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Miss Greening - a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow - has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development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

MOVING JOBS

  • 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.

NEW FACES AND DEPARTURES

  • 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.

STAYING PUT

  • 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
    +3

    Comment number 630.

    The media have not sufficiently appreciated the extent to which Lansley had to back-off on his NHS reforms. He managed to spend a lot paying off people subsequently rehired and much of the bureaucratic structure is still in place with new bits added. Lansley not only useless at communicating his reform but actually produced little and wasted a lot of scarce resources.

  • rate this
    +37

    Comment number 629.

    Will all this shuffling around make any difference? I doubt it very much. It is all just smoke and mirrors and gives the media something to gossip about! Address the basics - we are broke and in serious debt. That is what really concerns me.

  • rate this
    +47

    Comment number 628.

    Jeremy Hunt is now Health Secretary. This means Sky+ HD is coming to a hospital bed near you soon.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 627.

    588. ConnorMacLeod
    The fact that no other country was willing to sell their gold reserves should surely tell you something...
    +++
    Labour may of sold the Gold but it not as bad as selling off whats left of the family silver!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 626.

    I honestly think that part of the reshuffle should include the PM being replaced by Coco the Clown. I think the new PM would do a better job. Who is this supposed to fool, no one voted for this dire government no one has any faith in this dire government, it only represents the top tier of the electorate. If you earn less then 100k a year they couldn't care any less about you. new faces same brief

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 625.

    "Hunt" by name, "Hunt" by nature.

    This will be the death of our once-great NHS.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 624.

    Lansley goes but changes stay. Nothing for the NHS, it's still on life support & fading fast.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 623.

    Parliament hasn't really recovered from the expenses scandal and this reshuffle proves it. These people are still being rewarded with top jobs whereas common or garden benefit cheats go to jail. What's true for politicians is also true in finance, media etc. There's big time corruption in this country.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 622.

    588.ConnorMacLeod
    ==
    Brown cocked up on selling the gold, Lamont cocked up on Black Wednesday.
    Bankers and Traders around the world methodically and systematically manipulated financial instruments to fleece Governments and investors (+Pensions and Savings) of 100's of Billions of dollars. Economic collapse being an unfortunate by-product.
    Whose the really villains in all this?

  • rate this
    +27

    Comment number 621.

    What does the odious rich boy Hunt know about the National Health Service and what qualifies him to take a lead in advancing it? He couldn't even manage to export marmalade to Japan and the duplicitous slimy business re. the News International emails still rankles with many fair-minded citizens. You cannot trust a guy like that.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 620.

    34. Redish_Mike “Why do all politicians naturally assume that the electorate is thick?”

    Probably because the majority of the electorate in a seat voted for them!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 619.

    Jeremy Hunt hardly seems robust enough for Culture Sec never mind Health.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 618.

    When the only cards you have in your deck are a bunch of knaves, then however you shuffle them, you are never going to deal a winning hand. I despair of all our politicians who are all too engaged in dogmatic politics, self-interest, croneyism and spin to run this country selflessly and for the benefit of its citizens.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 617.

    Forget comparing this cabinet shuffle with ‘Titanic’, it’s starting to look more like ‘Goodfellas’ with the storyline of ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.’
    There’s a little bit of the ‘Teletubbies’ thrown in for good measure too, yes Osborne, I’m talking to you.

    This’ll never make it big in the box office.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 616.

    The only experience Hunt has with the NHS is by putting people in hospital by randomly throwing bells at them.

  • Comment number 615.

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

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 614.

    Hunt will doubtless replace our NHS with an expensive, selective, private monopoly of 'NHS' hospitals run by Murdoch and his chums by 2020.

    Don't rely on the Health Service now, there will be all sorts of shady contracts and backhanders now this corrupt buffoon is in charge!

    You should have known he was going to Health given all the TV coverage of the clown jogging this morning!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 613.

    Don't fall for the con-dems line about the debt being on the national credit card- it's not; it's the national mortage. My personal debt (mortgage) is much higher than my gdp (salary) but it's easily paid off over the long term at low interest rates. The debts were run up trying to undo 18 years of the last tory cuts, and then bailing out the holy cow that was the city.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 612.

    It is easy to point the finger at this goverment but who put them in power?? I think labour gave plenty of warning during the last elections but the finger was obviously pointing to them that time... keep on pointing!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 611.

    Monkey musical chairs,no more no less.
    Same old same as per usual,why the fuss nothing will change for the better anyway.

 

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