Expenses cheat David Laws to return to government
David Laws is to return to government as a Liberal Democrat policy "firefighter" tackling coalition rows across Whitehall.
Mr Laws, who quit as Chief Secretary to the Treasury after 17 days over his expenses, will not rejoin the Cabinet, but have a "roving brief" aimed at putting the Lib Dem stamp on social policy and pre-empting clashes with the Tories.
A source close to Mr Laws said: "He wants to be able to stick his nose in everywhere. That's why he liked being at the Treasury."
The move, designed to bolster Nick Clegg's grip on the coalition's policy machine, is expected to be welcomed by senior Tories who see Mr Laws as an ally on the need for deficit reduction.
It is believed a deal has been struck allowing Mr Laws to go to Cabinet meetings, but not vote. There had been speculation that he would return to his old job, but Danny Alexander is seen as unsackable. Yet Mr Laws's promotion could mean Mr Alexander is sidelined in the day-to-day handling of coalition policy-making.
Jo Swinson, Mr Clegg's senior ministerial aide, is expected to be the most high-profile Lib Dem promotion in next month's reshuffle, with a move to replace Lynne Featherstone at the Home Office. Ms Swinson, who co-founded the Campaign for Body Confidence, would take control of the equalities brief, although Lib Dem strategists are keen that she also get a grip on law and order policy. Ms Featherstone is expected to remain in government, having impressed Mr Clegg in the past two and a half years. Lib Dem ministers believed to be vulnerable include Andrew Stunell, the Communities minister, and Lord McNally, the Justice minister.
David Cameron's reshuffle of Tory ministers is likely to be more wide-ranging. Justine Greening is not expected to remain as Transport Secretary. The IoS revealed last week that one option under active consideration is making her party chairman. Cheryl Gillan, the Welsh Secretary, is expected to make way for Maria Miller, while Sir George Young and Caroline Spelman are also vulnerable.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 4 California man Christopher Viatafa surrenders to police after googling own name and discovering himself listed as ‘most wanted’
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...