29/07/2012 16:01 BST | Updated 30/07/2012 12:38 BST

ResHUFFle: The Women On The Up And Possibly For The Chop


- Blogpost - why Cameron needs to refresh his team as the coalition continues to flounder

- ResHUFFLe blog - the latest rumours and speculation

- Traffic jam at the top - the Tory Big Hitters

- Some scenarios for David Cameron as he plots his Cabinet team

maria miller

Maria Miller

Maria Miller is seen as a competent disability minister at the DWP. One of her big challenges has been to close the Remploy factories which have provided jobs for disabled people but which make heavy losses. Labour tried to barrack her over the closures but nothing has managed to stick.

It seems likely that Miller will replace Cheryl Gillan as Welsh Secretary. Miller has some connection with Wales having been to school in Bridgend, and Gillan is likely to leave the Cabinet because she is viscerally opposed to High Speed Two, which will turn much of her Buckinghamshire constituency into a building site.

justine greening

Justine Greening

It's not that Greening has done anything wrong but she is utterly opposed to a third runway at Heathrow and everyone knows it. She represents Putney in southwest London and before the last election was one of the loudest voices calling for the runway to be shelved.

The trouble for Cameron is that he's fully aware that a third runway at Heathrow might be the only option, because airport capacity is close to breaking point and it'd take far too long to build Boris Island. Britain can't afford to not have a 'hub' airport. A consultation on what to do about aviation capacity will run over the next year or so, and it wouldn't be ideal to have a Secretary of State presiding over it whose views are so clear.

Nonetheless Justine Greening is very well thought-of and shone during her time at the Treasury. A horizontal move to head up another department seems likely.

theresa villiers

Theresa Villiers

It's worth a bet that Villiers will lose her job as aviation minister. Her handling of policy has been quietly attacked by airport operators and airlines, as confusion reigns over whether the government might u-turn on its policy towards a third runway at Heathrow. MPs on the influential transport select committee mutter about her competence - and much of this disquiet comes from Tory members.

With Justine Greening a likely move from Transport Secretary to elsewhere, it seems likely that the whole department will get a reboot in the autumn with a fresh ministerial team.

caroline spelman

Caroline Spelman

There might have been bigger and more damaging u-turns since then, but for some reason Spelman's humiliating reversal of a decision to sell off England's forests sticks in the mind. Perhaps it's because it was the first major u-turn of the coalition, but more likely it's because Spelman appeared to act on a sensitive issue which annoyed Middle England without keeping Number 10 properly informed.

Not well-rated by backbenchers, Spelman's also had problems with the recent flooding, with people who lost everything in the recent deluges claiming the sandbags arrived too late. So Spelman's days in Cabinet look numbered.

sayeeda warsi

Sayeeda Warsi

Baroness Warsi has been a constant headache for David Cameron. She was found to have broken the ministerial code over trips to Pakistan and has been under intense pressure because of false claims for housing. Warsi has been walking around Westminster looking visibly crestfallen in recent weeks.

Cameron is thought to be loath to remove a woman of Asian background from Cabinet, but since she's not in the Commons it's difficult to give her a significant office. The Tories in opposition repeatedly attacked Gordon Brown for having Lord Mandelson as Business Secretary when he couldn't be held accountable among MPs.

Warsi was cleared of fiddling her expenses at the end of July - a second boost to her chances of political survival after she was also found to have only breached the ministerial code in a minor way. So she could easily remain in the Cabinet, possibly running the Department for International Development or the Northern Ireland Office - two relative backwaters in contemporary politics.

theresa may

Theresa May

Theresa May has survived two years as Home Secretary - which by modern standards is impressive. She's managed to get through a wave of controversy surrounding the radical cleric Abu Qatada, and even though the Home Office made a couple of technical unforced errors in the case it seems likely that the cleric will be deported to Jordan, thanks in part to some high-level negotiations between May and the Jordanian government.

The passports scandal involving the former head of the UK Border Force Brodie Clark was damaging, but despite all their efforts Labour couldn't trace the fiasco directly to Theresa May. Nonetheless Cameron might want to move her to another position. A good fit for her would be Justice Secretary; technically it'd be a demotion but May is a huge critic of the European Convention on Human Rights and is one of the Tories' biggest champions for Britain having its own, separate Bill of Rights. Implementing that would be a massive task but as legacies go would be a eurosceptic's dream.

Whatever happens, it seems unthinkable that Theresa May would leave the Cabinet as she's personally close to the PM and shown herself to be a survivor in one of the toughest jobs in government.


Claire Perry

A good bet for promotion to the ranks of junior ministers, Perry has impressed Downing Street by organising an independent probe into whether internet porn should be switched off by ISPs by default, compeling users to "opt in" to adult material instead.

She's currently a parliamentary aide to Philip Hammond at the MOD, and recently gave a very big hint to The Huffington Post that she'd like a proper job in defence. Extremely likeable with lots of non-political experience (she only joined the Tory party about five years ago), personally I think Cameron would be mad not to give her a promotion.

liz truss

Liz Truss

The Guardian recently went as far as suggesting Truss might replace Michael Gove as education secretary. While that seems far fetched - Truss was only elected in 2010 and has no departmental experience - what's clear is that she's a powerhouse of ideas and founded the Free Enterprise Group last year, a group of about 40 Tories who want to see radical steps to kickstart the economy.

As I confirmed when we interviewed her recently, Truss is obsessed with how maths is taught, particularly in secondary schools. She believes teachers need to play a role in raising expectations among kids in comprehensive schools, and wants a German-style approach to flexible parental leave. I wouldn't be surprised if Truss found herself asked to become a junior education minister.

jo swinson

Jo Swinson

Swinson currently serves as parliamentary aide to Nick Clegg and is seen as a rapidly rising star among Lib Dems. There's been speculation that she might be elevated to Cabinet in the reshuffle, which by any standards would be a light-speed rise to the top. For several years she's been campaigning to reduce airbrushing of models in magazines, saying it objectifies women and makes everyone feel inadequate.

There's talk that Swinson could replace fellow Lib Dem Michael Moore as Scottish secretary, who's perfectly capable but also quite dour and grey as a minister. It would make sense, a bright young face campaigning against Scottish independence in the looming referendum.

anna soubry

Anna Soubry

This single mother of two started out as a TV journalist but is now a fiercely loyal ministerial aide. She occasionally gets told off by the Speaker for being too aggressive in the Commons but is seen as highly promising. She's criticised previous coalition policies in the past - check her interview with my colleague Dina Rickman from last autumn where she warned against the impact legal aid cuts would have on women.

margot james

Margot James

This gay entrepreneur was an A-list candidate at the 2010 election and hit the ground running - it's hard to think of backbenchers who're more hyperactive. She's done work on community cohesion among different religions - parts of her Stourbridge seat are among the most ethnically diverse in the country - and recently launched an all-party group on encouraging trade and investment.

She brings a wealth of business experience to Parliament, and is respected on all sides. She recently talked to us about how to get exports from BRIC countries, but she's also got her eye on other emerging markets. Hot tip for the Business Department?