May hails ‘fresh talent’ after reshuffle

May hails ‘fresh talent’ after reshuffle

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Downing Street

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Several new appointments were made to the government whips’ office

Theresa May has said her reshuffle makes the government look “more like the country it serves” with a “new generation” of ministers brought in.

The PM has appointed several new faces to her ministerial team.

The mostly junior ministerial appointments come after Monday’s cabinet-level changes.

These triggered the resignation of education secretary Justine Greening and were branded a “lacklustre PR exercise” by Labour.

Of Tuesday’s appointments, six men and eight women were new additions to government, including five from ethnic minorities and 11 who were elected in 2015.

Six of the women – all elected in 2015 – have been appointed as junior whips, who will be involved with enforcing party discipline.

Downing Street said that following the reshuffle there were more women attending cabinet, more female ministers and more members of the government from ethnic minorities.

Mrs May said it would allow “a new generation of gifted ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole UK”.

The latest changes include Jo Johnson being moved from his universities role to transport, and Suella Fernandes becoming a minister in the Department for Exiting the EU.

Mr Johnson had been in the firing line over the appointment of columnist Toby Young to the board of the government’s universities regulator.

The brother of Boris Johnson, a former mayor of London, he will also be the minister for London in his new role.

Among the other ministerial moves announced on Tuesday:

  • Mr Johnson was replaced by Sam Gyimah as universities minister
  • Mark Garnier lost his job as trade minister – a source said his departure was not related to recent allegations of improper conduct
  • John Hayes (transport), Philip Dunne (health) and Robert Goodwill (education) also left their posts
  • Alok Sharma moved from housing to employment
  • Dominic Raab replaced Mr Sharma as housing minister
  • Rory Stewart replaced Mr Raab as justice minister
  • Margot James, Harriet Baldwin and Caroline Dinenage become ministers of state at Culture, the Foreign Office and Health respectively
  • John Glen and Robert Jenrick join the Treasury

The most high-profile cabinet ministers all kept their jobs in the reshuffle, in which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is believed to have persuaded the PM to keep him in post with a beefed-up role rather than move him to another department.

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The reshuffled cabinet met for the first time on Tuesday

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Rory Stewart has been named as the new justice minister

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Sam Gyimah is the new universities minister

Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics, new Conservative deputy chairman James Cleverly said he was not worried about the hostile newspaper headlines generated by the reshuffle.

“Today and yesterday were about reshuffles and that always causes lots of froth and drama in the media,” he said.

“Today’s headlines are what they are – tomorrow and onwards we will be getting the really important stuff which is about what we are doing, what we are delivering in government.”

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Esther McVey has been made work and pensions secretary

In some of the key cabinet appointments on Monday:

  • Ms Greening was replaced as education secretary by Damian Hinds
  • Esther McVey was promoted to work and pensions secretary
  • Justice

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