Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Britain's May keeps big-names in front bench team in cabinet reshuffle

09 Jan 2018, 00:22 ( 9 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
British Prime Minister Theresa May (C) poses for a picture outside 10 Downing street. Xinhua/Tim Ireland.

British Prime Minister Theresa May embarked on the much trumpeted rushuffle of her team of ministers Monday.

Her big-name secretaries of state have all hung on to their jobs in May's cabinet. Philip Hammond stays on as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Boris Johnson remains Foreign Secretary while Amber Rudd stays in charge of interior matters as Home Secretary.

Also remaining in the cabinet is Brexit Secretary David Davis, a key member of May's team driving her agenda for Britain leaving the European Union.

David Lidington has replaced Damian Green as Cabinet Office Minister. Green, one of May's most trusted allies, resigned over allegations of sexual harassment.

Major changes to May's ministerial team are expected Tuesday when significant number of Conservative MPs are expected to be hired and fired as she reshapes her departmental ministers.

May is expected to fire a number of ministers to recruit more recently elected MPs as she revamps her team by wielding the axe and promoting new blood.

The prime minister started the New Year, according to one political commentator, with a cabinet of ministers with an average age of 51, around 70 percent of them male, and 96 percent of them white.

The first major change saw immigration minister Brandon Lewis promoted to chairman of the governing Conservative Party, replacing veteran politician Patrick McLoughlin. MP James Cleverly was named as the party's deputy chairman.

Earlier there was an unexpected blow for May when Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire citing health grounds for his decision.

A key May supporter, Brokenshire had not been mentioned in any of the speculative pre-reshuffle reports and had been expected to stay in his cabinet job.

He was seen as a crucial minister at Stormont where the devolved Northern Ireland assembly is currently suspended following a fall-out between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the pro-republican Sinn Fein.

The assembly has not met since last March, with Brokenshire involved in trying to broker peace between the two sides to avert a return of direct rule from Westminster over Northern Ireland.

Brokenshire said that he was set to undergo major surgery within the next few weeks for a lesion to his right lung. 


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