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Miss Greening - a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow - has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development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 570.

    Jeremey Hunt is back in the cabinet?!

    What a farce!

    I suppose he will be joining all the other Jeremy Hunts currently in the cabinet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 569.

    This is surely the longest reshuffle in history; so much conjecture, opinion and theorising, with ‘official’ hints over the past few days it’s very hard to tell the difference between real, and imaginary – It’s of huge interest in the ‘Westminster Village’ but for the rest of us simple souls, can’t you just wait until the dust settles and tell us what’s *actually* happened?

  • rate this

    Comment number 568.

    514 damage done to nhs well done,here's a promotion....done what they wanted ......IDS ...let's clear the rich areas of poor people.....
    All in this together
    Let's get Labour back in......they will help the working man? Or will they ....Blair is hardly down to his last penny.....union leaders all on a couple of hundred thousand a year.......

  • rate this

    Comment number 567.

    Surprised to see no cabinet post for Gerry Mander this time round, although he's always there in the background.

    IDS still in welfare, well that's just like saying Cameron does the leadership and Osbourne does the maths.

    2.5 million unemployed minus 0 jobs, anyone got a calculator, sorry equals things are moving in the right direction!

  • rate this

    Comment number 566.

    It will be difficult to find any one as out of touch,incompetent and frankly despised by the vast majority Health care professionals as wrecker Lansley but I am sure the Tories will manage this almost impossible "achievement"
    Watch this space!

    Part 2
    Jeremy Hunt the impossible is achieved!
    The Tories never fail to disappoint.

    Maybe He can sell the NHS to News Corp?

  • rate this

    Comment number 565.

    To Stroud and proud. 'Cut and cut again' like a thrifty housewife is hardly applicable to a modern sophisticated economy; the proof is in the fact that we are in a double dip recession since the ConDems took office. The main priority should be getting people back into work so that they will spend their wages buying goods made by other workers, i.e an upward spiral, e.g. Keynesian Economics

  • rate this

    Comment number 564.

    No suprise that Osbourne stays put as DC can't afford to have him upset - of course the fact that he has shown absolutely no talent whatsoever for dealing with the economic mess is an irrelevant. DC has rewarded his mates - Jeremy Hunt who he knew was in bed with News Corp, made him the man to deal with their take over of Sky - now he's given him health to wreck further! Heavan help us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 563.

    I hope this government can stop its pandering to minority vested interests, and the media can stop blowing stories out of proportion.

    I presume you mean vested interests like the banks

  • rate this

    Comment number 562.

    As predicted by many "Plan A" is failing and in a desperate bid to look as if he is doing something about it Cameron hosts a game of musical chairs. This is a government without vision, without understanding and without a clue. Same old self-serving Tories, ideological cuts, no compassion, no caring and at every opportunity blame Labour

  • rate this

    Comment number 561.

    Direction comes from the top. That's where changes are needed, starting with Osborne. So many banana skin slip ups by so many at the top, moving people lower down won't change a thing. And if David Laws comes in- proof that we have not cleared the rot from the roots of our government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 560.

    Looks like a sideways move for Hunt.
    From the Department of Stricly Come Dancing to the Department of Strictly Go Private

  • rate this

    Comment number 559.

    Personally speaking from a politically open perspective (having voted red, blue, yellow and green), this Coalition Government should be making progress from this coming year.
    I think the first two years after a change of party is enough time to install their own priorities/reforms for the remainder of the parliamentary duration.
    Now is the time to start turning things around

  • rate this

    Comment number 558.

    Camerons Britain resembles China if my inoffensive remarks about Jeremy Hunt have been removed due to someone being 'upset' or offended by them. People need to get a grip. This man is a buffoon - as others have said and a dangerous extremist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 557.

    So they're getting rid of two of the best (Clarke and Warsi), keeping two of the worst (Gove and Osborne), and promoting perhaps the worst (Hunt).

  • rate this

    Comment number 556.

    513. "The one change we desperately need is Vince Cable replacing George Osborne as Chancellor. Sadly, that won't happen."

    Nah, Cable should defect to Labour where he might actually have some influence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 555.

    195. Stroud and proud “At least cutting spending on benefits is doing SOMETHING to try and balance the books.”

    Closing tax loopholes to ensure that the rich pay a FAIR SHARE of tax on their income would do a lot, lot more to balance the books and have less impact on the needy and be a much better move, but they won’t do that because it would hit them and their donors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 554.

    Mark my words - it will not make one iota of difference! These cabinet ministers are all deluded and know not what they do. Now, banning big donations to political parties and purging the senior civil service of decadent dross might make a difference.

  • rate this

    Comment number 553.

    Feels a bit like Eastenders - half a dozen characters go on holiday - and when they get back, they've had a total body transplant. Plot remains the same, though...

  • rate this

    Comment number 552.

    David "Is it because I is different" Laws is back? I suppose it's heartwarming really - a sign our dear leaders believe in rehabilitation of offenders.

  • rate this

    Comment number 551.

    @263 "Bring back Blair. At least the man had spine. Best PM since Thatcher."

    Blair was the WORST PM since Thatcher. Whatever he may have achieved as PM was totally negated by waging war on Iraq, against the wishes of the people.
    Thatcher tore apart the very fabric of our society and engendered the 'me! me! me!' mentality that has brought us to our current sorry plight.


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