Senior Tories await David Cameron's 'ruthless reshuffle'

Cabinet shake-up is expected after the Prime Minister returns from Sweden on Tuesday

David Cameron is to carry out a "ruthless" reshuffle within days which could see several senior and long-serving cabinet ministers lose their jobs.

The Prime Minister is expected to work on a coalition shake-up when he returns from European talks in Sweden on Tuesday evening. Whitehall is braced for a reshuffle at the end of this week or the start of next. Some of the ministers being considered for the sack are among the most senior ranks, and the reshuffle's timing, coinciding with the start of the World Cup, could lead it to be dubbed "the night of the long dives".

Senior ministers who are thought to be nervous about their position include Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the Commons; the Chief Whip, Sir George Young; the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson; Ken Clarke, the Minister without Portfolio; and the Tory chairman, Grant Shapps. Despite their bitter row, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, are unlikely to be moved or demoted, because such a switch-around would risk escalating tensions between their supporters and trigger a fresh round of bloodletting.

Tellingly, the reshuffle is expected to be restricted to Tory ministers and MPs because Nick Clegg is said to be "happy" with his top team. Yet, in reality, the Deputy Prime Minister, weakened after disastrous local and European election results and a sixth place at the Newark by-election, would be taking a risk by moving any of his ministers. Mr Cameron will promote more female MPs into the Cabinet after repeated criticism that there are more women named Theresa with full cabinet minister status than there are women not called Theresa. Nicky Morgan, the women's minister who has been attending the Cabinet since the last shake-up earlier this year, and Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions minister, could be in line for promotion. Penny Mordaunt, the backbench MP who was described by the PM as a "real parliamentary star" last week, after her address to the Commons following the Queen's Speech brought the House down, is likely to receive a ministerial job, possibly in defence. Liz Truss, the children's minister, is overdue a promotion.

The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has been named as a possible replacement for Mr Shapps as party chairman, to help woo back voters from Ukip. But a source close to Mr Pickles says that he is "very happy" in his current role and thinks he will remain. Mr Lansley, who was demoted from health secretary to Leader of the Commons last year, is a potential candidate for Britain's choice of European Commissioner and could be sacrificed to make way for fresh faces.

Top Tories said that Mr Paterson is "very nervous" about his position after enduring "bad floods". Mr Paterson was criticised for his department's response to the winter deluge. One Commons source said that Mr Paterson, after a meeting with farmers, told a backbench Tory MP that it went well and asked the MP if he could "tell David" – suggesting that the backbencher had greater access to the Prime Minister than the Secretary of State.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments