Theresa May ready to replace top cabinet ministers in reshuffle


At the outset, Transport Chris Grayling was mistakenly announced on Twitter as the new Chair of the Conservative Party - a role later given to outgoing immigration minister Brandon Lewis.

Conservative Party headquarters initially identified the wrong person as the new party chief, a mistake which recalled the goofy comedy of errors at the party conference a year ago, when letters from a slogan on the party platform started dropping as the PM was speaking.

Boris Johnson will continue as foreign secretary despite a number of gaffes and his widely-criticised handling of the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, while Brexit Secretary David Davis, Chancellor Philip Hammond, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd are all set to hang on to their jobs.

Mrs May faced calls to be more courageous in bringing about change and diversity to refresh the look of the government. The report did not cite its sources.

The new minister will provide regular updates on preparation for leaving the bloc without a trade deal and have "a significant budget", the paper said.

He promised to talk about trade, immigration, Britain's European Union exit costs, and the transition deal.

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Mr Green was the third Cabinet minister to go in less than two months, following former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and former International Development Secretary Priti Patel in November.

"I'm encouraging her to be bold", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

May first needed to navigate the fraught opening round of Brexit talks as cabinet colleagues battled in the background, with an eye on succeeding her.

Ostensibly, she maintains that a reshuffle was made necessary by the spate of resignations late a year ago of three ministers following separate scandals, including close ally and deputy Prime Minister Damian Green, who was forced to quit over misleading statements he made regarding pornography found on his office computer.

Healthy Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also being tipped for a promotion - despite the NHS winter crisis.

"They should be demoting this health secretary", he said in a TV interview criticising Hunt's performance.

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Dominic Raab: A vociferous supporter of the Leave campaign, promoting the Justice Minister would be a way for Mrs May to get another pro-Brexit voice into her Cabinet.

Seven months on, there should be fewer questions about the prime minister's short-term survival, not least because few potential rivals fancy months spearheading debilitating negotiations with Brussels.

Speaking at the weekend, Mrs May insisted she still wanted to lead her party into the next election due to take place in 2022, declaring: "I'm not a quitter".

"Clearly, my long term health and my family are my priorities and I intend to proceed with surgery at the earliest possible opportunity", he wrote in the resignation letter.

"Obviously, I serve as long as people want me to serve", she added.

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