Cabinet Reshuffle: David Davis keeps Brexit Secretary role

Cabinet Reshuffle: David Davis keeps Brexit Secretary role

The Prime Minister said she wanted to lead the Conservatives into the next general election - due to take place in 2022 - saying: "I'm not a quitter".

Monday's cabinet reshuffle tore back the curtains, revealing the prime minister's diminished authority in the cold, unforgiving light of a January morning.

Hamstrung by her inability to move the "big beasts" and constrained by the need to preserve the fragile balance of power over Brexit around her Cabinet table, the United Kingdom prime minister largely stuck to the status quo, keeping the figures - or in Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the most beastly figure from the vantage point of 10 Downing Street - who have made her life so hard these past 18 months in power. It began when her de facto deputy and longest standing ally, Damian Green, resigned following allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Downing Street has also announced that Jeremy Hunt, whose role was the subject of particular scrutiny, has been given the expanded brief of health and social care secretary, while Greg Clark remains as business secretary.

May's Conservative party meanwhile was widely mocked for wrongly tweeting the name of a new chairman, only to delete it and later announce Lewis to the job.

There will also be a reshuffle among the middle-ranking and junior ministerial roles.

"No wonder Theresa May's struggling to negotiate Brexit - she can't even organise a reshuffle", opposition Labour MP Stephen Kinnock swiftly tweeted.

Education Secretary Justine Greening is at risk of a demotion as is Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom
Education Secretary Justine Greening is at risk of a demotion as is Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom

The reshuffle "allows a new generation of gifted ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole UK", May said in a statement.

May's room for manoeuvre is limited by heading a minority government and the need to maintain a delicate Cabinet balance of eurosceptic and pro-European ministers as major Brexit decisions loom.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, McLoughlin said he felt it was the right time to leave the Cabinet "as we discussed some months ago". One minister said: "I feel sorry for Steve".

Negotiations on a transition deal begin this month, while the toughest talks, on Britain's future relationship with the European Union including trade, are set to start in March. David Lidington, the justice secretary, replaced Green on Monday but was not given Green's title of first secretary of state.

In a blow, her Minister for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, stepped down because of ill-health.

Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, kept his job at the foreign office, despite challenging May's strategy in 2017, as did fellow eurosceptic Liam Fox, the worldwide trade minister.

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