Cabinet reshuffle: Lansley replaced by Hunt in health job


New ministers Chris Grayling, Ken Clarke, Jeremy Hunt, and Theresa Villiers on their new jobs

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Andrew Lansley has been replaced as Health Secretary by Jeremy Hunt as part of an extensive government reshuffle.

The move is a promotion for Mr Hunt, who has been under pressure for his handling of the BSkyB takeover bid.

Elsewhere, Chris Grayling replaces Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary and Transport Secretary Justine Greening is controversially moved to another role.

London Mayor Boris Johnson criticised Miss Greening's move, suggesting it heralded a rethink on aviation policy.

Miss Greening - a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow - has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development Secretary.


  • Jeremy Hunt to Health Secretary
  • Patrick McLoughlin to Transport Secretary
  • Andrew Mitchell to Chief Whip
  • Andrew Lansley to leader of the House of Commons
  • Justine Greening to International Development Secretary
  • Owen Paterson to Environment Secretary
  • Ken Clarke to Minister without Portfolio
  • Baroness Warsi to Foreign Office minister
  • Damian Green to police minister. Mark Harper to immigration minister
  • Mark Hoban to employment minister. Michael Fallon to business minister
  • Mark Prisk to housing minister. Lib Dem Norman Lamb to care services minister

Unlike Miss Greening, Mr McLoughlin - who was a transport minister under Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major - is said to have "no baggage" over Heathrow expansion.

Mr Johnson said the development was a sign the government may rethink its approach to new air capacity in the south of England.

He described her as a "first-rate transport secretary" and said her opposition to Heathrow expansion was the "only possible" reason for the change and promised to fight this all the way.

The reshuffle is the Prime Minister David Cameron's first major restructuring since the Conservative-Lib Dem government came to power in 2010.

The changes have not affected key figures such as Chancellor George Osborne, Home Secretary Theresa May or Foreign Secretary William Hague - who will all remain in their posts.

Education Secretary Michael Gove and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith will also stay in their jobs, with Downing Street saying it wanted these "strong reformers" to continue their work.

'Huge task'

The BBC understands Mr Duncan Smith was offered the job of Justice Secretary but turned it down.

Those leaving the government in the shake-up include Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and Commons leader Sir George Young.

Among notable promotions, Maria Miller and Theresa Villiers join the cabinet as Culture Secretary and Northern Ireland Secretary and Housing Minister Grant Shapps becomes Tory Party co-chairman.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the changes at health, transport and justice were intended to address perceived Conservative weaknesses in the long run-up to an election scheduled for 2015.


  • Chris Grayling to Justice Secretary
  • Theresa Villiers to Northern Ireland Secretary
  • Maria Miller to Culture Secretary (also brief for women's' and equalities issues)
  • David Jones to Welsh Secretary
  • Grant Shapps to Conservative Party chairman
  • Oliver Heald to Solicitor General
  • Caroline Spelman, Cheryl Gillan, Sir George Young, Edward Garnier, Gerald Howarth, Crispin Blunt, Nick Herbert and Tim Loughton are all leaving office
  • Lib Dem David Laws back as education minister
  • Lib Dem ministers Sarah Teather, Paul Burstow and Nick Harvey are standing down

Speaking outside No 10, Mr Hunt said he was "incredibly honoured" to take charge of the Department of Health.

"It is a huge task and the biggest privilege of my life," he told the BBC.

Mr Lansley, the architect of controversial reforms to the NHS in England, has effectively been demoted to the more junior role of leader of the House of Commons.

Mr Clarke also takes a lesser role as minister without portfolio in the Cabinet Office, where he will act as a government "wise head" offering advice to Mr Cameron on issues including economic strategy.

He has been replaced by employment minister Chris Grayling, who was shadow home secretary before the 2010 election and is regarded as being to the right of Mr Clarke on justice issues.

Mr Clarke denied the move was a humiliation and he was "pleasantly surprised" to remain in cabinet.

He added: "At my age you do occasionally have to step down from a heavy departmental role before you suddenly realise you can no longer quite handle it."

