Will Lansley swap jobs with Hammond?
My understanding is that David Cameron doesn't want to do a ministerial reshuffle this spring or summer. He values continuity, and would like to leave his first big reshuffle until the spring of 2012. That would mean that every minister had been given two years to show his worth, and therefore less humiliation for those who are sacked.
The big, big problem, though, is health. Especially if Andrew Lansley has to make big changes to his reorganisation of the NHS. And if the polls still suggest the Tories are in huge trouble on the issue.
One idea being mooted among Conservative MPs today, and perhaps being considered in Downing Street, is a simple straight swap - between Lansley and the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.
Hammond is considered a safe pair or hands, good on TV (as his should be after his numerous appearances in the past), and likely to master the technical detail and economics of NHS reorganisation. And moving Lansley to Transport would avoid humiliation for a colleague for whom David Cameron has had huge respect since they worked together in the Conservative Research Department twenty years ago.
Such a swap could be presented as part of a new, fresh approach to health.
It would also avoid the kind of extensive reshuffle which will be quite difficult in a Coalition, and which Cameron wants to avoid for now.
But would it be a good idea to out the somewhat discredited Lansley in charge of another hot potato, the High Speed Rail Link.
Another possibility for the Health Secretary is simple to replace Lansley with the Culture Secretary. "Jeremy's got very little to do these days, except swanning around at sporting and cultural events," says a senior government source. "He's made the big decisions now, on the BBC and Sky. Give him health, and then we'll really see what he's made of."