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Miss Greening - a strong opponent of a new runway at Heathrow - has been replaced by former Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin after less than a year in the job and will take over the lower-profile role as International Development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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  • Comment number 1290.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1289.

    Go out and do something about it? How do you stop the ping pong duopoly of Labour and Conservative governments without Proportional Representation? The stupid population rejected that as being too hard to understand. This lot are just as clueless as the previous lot, just like Nero fiddling as Rome burns! Without PR and an exit from the EU, this country's on an express elevator - going DOWN!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1288.

    Very difficult to cover this t*rd in glitter....

  • rate this

    Comment number 1287.


    Which budget would you take the £20,000 off? NHS, pensions, soldiers' kit?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1286.

    haha my post got deleted for saying the coalition are a bunch of lobbyists, well they are, you can censor that as well, lib-dems got massive donations from alpha care a private health company, it's still the truth, look at the NHS, sold off to their private friends, we aren't that stupid, it's plain to see.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1285.


    Engaging in this political system is pointless.

    Last election was a choice between three people I wouldn't put in charge of opening a can of beans. Party politics doesn't work, all MPs should be independent.

    Worthless system we have, producing awful governments over and over again. Suggesting people should join this wheel of garbage is a very poor idea indeed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1284.

    Worst economic crisis since the 1930s & what exactly are Osborne's qualifications / experience? From University straight into Tory Central Office - no proper job?! 2nd class history degree & membership of the Bullingdon Club? Incredible.

    Ultimate crony cabinet, perhaps they realise re-election isn't possible so time to slash, burn & reward friends?

    To quote 80,000 last night, booooo boooo ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 1283.

    have you forgotten Cameroons and Georges consternation of the jimmy Carr case untill somebody pointed out to him he was a trust fund recipient based in another country as was Osbourn with 25 million in the cayman islands i cant avoid tax most things i spend money on are now taxed

  • rate this

    Comment number 1282.

    tories are falling out amongst there selves, so how can they possibly run a country same old tories

  • rate this

    Comment number 1281.

    1228.Tom kennedy
    ...When is the next general election ?

    Sorry Tom, but we will all have to wait until May 2015 before we can vote this lot out - mores the pity. It would have been sooner, but this lot brought in a law to say they could stay in power for 5 years. I cannot see this re-shuffle gaining them any more votes either. Now if Dave had got rid of George, Theresa & Jeremy then maybe ....

  • rate this

    Comment number 1280.

    So goodbye Mr Lansley nd hrelo Mr Hunt. If the former was a disaster area for our NHS the new minister is an absolute nightmare.
    The prospects for our NHS are truely frightening!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1279.

    @ herecomesthe rain: It's a free country and we should be allowed to comment on what we want without reproach. We can also set our expectations to whatever level we desire, knowing that we may be sorely disappointed. Change taking along time is the mantra of an ineffective Government who promises four years and then takes 10. They should stop making those promises.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1278.

    It doesn't matter which political party is in power. Nothing will change unless people are honest and ruthless. Millions of people are not willing to do their part in our society - I am of course referring to those who have drained Government of funds i.e. benefits.

    I have a friend who worked for HMRC since leaving school, for 40 years. She said she has seen many changes, but none for the better!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1277.

    Using the analogy of the Titanic let me point out that our captain does not have a united crew other than their agreement that they are the only intelligent crew on our political ocean and they will not change course regardless of the temperature of the fiscal water nor the warnings of Icebergs ahead from the captains of every other ship. Will we need baling out or do we rush for a lifeboat now!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1276.

    The Baroness Warsi paragraph is posted twice. Check your editing, Beeb!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1275.

    Interesting times are coming. I suspect the Lib Dems will now find their voice and will block many Tory policy bills and the coalition will breakdown sooner than we think, with the Tories limping on as minority government so expect an election before 2015. Overall I think DC has made some terrible mistakes today which will ultimately prove his downfall!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1274.

    Time to get rid of this lot and give UKIP a chance. At least they give a toss about the country. All the big three have had their chance and blown it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1273.

    Cameron might be reshuffling the Cabinet, but he will not be able to win back the voters who have already shuffled off, never to return, after more than two years of shambolic coalition rule.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1272.

    If Mr Hunt had problems with reporters and editors how is he going cope with biggest and most organised trade union in this country the doctors.
    Well, Dave gave the NFU £5million to help mobilise themselves more effectively, blockades and such - perhaps Jezza will take leaf out of Dave micro notepad? Then again, what would Rupert say?

    Anyone's guess I suppose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1271.

    "Meet the new boss..same as the old boss" comes to mind.
    And bringing back a bloke who was "eventually forced" to resign because of "dodgy" expenses,smacks of jobs for the boys!
    Only 32 months to go..then we can kick them out.


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