Tories grab monopoly of posts in the Home Office

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Indy Politics

Tories have secured all the key posts in the Home Office in a signal that David Cameron is determined not to give ground to his Liberal Democrat partners over law and order and immigration. The day after Theresa May was appointed Home Secretary, it was announced that her three most senior ministers would also be Conservatives. Nick Herbert became the Police minister, Damian Green the Immigration minister and Baroness Neville-Jones the Security minister.

But Liberal Democrats were appointed to prominent posts in other Whitehall departments. They included Sarah Teather, who became the most senior female Liberal Democrat member of the Government when she was made an Education minister.

Five other Liberal Democrats were appointed ministers of state, the second tier of government. Steve Webb, who was work and pensions spokesman, takes up the same portfolio in government under Iain Duncan Smith – a combination of Liberal Democrat left and Tory right that could prove explosive.

Jeremy Browne, a former Treasury spokesman, will serve under William Hague at the Foreign Office. He is one of the few Eurosceptics among Liberal Democrat MPs. Nick Harvey, who was defence spokesman, became Armed Forces minister; Paul Burstow, the party's former chief whip, goes to the Department of Health; and the Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally was appointed to the Ministry of Justice.

By assuming the immigration portfolio, Mr Green took charge of one of the areas that most divide the Tories and Liberal Democrats. In the coalition negotiations, the Tories demanded that the Liberal Democrats drop support for an amnesty for illegal immigrants who had been in the country for more than 10 years, and insisted on an annual cap on migrant workers from outside the European Union.

Mr Herbert, who was the shadow Environment Secretary, was on course for a cabinet post before the establishment of the coalition. He has received some consolation by being handed the policing job, one of the most influential posts outside the Cabinet. He will take charge of reforming the police, beginning with a drive to reduce the amount of paperwork officers have to complete. He will also steer through legislation to establish a system of directly elected individuals to oversee local police forces.

He is the first gay Police minister – an irony as Chris Grayling's pre-election hopes of becoming Home Secretary were dashed by secretly taped remarks supporting the right of bed-and-breakfast owners to bar gay guests. Mr Grayling has been made a minister of state in the Department of Work and Pensions.

Baroness Neville-Jones, the former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, was handed the security portfolio that she held in opposition.

Greg Clark, who had been in the Shadow Cabinet, was made a minister in the Department for Communities, where Grant Shapps joined him as Housing minister. No Liberal Democrat has been appointed to the department, which is headed by Eric Pickles.

Theresa Villiers, who had been shadow Transport Secretary, had to accept the number two post in the Department of Transport. Justine Greening, one of the Tories' fastest-rising female stars, was appointed to the Treasury as Economic Secretary.

The departmental line-up was completed by Mark Hoban, who was made Financial Secretary, and David Gauke, who was made Exchequer Secretary.