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Miss Greening - a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow - has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development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 590.

    I was at the Paralympics last night (excellent by the way) when George Osborne presented the medals. Yes some people booed him but in the main it was 'comedy booing' and I thought he took it all very well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 589.

    @@@ WELL as a voter i wont be voting for any of the 3 main parties I'd like to offer a chance to one of the smaller parties who seem to be much more in touch with whats happening in the uk, i want to see a goverment who understands our needs not what the EU needs also am tired of seeing the two main parties play games and laugh and joke in the commons when its OUR lives they are sat playing with

  • rate this

    Comment number 588.


    How do you know he didn't try?

    OMG ! This is what I mean about lefties and their rose tinted glasses. Why can't you accept that it was simply a very bad decision ? Will you always make excuses for incompetence ? The fact that no other country was willing to sell their gold reserves should surely tell you something...

  • rate this

    Comment number 587.

    "What I am looking for is a govt that puts growth ahead of the deficit. Believe it or not balancing the latter is not a necessary condition of the former but an impediment."

    Ah, yes, because those countries who have let their debt spiral out of control are doing so well aren't they? Whereas the likes of Germany must be rueing their government that has implemented "austerity" all along.

  • rate this

    Comment number 586.

    A re-shuffle so as to gather the nastiest for plunging the dagger further into the Welfare State and selling us off as Corporate UK. Why do the people of the UK have to be dictated to by unelected right-wing extremists? Change the constitution to safeguard against take overs and election lies. Opposition,where are you? Fight back for democracy and save our NHS! re-shuffle? Election!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 585.

    The situation the country finds it self in is a result of the previous governments total incompetence. Cameron needs to man up and cut all but absolutely necessary spending. Balls and Millipede talk as if they know exactly what should be done. If they know so much, how come they totally f%£&%d up the economy and bankrupted the country when they were in power? Come on Dave no more foot shooting

  • rate this

    Comment number 584.

    Promotion for Jeremy Hunt? The fact that David Cameron promoted this clown despite him being exposed in Leveson as being in bed with Murdoch is further proof (if it was needed) of how out of touch Oily Dave is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 583.

    Jeremy Hunt should go. I don't trust him, not one bit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 582.

    @Stroud and proud I reccommend a general election rather than a cabinet reshuffle.

  • Comment number 581.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 580.

    It's beginning to make me ill and depressed watching this farce.
    It's not the individuals involved per se, it's the type of people they are and the inevitable stable they come from. Is there no real alternative?

  • rate this

    Comment number 579.

    Useless replaced by useless, and the most useless have still got jobs!

  • rate this

    Comment number 578.

    Ken Clarke has paid the price for being a loose cannon. I'm not a Tory supporter but fair play, he's always told it like it is! I respect plain-speaking, spin-free politicians, of whatever persuasion!

  • rate this

    Comment number 577.

    These Tories follow the 80s Friedman model of outsourcing to maintain best value for consumers. The consequence of this has been the proliferation of 3rd parties ripping off Govt. Lansley is one adherent of this and has paid a price. It is to their shame that Brown and Blair did nothing to change this ideal. We must restore manufacturing and engineering; no sign of this so far with the new bodies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 576.

    Could someone tell BBC News that a shuffle is not news until it happens.

    Last night's 10 o'clock bulletin started with the reader telling us there was going to be a shuffle, then a political correspondent in a casino again told us that there was going to be a shuffle while, in the background, a croupier shuffled a pack of cards.

    "Ridiculous" really doesn't do it justice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 575.

    So let me get this straight. Jeremy Hunt has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics how is he conceivably qualified to be in charge of managing Healthcare???? Neil deGrasse Tyson said it best: "What profession are all these politicians? Law, law, law, business, law. There's no scientists. Where are the engineers? Where's the rest of life represented?"

  • Comment number 574.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 573.

    What will this reshuffle achieve? Does it give the public more confidence?! Will we spend more? Will they (the government) borrow less? Probably not. How about real policy change? Slash VAT to 10% for every £100 we will have £10 more in our pockets, to spend probably, it will boost the economy across the board!!!! fuel will become resonable so I can take the missus and kids out, to spend again!

  • rate this

    Comment number 572.

    UK PLC on hold for 72 hours, while Marketing Executive “Call Me Dave” attempts to People Spin himself out of the mire. What a farce.

    Hunt to Health, the entire staff and patients within the NHS have just sent out a collective groan. A spoilt brat in a Toy shop, god help the NHS, I can safely say we can all kiss it good bye.

  • rate this

    Comment number 571.

    I don't care that Hunt appears to be a another supercillious, pompous, foreignising, globalist sucking twerp - Can he restrict British NHS care to British kids/ workers' families & stop the international gravy train of immigrants dipping into our NHS budget? SIMPLES + dropping Lansleys nonsense reforms - that is all that matters.
    Hunt can do that given 'political will' - Cut the 'demand' & cost


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