Cameron's reshuffle: who's in, who's out?

Full details of the Prime Minister's first major reshuffle as they emerge.

After months of speculation, David Cameron's first major cabinet reshuffle began last night. Here's what we know so far.

15:36 Tory deputy chairman Michael Fallon, renowned as the party's attack-dog-in-chief, has been made minister of state for business. Tory MPs will hope he'll act as a powerful counterweight to Vince Cable.

15:00 Elsewhere on The Staggers, Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, has posted on why she'll miss having Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary. Clarke was making good on the promise of a "rehabilitation revolution", she says.

14:14 Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, who blogged yesterday on The Staggers on why the government should not support a third runway at Heathrow, has added his voice to those criticising the removal of Greening as Transport Secretary.

He commented on Twitter: "Greening’s appointment 11 months ago indicated the PM’s position on Heathrow was solid. Yielding so easily suggests panic, not principle."

13:42 Boris Johnson has criticised the removal of Justine Greening as Transport Secretary as confirmation that the government is intent on building a third runway at Heathrow, a policy that he described as "simply mad".

Courtesy of PoliticsHome, here's the full quote from his Sky News interview.

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. Nearly a third of the victims of aircraft noise in the whole of Europe live in the vicinity of Heathrow.

Now 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.

13:11 With the remaining vacancies now filled, we've just published a full list of the new cabinet here.

12:28 It's worth noting that the five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers (Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Vince Cable, Michael Moore and Ed Davey) have all remained in their current posts. However, as expected, David Laws, who became the cabinet's first casualty when he resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2010, has returned to government as an education minister. Simon Hughes is reported to have turned down a ministerial post in order to remain as the party's deputy leader.

12:20 We've just had another flurry of announcements as the reshuffle is finalised.

As expected, Grant Shapps has been named as the new Conservative chairman. He will attend cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.

Maria Miller, currently the minister for disabled people, has joined the cabinet as Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities.

Justine Greening, who was removed as Transport Secretary, is the new International Development Secretary.

12:12 We've been in touch with New Statesman legal correspondent David Allen Green to get his take on Chris Grayling's promotion to Justice Secretary. Here's what he had to say.

Grayling is a disappointing choice as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.  This is not because he is the first non-lawyer since Tudor times to hold the post of Lord Chancellor but because in a number of statements he shows no understanding of the principles of equality and fairness.  The criminal justice system is already in crisis.  The appointment of a mere sloganeer can only make things worse.

11:53 Following Sayeeda Warsi's removal as Conservative co-chairman, it's been announced that she will take up a new dual role as senior Foreign Office minister and minister for faith and communities. She will continue to attend cabinet.

11:40 As I've commented on Twitter, Cameron's decision to move Hunt to health is the biggest gamble of his reshuffle. The media will be after his scalp from the start and they'll be plenty of bad news stories from the NHS. But Hunt - personable, telegenic, socially liberal - is the archetypal Cameroon and the PM's decision to promote him is an assertion of his authority.

11:35 Owen Paterson, formerly Northern Ireland Secretary, has been named as the new Environment Secretary, while outgoing Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin replaces Justine Greening at Transport.

11:28 I've blogged on Chris Grayling's promotion to Justice Secretary here, pointing out why he was left out of Cameron's first cabinet: he defended the right of B&B owners to turn away gay couples.

11:04 In defiance of Jeremy Hunt's many critics, Cameron has just named him as the new Health Secretary.

10:45 Again via Twitter, Downing Street has just confirmed Chris Grayling as the new Justice Secretary.

10:31 The Downing Street Twitter feed has just named transport minister Theresa Villiers as the new Northern Ireland Secretary. The current incumbent, Owen Paterson, a favourite of the eurosceptic right, is in line for a promotion.

10:27 In the most significant move of the reshuffle so far, Andrew Lansley has been removed as Health Secretary and will become Leader of the House of Commons.

10:17 ConservativeHome are reporting that Chris Grayling, currently welfare minister, is set to be named as the new Justice Secretary.

09:29 Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith will remain in their respective posts as Education Secretary and Work and Pensions Secretary. Duncan Smith was reportedly offered Justice but, unsurprisingly, declined. He has previously said that Work and Pensions is the only job he wants to do in government and his defining policy, the Universal Credit, won't be implemented until 2013.

Similarly, it would have been odd to move Gove, also hailed by the right as crusading reformer, before his education reforms are complete.

Gove and Duncan Smith join George Osborne, William Hague, Theresa May and Vince Cable as those certain to remain in their current jobs.

08:35 Michael Fallon, the current Tory deputy chairman, has been seen walking into No 10. Along with Grant Shapps, he has long been cited as a possible replacement for Warsi as chairman. When asked if he had been awarded her job, he smiled, according to the BBC's Norman Smith.

07:18 Cheryl Gillan has left her post as Welsh Secretary after Conservative MPs called for someone representing a Welsh constituency to do the job (the Tories currently hold eight Welsh seats). In what has been dubbed the first "Twitter reshuffle", Gillan signalled her departure by removing the words "Secretary of State for Wales" from her bio on the site.

Andrew Mitchell has been named as the new Chief Whip after leaving his post as International Development Secretary. He replaces Patrick McLoughlin, who is tipped to become Transport Secretary. David Cameron said: "As chief whip, Andrew will ensure strong support for our radical legislative programme, by working hard to win the argument in the Commons as well as playing a big role in the No 10 team. He will be invaluable as the Government embarks on the next, vital phase of its mission to restore our economy to growth and reform our public services."

