The day of reckoning has arrived. David Cameron today announced his Cabinet reshuffle, the last before the May 2015 General Election. