Today was expected to be the day of Prime Minister May’s sweeping reshuffle of her cabinet. While some lower down positions within the cabinet have changed hands, the majority of the high-profile posts have remained largely unchanged.
The first announcement from Downing Street was that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire was stepping down from his post due to ill-health.
Following a hastily deleted tweet from CCHQ congratulating Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on his apparent appointment as Conservative Party Chairman, just over an hour of confusion ensued until former Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis was announced as the actual successor to Sir Patrick McLoughlin.
Shortly after, MP for Braintree James Cleverly was announced as his deputy.
Following the sacking of First Secretary of State Damian Green days before Christmas, David Lidington was today announced to be taking over Mr Green’s duties. However, he does not take the title of First Secretary but is now Minister for the Cabinet Office. It is understood that he will deputise for the Prime Minister.
After over an hour and a half inside Downing Street, it was announced that both the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Business Secretary Greg Clark were staying in their roles, with Mr Hunt also taking responsibility for social care.
Reports began to emerge that the Prime Minister’s plan was to swap Mr Hunt and Mr Clark’s roles in the cabinet, but when both resisted such a change she allowed both men to remain in the posts they already held.
Filling the void left by the promotion of David Lidington, Work & Pensions Secretary David Gauke was moved to preside over the Justice Department.
Announced to be replacing James Brokenshire as Northern Ireland Secretary was Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.
Despite the earlier confusion caused by CCHQ, Chris Grayling is staying on as Transport Secretary.
Education Secretary Justine Greening was widely expected to be a casualty of today’s reshuffle, so it came as no surprise that she was spending an exceptionally long time inside Downing Street. Reports began to emerge that Prime Minister May had attempted to move her from the Education Department to become Work & Pensions Secretary.
After refusing to move to the Department for Work & Pensions, Downing Street announced the resignation of Ms Greening from the government entirely.
Following the exit of Justine Greening, Damian Hinds was announced as the new Education Secretary.
Esther McVey accepted the role of Work & Pensions Secretary after it was turned down by Justine Greening minutes beforehand.
Two female Ministers of State, Claire Perry and Caroline Nokes, are promoted to attend cabinet in their current capacity.
Junior ministers are expecting to see a wide-scale reshuffle tomorrow (January 9).