ibusinesslines.com September 18, 2018

Rotherham-born Justine Greening axed as education secretary in Cabinet reshuffle

13 January 2018, 03:52 | Erica Roy

Image Housing is among the problems Theresa May must address


"You have to hand it to this prime minister: she's given us the hat-trick of the worst reshuffle, the worst party conference speech and the worst manifesto in modern history", the former finance minister wrote in his newspaper, London's Evening Standard.

The EU's approach "is frequently damaging to United Kingdom interests", the Brexit minister wrote, according to extracts published by the Financial Times.

The second phase of Brexit negotiations, covering transitional arrangements after the United Kingdom leaves and economic and security co-operation in the future, are due to begin soon.

The new minister will provide regular updates on preparation for leaving the bloc without a trade deal and have "a significant budget", the paper said.

David Lidington was appointed as minister for the cabinet office, replacing May's closest friend in parliament, Damian Green, who was forced to resign previous year over misleading statements over pornography found on his computer.

The first official change of Monday was the announcement that close Theresa May ally James Brokenshire was taking the opportunity of the cabinet reshuffle to stand down from his position of Northern Ireland secretary, citing ill health.

This meant Claire Perry, the new Climate Change minister, was given the right to attend Cabinet, rather than Mr Baker.

But her most senior colleagues - including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Secretary David Davis - will remain in post.

Last year's flurry of high-profile resignations triggered repeated calls for a reshuffle, which until now went unheeded.

Downing Street has also announced that Jeremy Hunt, whose role was the subject of particular scrutiny, has been given the expanded brief of health and social care secretary, while Greg Clark remains as business secretary.

Negotiations on a transition deal begin this month, while the toughest talks, on Britain's future relationship with the European Union including trade, are set to start in March.

"They should be demoting this health secretary", he said in a TV interview criticising Hunt's performance.

Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, kept his job at the foreign office, despite challenging May's strategy previous year, as did fellow eurosceptic Liam Fox, the global trade minister.

However, the first tranche of ministers who entered No 10 to be promoted were all men.

May is also predicted to promote more women and MPs from ethnic minorities as she tries to counter an alleged culture of sexual harassment in Westminster and criticism her party is too narrowly representative of multicultural Britain.

Not only was she safe until Brexit was completed, they said, the negotiations could so enhance and fix her reputation that she might yet lead her party into the 2022 election.

"I'm not a quitter".

Keith Simpson, a long-serving Conservative backbencher, said the reshuffle would be a "play in two acts", with May expected to move junior ministers on Tuesday.

"Obviously I serve as long as people want me to serve".

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