Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reshuffle Close of Play
BoJo Goes Loco, Herbert Quits Mystery, Gove Dream Team

Dave’s first reshuffle has been far more wide-ranging than first thought, with a raft of junior ministerial positions changing hands this evening. The big news was Boris slamming the PM over his sacking of Justine Greening:

“There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow Airport. It is simply mad to build a new runway in the middle of west London. It is clear that the government wants to ditch its promises and send yet more planes over central London. The third runway would mean more traffic, more noise, more pollution – and a serious reduction in the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people. We will fight this all the way.”

Elsewhere the major surprise of the afternoon was Nick Herbert quitting as police minister to be replaced by Damian Green, someone who knows all about brushes with the law. There was reward at last for Michael Fallon, who has been made a privy counsellor and part of the BIS team apparently as a “counterweight to Vince“. Greg Clark gets a deserved job as City minister, with Liz Truss given an education post. It’s dream team territory for Michael Gove…

It is also reported that LibDem Don Foster will be made a Communities minister. Yellow sources tell Guido that Foster threw a strop when Clegg overlooked him last time round, even going as far as threatening to quit unless he was promoted. It looks as if he’s got his way…

UPDATE: Paxo claims another victim as Chloe Smith is packed off the Cabinet Office, to be replaced at the Treasury by Sajid Javid. Matt Hancock has survived the prank phone calls to land a role at BIS. Nick Boles gets planning where he will sell the government’s plans to build in the shires.

Tweets of the Reshuffle

Ken Clarke Shuffles to the Cricket

Ken Clarke, roving Minister without Portfolio, has roved over to the Oval following his demotion earlier today:

He hasn’t got anything better to do…

Adonis Condemns “All Change” at Transport
Was Third Transport Secretary in 8 Months Under Brown

Lord Adonis has been harping on at the BBC this afternoon, accusing the government of “constant chop and change” at the Department of Transport after appointing their third SoS in three years.

That’s the same Andrew Adonis that was the third Transport Secretary in eight months under Gordon Brown, indeed Labour had a grand total of seven Transport Secretaries in thirteen years. Get that man a taxi…

Afternoon Reshuffle Latest
Harvey, Burstow and Teather Out

As reported last night LibDem health minister Paul Burstow has been sacked:

Nick Harvey has announced he is leaving as Armed Forces minister, with the MoD now turning entirely Tory. Norman Lamb gets the health job he has always wanted, while Jo Swinson replaces him at BIS. Sarah Teather is leaving the government to fight for her seat. She’s not laughing now…

Meanwhile the first meeting of Dave’s new cabinet will be held tomorrow afternoon. Pull up some extra chairs…

One Laws for Them

In June 2010 Guido wrote:

David Laws may be a great political talent, may be a decent man and may have had his sex life unfairly revealed to the world. Guido doesn’t dispute his merits. Nevertheless, none of this trumps the fact that he took taxpayers’ money to pay his boyfriend’s rent on the quiet.

Mark Pack and Iain Dale wail that it is so unfair and it will drive good people out of politics. No it isn’t.

We should be harder on the misdameanours of politicians than we are on welfare benefits fraudsters, instead time after time they get told to apologise and not do it again or to just pay the ill-gotten gains back and carry on as if nothing had happened.  If you opt for public life you lose some rights to privacy, if you take taxpayers’ money from the public we have an absolute right to know how it is spent down to every last penny. Because legislators make the law it is surely right that we demand the highest standards from them, law-makers can’t be law breakers. If you don’t think you can merit the public’s trust beyond reproach, maybe public service isn’t for you.

Today David Laws is going to the Department of Education as a Minister rather than prison. 

Flashback: McLouglin Refuses to Rule Out Heathrow Expansion

In July 1990 the then Aviation Minister under Thatcher, Patrick McLoughlin, told the House:

“I am afraid that I cannot say to my hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne, who so ably introduced the debate, that I can wholly rule out Heathrow. If I did that, my hon. Friends who have spoken on behalf of other areas would ask me wholly to rule out their airports as well. That is not the way forward. The way forward is to do as the Government have done—to set up a working group. [Laughter.] It is easy for Opposition Members to mock—we are used to that, but they never come forward with any constructive suggestions.”

The new Transport Secretary’s Derbyshire seat is a long way from Heathrow, though the Tories would be fools to reverse on their Heathrow election pledge. It’s as if they want to lose every seat in West London…

Boris is not very happy about the Greening move:

“There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow airport. Clear that the government wants to ditch its promises. We will fight this all the way.” 

This could get messy. 

Speech via Jim Waterson.

The New Cabinet in Full

Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service –The Rt Hon David Cameron MP

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council – The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – The Rt Hon William Hague MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer – The Rt Hon George Osborne MP

Chief Secretary to the Treasury – The Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP

Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice – The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

Secretary of State for the Home Department; and Minister for Women and Equalities – The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Secretary of State for Defence – The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – The Rt Hon Dr Vincent Cable MP

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – The Rt Hon Edward Davey MP

Secretary of State for Health – The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Secretary of State for Education – The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP

Secretary of State for Transport – The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP

Secretary of State for International Development – The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport – The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP

Secretary of State for Scotland – The Rt Hon Michael Moore MP

Secretary of State for Wales – The Rt Hon David Jones MP

Minister without Portfolio – The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP

Minister without Portfolio – The Rt Hon Ken Clarke QC MP

Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – The Rt Hon Lord Strathclyde

Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal – The Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General – The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP

Attorney General – The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP

Solicitor General – The Rt Hon Oliver Heald MP

Chief Whip (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury) – The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell

Michael Green Appointed Party Chairman

Though cleared by Sir Bob Kerslake of any wrongdoing last night, Grant Shapps still has some questions to answer about his alter-ego Michael Green. There will be plenty more scrutiny coming his way now.

No news on what has happened to Fallon yet…

McLoughlin to Transport, Paterson to DEFRA, Greening to DfID
Warsi Gets a Made Up Job, Miller to DCMS

Former chief whip Patrick McLoughlin has been appointed Transport Secretary. As Guido noted last night:

“McLoughlin will be heading to Transport makes a lot of sense – when Philip Hammond was in the job, he would spend one minute of a TV appearance talking about cars or trains and the rest mopping up the government crisis of the day. From miner to firefighter.” 

Meanwhile Owen Paterson gets DEFRA. He’s said to be very sound on hunting…

UPDATE: Warsi gets a made up job:

UPDATE II: 

UPDATE III: Maria Miller to goes to Culture, Media and Sport leaving the fight on between Fallon and Shapps for Party Chairman.


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



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Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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