The Rebel in the Whips Office

No.10 has announced that Greg Knight and Des Swayne have been appointed as new government whips. King of the jingle Knight should know all about unruly backbenchers given that he himself has rebelled eight times this Parliament:

As far as Guido can see, Knight is the only one of the 143 Tory MPs that have rebelled against this government to get a promotion in the reshuffle. New Solicitor General Oliver Heald signed the infamous rebel Lords letter but chickened out of the vote.

Guido is a little confused to how Knight is planning on demanding loyalty?

And with the rumours already swirling around the troops about Mitchell, the new whips have got their work cut out…

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…

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

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

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hunt to Health – Merci, Big Drink Tonight!

You have to wonder what he has to do to get sacked…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Time to Say-eeda Goodbye

When Sayeeda Warsi joined the cabinet she famously hung her jacket from the railings in Downing Street. Now it’s time for no one’s favourite Baroness to get her coat. Here are her greatest hits…

Less Minister without Portfolio and more […]

+ READ MORE +

Lansley Sacked
Grayling Gets Justice, Villiers to Northern Ireland

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been given the chop.

Another top down reorganisation of the NHS…

UPDATE: Villiers to Northern Ireland.

UPDATE II:

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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