POLITICS

Reshuffle Due As David Cameron Seeks To Reshape His Cabinet

03/09/2012 06:40 BST | Updated 03/09/2012 09:29 BST

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."