spent all morning inside Number 10.

Fallon joins Nick Clegg's former Parliamentary aide Jo Swinson at BIS, while Lib Dem Norman Lamb heads over to Health.

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Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, in response to the appointment of Jeremy Hunt as Secretary of State for Health, said:

"The NHS was supposed to be the Prime Minister’s number one priority. Swapping one failed Minister with poor judgment for another is a strange way to show that.

"Right now, the NHS needs somebody who believes in its values and is ready to stand up for it. Instead, the Prime Minister has given it the man who reportedly tried to remove the NHS tribute from the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.

"NHS staff fearful of the Government’s drive to open up the NHS to full competition will take no comfort whatsoever to find a man in charge who, in his last job, bent over backwards to promote powerful private-sector interests.

"Andrew Lansley’s crime was supposed to be his failure to communicate his reforms. What the Prime Minister doesn’t understand is it is the NHS policies that are wrong, not the way he is selling them. Appointing a ‘yes-man’ to run the NHS will not bring the change of direction in health policy that patients and staff are desperately hoping for. Judging by his record, it may make matters worse.

"I welcome the new Secretary of State to his role but I serve notice to him today that, unless he removes the threat to the NHS from his Government’s policies, he will face the same opposition as his predecessor."

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In a statement just released Blunt says:

“It has been a great honour and a privilege to serve in HM Government, and I have relished the job of Minister for Prisons, Probation and Youth Justice. The post has innumerable, yet wonderfully rewarding challenges, and I wish my successor, whomsoever that might be, luck in the role.

"As a former Whip, I fully understand the challenge that the Prime Minister faces in party management around reshuffles, and whilst, of course, I am disappointed not to be able to continue to deliver the radical and far-reaching policy changes around offender management and criminal justice, I look back over the last 2 ½ with pleasure and pride over our achievements in the Ministry of Justice.”

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@ joncraig : Reshuffle latest: Talk of a big clear-out at MoD. LibDem Nick Harvey, Tories Andrew Robathan, Gerald Howarth out, Robathan to another job.

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This suggests the BIS department remains a Lib Dem Stronghold - Norman Lamb is off to Health.

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Norman Lamb, a Lib Dem and close adviser to Nick Clegg, moves from BIS to Health - ensuring that the balance of coalition remains the same as it was before.

The Lib Dems are saying that Sarah Teather is leaving goverment to concentrate on fighting her constituency at the next election.

And it is true that Teather faces a serious challenge from Labour - here's the 2010 result from her North London Seat:


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@ BBCNormanS : Lib Dem folk say David Laws will have a roving brief as well as position as an Education Minister #reshuffle

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