Greening quits, Bradley becomes Northern Ireland Secretary, Hunt and Leadsom stay

Pat Wise
January 13, 2018

Greening was offered the welfare and pensions brief "but declined to take it", the source added.

Ms May has sought to make a clean break from Mr Cameron's premiership, and has a far higher proportion of Cabinet ministers from state schools (66 per cent ) than the former PM did in 2015 (50 per cent).

David Lidington was also moved from Justice Secretary to become the new Minister of State for the Cabinet office - replaced by David Gauke, previously Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The prime minister used the second day of her new year reshuffle to refresh the lower ministerial ranks after a hard cabinet-level shake-up in which some ministers resisted attempts to move them.

In her resignation statement she said: "Social mobility matters to me and our country more than a ministerial career".

Greening, who is seen as on the modernising wing of the Conservative party, was praised by the party's leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, and backbencher, Heidi Allen.

Gavin Williamson retained his role as Defence Secretary, which he has held for just over two months. Although he has a low profile in the party and media but, according to his government biography, he previously "spent 18 years working in the pubs, brewing and hotel industries, in Britain and overseas".

In a reshuffle that unraveled over the course of several hours and lasted into the night, it became clear that the key takeaway was how little wriggle room May seemed to have to enact change as minister after minister were confirmed in their posts.

May's office flagged Monday's events as "a refresh" of her top team.

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And Jeremy Hunt reportedly dug his heels in to keep his job as health secretary after turning down the role of Business Secretary.

Justine Greening, Andrea Leadsom, Greg Clark and Patrick McLoughlin could be about to lose their Cabinet jobs, according to reports.

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.

Boris Johnson will continue as foreign secretary despite a number of gaffes and his widely-criticised handling of the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, while Brexit Secretary David Davis, Chancellor Philip Hammond, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd are all set to hang on to their jobs. On paper, it looks like a sideways cabinet move, as Lidington gains the courtesy title of "chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster".

Even though May's de facto deputy, Damian Green, stepped down last month after he was found to have misled the public about pornography found on his work computer, she appeared to be in a stronger position than at any time since the general election in June.

Among those promoted were MPs seen as rising stars within Conservative ranks such as Dominic Raab, who took over at housing, Alok Sharma, the new employment minister, Caroline Dinenage at health and Margot James, who moved to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Her first act was to replace the Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin as punishment for having spearheaded a poor campaign in the general election in June a year ago when the number of Conservative MPs slipped from 331 to 318, thereby depriving the Prime Minister of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

Speaking on the 's Daily Politics, new Conservative deputy chairman James Cleverly said he was not anxious about the hostile newspaper headlines generated by the reshuffle.

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