Start Quote

What the prime minister has done is fired and hired, like any business leader, to attempt to address some of the weaknesses. ”

End Quote

Among other changes, former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson becomes the new Environment Secretary, while Wales Office minister David Jones has been promoted to Welsh Secretary.

Baroness Warsi has lost her job as Conservative Party co-chairman but will continue to attend cabinet in the dual role of Foreign Office minister and minister for faith and communities.

Below cabinet level, Solicitor General Edward Garnier, defence minister Gerald Howarth, prisons minister Crispin Blunt and Children's minister Tim Loughton have all been axed, while policing minister Nick Herbert has resigned after reportedly turning down a move to the Department for the Environment, Food and Regional Affairs.

But Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 organising committee, will be given a peerage and become a Treasury minister. Treasury minister Chloe Smith moves to the Cabinet Office. She is replaced by Sajid Javid.

'No change'

All five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers, including Business Secretary Vince Cable, will remain in their posts.

But there are changes lower down the Lib Dem ranks. Former cabinet minister David Laws - who resigned over his expenses in 2010 - has returned to the government as a junior education minister.

He replaces Sarah Teather, who is leaving the government - along with Lib Dem care services minister Paul Burstow and defence minister Nick Harvey.

But there are promotions for Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson, both close to Mr Clegg. Jeremy Browne moves from the Foreign Office to the Home Office.


  • Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
  • Chancellor George Osborne
  • Foreign Secretary William Hague
  • Home Secretary Theresa May
  • Education Secretary Michael Gove
  • Defence Secretary Philip Hammond
  • Business Secretary Vince Cable
  • Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander
  • Energy Secretary Ed Davey
  • Scottish Secretary Michael Moore
  • Communities Secretary Eric Pickles
  • Attorney General Dominic Grieve

Pressure has been growing on Mr Cameron in recent months, with several Conservative MPs accusing the coalition of not doing enough to promote economic growth.

In response to Tuesday's changes, backbencher Peter Bone said Mr Cameron seemed to be "listening to his party" and the new team had a more "traditional look".

But Labour said there would be no change in economic policy with George Osborne remaining in place.

"This is the no-change reshuffle," said shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher.

He added: "This reshuffle isn't a fresh start - it's more of the same from an out-of-touch and failing government that stands up for the wrong people."

Other Conservative appointments so far include:

Hugo Swire - Foreign Office minister

Damian Green - policing minister

Matthew Hancock - business and education minister

Michael Fallon - business minister

Daniel Poulter - health minister

Anna Soubry - health minister

Philip Dunne - defence minister

Helen Grant - justice minister

Jeremy Wright - justice minister

Stephen Hammond - transport minister

John Hayes - education minister

Elizabeth Truss - education minister

Esther McVey - work and pensions minister


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  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    I don't really think that until banks start lending money and give savers and pensioners a decent return, it doesn't matter who the CoE is or what economic policies are in place, the economy will stay where it is
    We have ISAs and other savings and were expecting to go out and spend the proceeds after 3-4 yrs, thus putting money back into the economy.
    But we won't be bothering

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    A change may be as good as a rest, but it's change we need, not the rest.
    It won't make a blind bit of difference, the haves will, er, have their say and the havenots will not, so the three tier society will remain.

    We need caring forward thinking politicians, innovators like Nye Bevan not crass self serving egoists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    Is this the Labour Party's official blog page, any opportunity to rubbish the official government of this county of ours from the No Hope Party of incompetence circa Blair, Brown etc. They do not wish to back to spend - spend - spend do they ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    Re-shuffles always seem to happen to governments when they know they're out of ideas and are heading to electoral defeat.

    We don't need a re-shuffle, we need a serious strategy beyond cutting to get not only our own economy but the EU and the rest of the world moving forward again in confidence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    One of the problems facing the PM is rather unusual. None of the major players in the cabinet has actually done anything too wrong in the last two years. Most have been steady successes. You cannot "sacrifice" any of those, so mid-rank tinkering is all that is available. This will not satisfy the media vampires or the Noddies of the opposition

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.


