Tuesday, 9 January 2018

UK PM Theresa May's Cabinet Reshuffle Plan In Disarray



United Kingdom Mrs Theresa May’s new year reshuffle was thrown off course when senior members of the cabinet refused to move and Justine Greening quit the government after turning down a job as work and pensions secretary.

Earlier, Jeremy Hunt rejected a new position as business secretary and instead persuaded the prime minister to allow him to remain at health in a beefed-up role taking on more responsibility for social care.
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That meant that a planned move for Greg Clark did not go ahead, and he instead remained at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The result was a less dramatic shake-up than planned on a day that began with a social media gaffe in which the Conservatives’ official Twitter feed wrongly congratulated Chris Grayling for becoming party chair. In fact, Patrick McLoughlin was replaced by Brandon Lewis, the Great Yarmouth MP, and Grayling remained as transport secretary.

Greening spent more than two hours inside No 10 before refusing to take up a role at the helm of the Department for Work and Pensions and being removed as education secretary.

The Putney MP’s resistance followed days of newspaper reports suggesting she was facing the sack. A government source said: “Justine was offered DWP but declined to take it. The prime minister is disappointed but respects her decision to leave government.”

Greening, who is seen as on the modernising wing of the Conservative party, was praised by the party’s leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, and backbencher, Heidi Allen.

Davidson said she was sorry to see the minister go

Allen said she was “bitterly disappointed” for her colleague, adding: “A dreadful shame we have lost such a progressive, listening, compassionate woman from government”.
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Another Tory MP, speaking anonymously, told the Guardian it was a “dreadful error to let her go”, adding: “May gives in to the boys but effectively sacks a woman born and raised in Rotherham, who went to the local comprehensive, who is bright and more than able, and who won a marginal seat beating Labour – oh, and she happens to be in a same sex relationship.”

Supporters of Greening argued that she had worked hard to improve the party’s popularity with teachers, among whom support had slumped in recent years, and had focused heavily on technical education and social mobility.

According to allies, Greening wanted to remain in position, focusing on young people, rather than take up her fourth secretary of state role. She tweeted that it had been an “honour and privilege” to serve since 2010 and would continue focusing on “equality of opportunity for young people”. The MP who represents Putney, a London constituency with a young electorate that voted heavily to remain in the EU referendum, is likely to be outspoken on re-engaging with younger voters and on the question of Brexit.

Her departure came after one senior Tory told the Guardian that Greening had been seen as too close to the teaching trade unions and resistant to the party’s education policies. Another figure claimed she had been thought of as overly vocal and critical during cabinet meetings.

Source:The Guardian (UK)

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