Despite a late appeal for Cameron to save her job, Sayeeda Warsi has been removed as Conservative co-chairman. She confirmed her departure via Twitter late last night and is expected to be replaced by housing minister Grant Shapps.

Ken Clarke, the man known as the "sixth Liberal Democrat cabinet minister", has been removed as Justice Secretary but is expected to remain in the Cabinet, most likely as minister without portfolio.

Caroline Spelman has been removed as Environment Secretary and will leave the cabinet.

David Cameron will announce full details of his cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday afternoon. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The Tories' aim is to put Labour out of business for good

Rather than merely winning again, the Conservatives are seeking to inflict permanent damage on the opposition. 

The Conservatives are numerically weak but politically strong – that is the peculiarity of their position. Their majority is the smallest of any single-party government since October 1974. Yet, to MPs at the Tory conference in Manchester, it felt like “2001 in reverse”: the year of Tony Blair’s second election victory. Then, as now, the opposition responded to defeat by selecting a leader, Iain Duncan Smith, who was immediately derided as unelectable. Just as Labour knew then that it would win in 2005, so the Conservatives believe that they have been gifted victory in 2020. David Cameron has predicted that the party’s vote share could rise from 37 per cent to a Thatcherite 43 per cent.

For Cameron and George Osborne, who entered parliament in 2001, this moment is revenge for New Labour’s electoral hegemony. They believe that by applying Blair’s lessons better than his internal successors, they can emulate his achievements. The former Labour prime minister once spoke of his party as “the political wing of the British people”. In Manchester, Cameron and Osborne displayed similarly imperial ambitions. They regard Jeremy Corbyn’s election as a chance to realign the political landscape permanently.

Seen from one perspective, the Tories underperformed on 7 May. They consistently led by roughly 20 points on the defining issues of the economy and leadership but defeated Labour by just 6.5 overall. It was their enduring reputation as the party of the plutocracy that produced this disparity. Those who voted for Labour in spite of their doubts about Ed Miliband and the party’s economic competence may not be similarly forgiving of Corbyn. To maximise their gains, however, the Tories need to minimise their weaknesses, rather than merely exploit Labour’s.

This process began at conference. At a dinner organised by the modernising group the Good Right, Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, affirmed their belief that, contrary to Thatcherite orthodoxy, inequality is a problem. Only the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, an admirer of the libertarian heroine Ayn Rand, insisted that equality of opportunity was the defining metric.

George Osborne’s assured speech was most notable for his sustained appeal to Labour voters. Several opposition MPs told me how unsettled they were by the Chancellor’s declaration that Labour’s new leadership calls “anyone who believes in strong national defence, a market economy and the country living within its means” a Tory. He added, “It’s our job to make sure they’re absolutely right. Because we’re now the party of work, the only true party of labour.” The shadow minister Jonathan Reynolds told me: “We’ve got to be extremely clear that this is not business as usual. This is a real attempt by the Tories to put us out of business – possibly for ever.”

The Conservatives’ aim is to contaminate Labour to the point where, even if Jeremy Corbyn were deposed, the toxin would endure. For those opposition MPs who emphasise being a government-in-waiting, rather than a protest movement, the contrast between the high politics of the Tory conference and Corbyn’s rally appearance in Manchester was painfully sharp. They fear guilt by association with the demonstrators who spat at and abused journalists and Tory delegates. The declaration by a rally speaker, Terry Pullinger, the deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, that Corbyn’s election “almost makes you want to celebrate the fact that Labour lost” was regarded as confirmation that some on the left merely desire to run the party, not the country.

But few Tory MPs I spoke to greeted Corbyn’s victory with simple jubilation. “It’s a great shame, what’s happened to Labour,” one said. “We need a credible opposition.” In the absence of this, some fear the Conservatives’ self-destructive tendencies will reassert themselves. The forthcoming EU referendum and leadership contest are rich in cannibalistic potential. Tories spoke forebodingly of the inevitable schism between European Inners and Outers. As the Scottish experience demonstrated, referendums are almost never definitive. In the event of a close result, the party’s anti-EU wing will swiftly identify grounds for a second vote.

Several cabinet ministers, however, spoke of their confidence in Cameron’s ability to navigate the rapids of the referendum and his pre-announced departure. “More than ever, he’s the right man for these times,” one told me. By this December, Cameron will have led his party for ten years, a reign exceeded in recent history only by Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. That the Conservatives have so far avoided cataclysm is an underappreciated achievement.

Yet there are landmines ahead. An increasing number of MPs fear that the planned cuts to tax credits could be a foul-up comparable to Gordon Brown’s abolition of the 10p tax rate. Despite the appeals of Boris Johnson and the Sun, Cameron and Osborne have signalled that there will be no backtracking. At such moments of reflection, the Tories console themselves with the belief that, although voters may use Corbyn as a receptacle for protest (as they did Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock and Ed Miliband), they will not elect him. They also acknowledge that the current Labour leader may not be their opponent in 2020. The former paratrooper Dan Jarvis is most often cited as the successor they fear. As with Cameron and Blair, his relative lack of ideological definition may prove to be a strength, one MP suggested.

William Hague is fond of joking that the Tories have only two modes: panic and complacency. If the danger before the general election was of the former, the danger now is of the latter. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.