How Grant Shapps Could Be Back in Cabinet in Just 3 Easy Steps

So, you’ve been demoted from your Cabinet-attending role as Tory party chairman to a lowly junior ministerial role at DfiD. Do not fear! Here is your how-to guide to getting back round the Cabinet table in just three easy steps:

Step One

The government’s decision on airport expansion is a step closer post-election. The LibDems – most importantly Vince Cable – are out and Boris has been given a role where he would not have to resign if the Tory government backs Heathrow. A decision could be made in the next few months…

Step Two

One person who would surely have to honourably fall on her sword if the government chooses Heathrow is Justine Greening. As MP for Putney, opposing a third runway was her main local campaign for re-election. As she says on her website, “Justine has led our community’s campaign against extra aircraft noise from an expanded Heathrow… Justine will continue to stand up for the thousands of residents who are concerned about aircraft noise”. Could she realistically vote for a Heathrow third runway?

Step Three

Who is the junior minister at DfiD who could step up to fill the vacant Secretary of State position in an emergency? Ah yes, the minister of state, one Grant Shapps.

Barring any brewing personal scandal that might slight his good character, there is a route back to the Cabinet table…

The New Government in Full

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

HM Treasury
First Secretary of State*, and Chancellor of Exchequer – Rt Hon George Osborne MP
Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Greg Hands MP**
Financial Secretary – David Gauke MP
Exchequer Secretary – Damian Hinds MP †
Economic Secretary – Harriett Baldwin MP†

Home Office
Secretary of State for the Home Department – Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Mike Penning MP (jointly with the Ministry of Justice)
Minister of State – Rt Hon John Hayes MP
Minister of State – James Brokenshire MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Karen Bradley MP

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs – Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon David Lidington MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP
Minister of State (Trade and Investment) – Rt Hon Francis Maude
Minister of State – Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE**
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – James Duddridge MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Tobias Ellwood MP

Ministry of Justice
Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice – Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Mike Penning MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Shailesh Vara MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State* – Andrew Selous MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Dominic Raab MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Caroline Dinenage MP

Ministry of Defence
Secretary of State for Defence – Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP
Minister of State – Penny Mordaunt MP
Minister of State – Philip Dunne MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Julian Brazier MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Mark Lancaster MP

Department for Work and Pensions
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP
Minister of State – Priti Patel MP**
Minister of State – Ros Altmann CBE
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Justin Tomlinson MP

Department of Health
Secretary of State for Health – Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Jane Ellison MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – George Freeman MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Ben Gummer MP

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
Leader of the House of Commons – Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Parliamentary Secretary (Deputy Leader) – Thérèse Coffey MP

Department for International Development
Secretary of State for International Development – Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Minister of State – Rt Hon Desmond Swayne MP

Department for Education
SoS for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities – Nicky Morgan
Minister of State – Nick Boles MP
Minister of State – Nick Gibb MP
Minister of State – Edward Timpson MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Sam Gyimah MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Caroline Dinenage MP

Office of the Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords – Rt Hon Baroness Stowell

Department for Transport
Secretary of State for Transport – Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Robert Goodwill MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Claire Perry MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Andrew Jones MP

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Minister of State (Trade and Investment) – Rt Hon Francis Maude
Minister of State – Anna Soubry MP**
Minister of State – Nick Boles MP (jointly with the Department for Education)
Minister of State – Ed Vaizey MP
Minister of State – Jo Johnson MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – George Freeman MP

Northern Ireland Office
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Ben Wallace MP

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Elizabeth Truss MP
Minister of State – George Eustice MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Rory Stewart MP OBE

Department for Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – Rt Hon Greg Clark MP
Minister of State – Brandon Lewis MP
Minister of State – Mark Francois MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – James Wharton MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Marcus Jones MP

Wales Office
Secretary of State for Wales – Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Alun Cairns MP*

Cabinet Office
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP
Paymaster General, and Minister for the Cabinet Office – Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP**
Parliamentary Secretary – Rob Wilson MP
Parliamentary Secretary – John Penrose MP* (and Government Whip (paid))

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – John Whittingdale OBE MP
Minister of State – Ed Vaizey MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Tracey Crouch MP

Scotland Office
Secretary of State for Scotland – Rt Hon David Mundell MP

Department of Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – Amber Rudd MP
Minister of State – Andrea Leadsom MP

Minister without Portfolio (Minister of State)
Robert Halfon MP* and **

Law Officers
Attorney General – Jeremy Wright MP**
Solicitor General – Robert Buckland MP

Whips – House of Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip) – Mark Harper MP**
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip) – Anne Milton MP
Government Whip – Gavin Barwell MP
Government Whip – Kris Hopkins MP
Government Whip – David Evennett MP
Government Whip – John Penrose MP
Government Whip – Alun Cairns MP
Government Whip – Mel Stride MP
Government Whip – Charlie Elphicke MP
Government Whip – George Hollingbery MP*
Assistant Government Whip – Margot James MP*
Assistant Government Whip – Julian Smith MP
Assistant Government Whip – Guy Opperman MP
Assistant Government Whip – Sarah Newton MP
Assistant Government Whip – Stephen Barclay MP
Assistant Government Whip – Simon Kirby MP
Assistant Government Whip – Jackie Doyle-Price MP
Assistant Government Whip – Andrew Selous MP

Austerity Champers Arrives at Downing Steet

The champers is arriving in Downing Street this morning:

While it is Bollinger, back in the boom years the Downing Street champagne orders were far more lavish in size. From 2004:

Cheers!

