David Cameron shakes up Cabinet in hopes to quell unrest
Tuesday 04 September 2012
David Cameron moved to rejuvenate his top team today in a shake-up that could help quell unrest on the Tory right.
The Prime Minister promoted Chris Grayling to Justice Secretary, replacing veteran Ken Clarke, who had been criticised as too soft.
But a decision to remove Justine Greening from the transport brief was immediately criticised by London mayor Boris Johnson, who accused Mr Cameron of shifting her because she opposed building a third runway at Heathrow airport.
The coalition's first major reshuffle was discussed by Mr Cameron and his Liberal Democrat deputy Nick Clegg, but many of the appointments are unlikely to please the junior party.
Apart from Mr Grayling, Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson - a strong supporter of fox-hunting - was switched to the environment brief. Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove have held on to the key roles of work and pensions and education.
Jeremy Hunt was also rewarded after a successful Olympics, being shifted from culture to become Health Secretary, despite controversy over his handling of the BSkyB takeover bid. The Lib Dems refused to back him in parliament in the face of the criticism.
Maria Miller had one of the biggest promotions, becoming Culture Secretary after previously serving as minister for the disabled. Theresa Villiers, formerly transport minister, was appointed Northern Ireland Secretary.
Casualties of the changes included Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. Andrew Lansley's move from health to Leader of the House will be seen as a demotion.
Baroness Warsi is no longer Conservative Party chairman, but will attend Cabinet with responsibilities for foreign affairs and faith after apparently insisting Mr Cameron give her a more substantial role.
All of the Liberal Democrats' Cabinet ministers kept their jobs, and there is a return for David Laws, who becomes education minister more than two years after he resigned over an expenses scandal.
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