Hunt's apparent refusal to go in Cabinet reshuffle 'extraordinary'

Hunt's apparent refusal to go in Cabinet reshuffle 'extraordinary'

Hunt's apparent refusal to go in Cabinet reshuffle 'extraordinary'

"The prime minister is disappointed but respects her decision to leave government", a government source said.

Ms Greening said she thought it was the "right thing to do" to quit government rather than take the role at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire resigns due to ill health, replaced by Karen Bradley.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington took his place at Mrs May's side as her new de facto deputy - despite the fact he was not granted the title First Secretary of State.

Cabinet ministers are nearly over five times more likely to have gone to a fee-paying school compared to the general population. Hunt's manoeuvering meant Greg Clark, who was widely expected to be for the chop, remains in place.

Mrs May said her new-look government now "looks more like the country it serves" following the promotion of a raft of female and ethnic minority MPs.

If this was the prime minister's goal, she failed here too, ignoring some of the party's rising stars such as Tom Tugendhat and Johnny Mercer altogether and moving others from positions where they shone to posts for which they are not obviously qualified.

May's reshuffle got off to a rough start when her Conservative Party's Twitter account announced the appointment of Chris Grayling as party chairman.

She had earlier appointed Remainer Brandon Lewis as Conservative Party chairman, with a brief to revitalize the party after June's disastrous election, and had balanced his appointment by making James Cleverly, another Brexiteer, his deputy.

Theresa May Brandon Lewis James Cleverly
REUTERS Simon Dawson

In an official statement, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Brokenshire had "immersed himself fully in the role [of Northern Ireland secretary] by dedicating long hours to trying to make progress".

And in an embarrassing twist to a reshuffle beset with social media mistakes, Mr Hunt, who was kept on as Health Secretary with an extended social care role, was forced to explain why he had "liked" a tweet stating Ms Greening had left the Government.

David Gauke leaves the Department for Work and Pensions to become the new Justice Secretary, replacing David Lidington.

Africa minister and former diplomat Rory Stewart has gone to the Ministry of Justice - a shift which was criticised by Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames who questioned why a "really knowledgeable" foreign policy expert was being moved to a domestic role. Nor for that matter has Justine Greening been affected. But she has a perilous few months ahead as Brexit negotiations approach a moment of truth when she must decide how closely she wants Britain's economy to remain aligned to Europe's - and what she is prepared to pay for it.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss, also stays in post.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox all remain in the same jobs.

Theresa May also appointed Maria Caulfield, who opposed legislation to decriminalise abortion, as the Tory vice chair for women.

We'll find out later today whether he'll keep that position.

Baroness Evans stays as Leader of the House of Lords.

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