Pic via @sean_clare

Balls Blows It: Another 2010 Video Emerges to Ruin Labour’s ‘Squatting’ Spin

New video has emerged that further weakens Labour’s latest line that the PM should leave Downing Street immediately if he has not achieved a majority. On election night in 2010, Ed Balls was very clear about our constitutional position: the Prime Minister gets to stay in Downing Street, regardless of the result:

“The first question is, can the Prime Minister form a government…  it’s about the way our county is governed…  the question will be, can the Prime Minister form a government?”

As Guido revealed at the weekend, Ed Miliband was saying exactly the opposite back in 2010 to what Labour are saying today:

“The Prime Minister – the constitutional position is clear – gets to have the first crack… the Prime Minister gets the first go at that and that’s just very simple.”

As the Guardian agrees today:

“Constitutional experts are united that Cameron is entitled to sit in Downing Street to see if he can form a government and might even be entitled to put his Queen’s speech to a vote in the Commons.”

Yet the order has gone out from Labour HQ: say the exact opposite to what they were saying in 2010 when it was their man in Downing Street. 

Labour’s coordinated line is clear: even if the Tories are the biggest party, they have lost. One Labour official briefs:

“All the noise coming out of the mouths of David Cameron and Nick Clegg is about how they can cling on to power even if their coalition loses its majority.”

Over at the Staggers, Owen Jones says the rules must be rewritten, but only if it keeps out the Tories:

“If there is a left-of-centre, anti-Tory majority in parliament then the Tories must fall, however many seats they have won. Left-wing parties will have won the election and a left-of-centre government led by Labour must take office.”

LabourList’s normally quite reasonable Mark Ferguson has verbally soiled himself:

“If Cameron ends up similarly able to command a majority, he’ll seek to be dragged out of Downing Street in the dead of night – after losing a Queen’s Speech vote – his fingernails scraping their way down Whitehall as he goes.”

Did they really think everyone would just forget what Labour were saying just five short years ago?

Boris Lets Slip That Jo Johnson is Still Writing Tory Manifesto Today

Boris has gone violently off message in a speech in the West Country, calling for the government to: “Bring back hunting to Exmoor, whilst always respecting the feelings and indeed the wishes of the animals.” The Western Morning News reports on the Mayor’s visit to Dulverton Town Hall, where he “intrigued the audience with other pre-election promises such as an NHS for animals, making Scrabble an Olympic sport, and a bid to open Britain’s borders to citizens of “Eurozone disaster areas like Italy”, but only if they agreed to help hill farmers at lambing time”:

Number one – abolish VAT on hearing aids.

Two: apply to the UN for the immediate recognition of the superior intelligence of rats, geese and other animals…”

Best received was a call to “bring back manners in young people” and make them eat crisps with a knife and fork…”

Banter aside and most intriguingly, Boris let slip that the Tory manifesto – due imminently – is still being written:

“Our family does not have good reputation for meeting deadlines. My brother Joseph (MP for Orpington) has had to go to London today after someone rang before breakfast – probably the Prime Minister – reminding him he had to write 4,000 words for the Conservative manifesto.”

Well it can’t be as rubbish as their 2010 one.

Downing Street Wildlife Report

PM Met Three Top Telegraph Men in Three Months

With whom did the Prime Minister have a “general discussion” early last year?

And who did he meet two months later?

Wonder what they could have discussed

#EM4PM: Esther McVey Wants to Be Prime Minister

 

Asked by the Loose Women whether she would humbly put her name forward if her country was to call upon her, Esther McVey said yes:

JSP: “Do you want to be Prime Minister?”

EM: “To be honest, it is not as simple as that.”

JSP: “Yes or no?”

EM: “If I had to do a yes or no, I’d be honest, I’d say yes.”

To rapturous applause…

Downing Street Leak Inquiry

Not the first time Fox has p*ssed all over No. 10…

Via @politicalpics

[…]

+ READ MORE +

They Snooze, You Lose

Senior LibDem Don Foster, MP for Bath for the past 23 years, clearly thinks he can do the job in his sleep. The chain-smoking chief whip has been struggling to stay awake even during Cabinet meetings. As revealed in yesterday’s […]

+ READ MORE +

Fox Finally Makes It To Downing Street

fox

Via Rex.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Happy Christmas, Public Sector

At last some government good news:

“Hospitals and fire services will be run “outside the public sector” as the Conservatives dramatically shrink the state and cut costs, a senior minister has disclosed. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, told

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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