The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Chloe Smith and John Randall resign ahead of government reshuffle

Cabinet Office minister and deputy chief whip jump ship.

Chloe Smith with David Cameron in his office after being elected as an MP in 2009. Photograph: Getty Images.

Ahead of a government reshuffle this week, deputy chief whip John Randall and Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith have both resigned from their positions tonight.

Smith, who is best known for her disastrous encounter with Jeremy Paxman in 2012 while economic secretary to the Treasury, tweeted the news of her departure. With a slimish majority of 3,901, she will want to focus on defending her Norwich North seat (67th on Labour's target list), where she faces a strong Labour candidate in the form of Fabian Society chair Jessica Asato.

With Cameron's reshuffle imminent, it's now likely that Ed Miliband's, which was expected as early as tomorrow, will be delayed until later this week. On the Labour side, shadow justice minister Rob Flello and shadow minister for disabled people Anne Maguire have already resigned in advance of Miliband's changes to his team.

The government reshuffle will only be of junior ministers with cabinet-level changes following next year.