Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

British PM's cabinet reshuffle marred by resignation

British PM's cabinet reshuffle marred by resignation

British Prime Minister Theresa May began reshuffling her leadership team Monday in a bid to reboot her Conservative Party after a bungled election past year.

More women and ethnic minority MPs were appointed to junior ministerial positions in a move May said was aimed at making the government look "more like the country it serves". The idea is to promote new figures from Conservative Party and convey impression that, despite disastrous last months, Theresa May continues to command and be authoritative.

But he will fill in for Mrs May at Prime Minister's Questions and take on some of the responsibilities for chairing influential Cabinet committees, including some relating to Brexit.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who favours the United Kingdom remaining in the single market and customs union, said Mr Davis's words were "extraordinary" given the government had set aside £3.7bn to prepare the United Kingdom for the possibility of leaving without an agreement.

May's most eye-catching move was the revamp of the personnel at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.

James Cleverly, a prominent Brexiteer and friend of Boris Johnson who was only elected to parliament in 2015, was made Lewis' deputy. "And the second thing was to try to put in the domestic departments - the departments that are not dealing directly with the withdrawal from the European Union - put in people that would drive forward her domestic agenda", he said.


Her comments came as Downing Street sources indicated she would begin her expected reshuffle amid reports that a series of senior ministers are set to be axed or moved.

Labour has started the new year attacking her government's handling of the crisis-hit health service and railways.

The reorganization will extend through Tuesday, when there could be a clutch of new mid-ranking ministers, commentators said.

The reshuffle also saw the unexpected departure of Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire, who quit the Government on grounds of ill-health weeks ahead of major surgery for a small lesion to his right lung. Instead of the wholesale cabinet clearout she had planned if she had increased her majority - chucking out the chancellor, Philip Hammond, among others - she just brought her old friend Green closer to her side as first secretary, and gave Michael Gove the environment job.

"The big challenge for them is to reach out to that elusive youth vote which has eluded the Conservative Party in the past, which Labour did a very good job of engaging with and crucially getting out to vote during the election".

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