Cabinet reshuffle

Why has Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor?

Why has Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor? Because he wanted his political advisers to be his own courtiers and servants, as is the tradition, and not those of Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief aide. To the contrary, Johnson agreed with Cummings that Javid’s current special advisers should be dismissed and replaced with new advisers who would answer and report to Cummings. The PM and Cummings believe the success of the government in these challenging times require Downing Street and the Treasury to act, as far as possible, as one seamless unit. According to one of Johnson’s close colleagues, the current Prime Minister admires how Cameron and Osborne acted as

Geoffrey Cox hedges his bets on the eve of the reshuffle

A good barrister will always keep his options open. And the Attorney General, Sir Geoffrey Cox, has the letters Q and C at the end of his name, so he must be a good barrister. During an event this morning Cox laid out the case both for his continuation as Attorney General, while also hyping himself up as a potential chair of the government’s upcoming constitutional review. He told the crowd: Have I had enough of the job [of AG]? let me make plain, absolutely not. This has been one of the greatest – in fact, thegreatest – honour of my political life… If you gave me the opportunity to

Portrait of the week | 11 January 2018

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, tried to shuffle her cabinet, but Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, refused to become Business Secretary and stayed put with the words ‘Social Care’ added to his title. Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, had ‘Housing’ tacked on to his. Justine Greening spent three hours with Mrs May and emerged without her job as Education Secretary, having turned down Work and Pensions, which went to Esther McVey. David Lidington was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, taking over tasks that had been performed by Damian Green, and was replaced as the sixth Justice Secretary in six years by David Gauke, the first solicitor to

James Forsyth

May’s three great weaknesses

‘They are not as strong as they thought they were,’ one Whitehall source remarked to me on Monday night as he contemplated the fallout from Theresa May’s attempt to reshuffle the cabinet. No. 10 had come to believe that a successful Budget and ‘sufficient progress’ in the Brexit talks meant that much of May’s political authority had been restored. This emboldened them to think that she could now pull off a proper reshuffle, something Gavin Williamson had regularly cautioned against when he was chief whip. But a reshuffle that was meant to confirm the Prime Minister’s return to political health has ended up highlighting her three biggest weaknesses. The first

Parliament’s next crisis: a dangerous shortage of middle-aged men

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”James Forsyth and Paul Goodman discuss why so many MPs are leaving the Commons” startat=873] Listen [/audioplayer]The House of Commons is off for the summer. But few MPs and ministers expect to make it through to September without the House being recalled because of the grim international situation. This has been the worst year for the West in foreign policy terms since 1979. A terrorist enclave has been established in the heart of the Middle East, Iraq has confirmed its status as an Iranian vassal state, Russia has annexed Crimea with minimal consequences and the West has not even been able to come up with a robust response

David Cameron’s misogynistic reshuffle

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Louise Mensch and Martha Gill discuss the reshuffle” startat=54] Listen [/audioplayer]Ask anyone who really knows David Cameron and they will tell you he likes a certain kind of woman. He has a very specific type, the Prime Minister. It is almost spooky the way all his women conform to it. They are all attractive, accomplished, articulate and well-dressed. But there is something else that makes certain women irresistible to Mr Cameron. While giving the appearance of being feisty and uncompromising, his sort of woman usually seems to know when to fall into line. I am not speaking of romantic conquests, but of the type of woman the Prime

James Forsyth

Gove, gone

‘There’s no shame in a cabinet to win the next election,’ declared an exasperated senior No. 10 figure on Tuesday night. This week’s reshuffle was not one for the purists: it was designed with campaigning, not governing, in mind. With less than ten months to go to polling day, politics trumps policy. This is why Michael Gove is moving from the Department for Education to become Chief Whip. The test of this shake-up will be whether the Tories win the next election or not. This reshuffle demonstrated that Tory modernisation is not about measures anymore but men — and women. The party has spent most of David Cameron’s leadership trying