    You are becoming on of the economic fools!
    This isn't a 1930's style depression as you state because a 'depression' severely affects the living standards of most of the population.
    The underlying UK economy is strong with good British people keeping it going - if this is so bad, I'm surprised you're still 'here' & havn't run off to 'sunny Brussels'

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    Is the "have your say" section of the BBC become directly linked to the lib dem fan club. As soon as you say anything even slightly derogative about the Liberals it gets pounced on and poo pooed instantly. I'm pretty sure the mood of the nation is not actually in favour of the conservatives, Labour or lib dems but to be honest I dont think they actually trust any political party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    Rumour has it that Greening is going at Transport.
    Nor surprising after the fiasco over the West Coast Main Line or the blocking of the 3rd Heathrow runway (which may not go ahead anyway!). This is a department where they definitely do need a change in my view - it's also crucial to the economic recovery!

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    I agree with Nick Clegg when he says:"the reshuffle is all about boosting economic growth.". True this is all about Cameron stuffing the Govt with multi-millionaires, who are looking after their own "economic growth". I bet most of them end up on the Boards of Cos they have awarded contracts to in Govt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    The government should accept the following;
    People won't go to work if they get less money than they do by staying unemployed.
    Profitable companies don't help the economy by giving big pay rises and bonuses to tax avoiders, while making txpayers redundant.
    The private sector isn't intersted in helping the UK unless it makes a profit.
    The public sector isn't full of overpaid skivers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    When you reshuffle a pack of cards You have still got the same cards inside, it's the same with this government, you can reshuffle as much as you like but a Tory will always be a Tory and the lib dems will always be its lapdog.

    The only people that like this government is the very people it protects and that's the rich and upper middle classes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    Mr Clarke will act as a Government "wise head" offering advice to the PM on issues including economic strategy. Where has he been then for the last two years?

    Is he cover for Osborne who has never had a proper job in his life ?Oh,sorry, he did fold towels once.

    That is all he is good for but Cameron won't sack him because he is one of the Bullingdon elite . A poor PM and a poor Chancellor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    Its really simple...spend UK money on UK goods ...get rid of 90% of the civil service.

    Running a country is far from simple. Spending on UK goods sounds like a good idea - but it discourages competition, so goods end up being more expensive and company efficiency declines.
    Trim the civil service gradually - a 90% cut would simply dump too many on the dole queue...

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    Oh dear... the 'arrogant' Mr Clarke... tin hats everyone... the 'real' Tory boy leader steps back into the limelight... now we are all 'really' going to suffer!

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    He'll be mad if he doesn't move Gove elsewhere, he has zero support from teachers and head teachers which is something a minister need to effect any kind of change.

    -Move Him to Health then He can be despised by Dr's and Nurses too! Mind you it would be difficult to exceed the level of incompetency,ineptitude and enmity already achieved by Wrecker Lansley but if any one can Gove can.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    To everyone who has said that this is "reshuffling the chairs on the titanic", or "we need a change in economic policy" - what do you recommend? Harping on about "change" is not very helpful. At least cutting spending on benefits is doing SOMETHING to try and balance the books. Would you prefer we just carry on as we were? It's debt that's sinking the titanic, and at least they've GOT a plan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    GDP is now below the level it was when the coalition took power such is the inability of George Osbourne to understand economics. Cameron has a stark choice, go down with Osbourne or fire him and save his government. I suspect it will be the former.

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Just get a Justice Secretary that will ditch the Eurostasi Court of Lawyers Rights."

    I guess the irony oozing from that post is lost on you. To make it clear, the Stasi were not renowned upholders of individual freedoms and liberties, of judicial process, of press freedom, right to privacy, life, freedom from torture, slavery etc. However, if you wish to remove them you're Stasi like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    Well they didnt care about the electorate before, so theres no reason to think they will now.

    This reshuffle is purely to keep the back bench tories happy. Party politics once again beats public needs - even if that means a fraudster like Laws becomes a cabinet minister

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    Grant Shapps made it clear on Daily Politics that he believes firms should be allowed to sack employees whose faces don't quite fit.

    Is that why he is being tipped to replace Baroness Warsi?


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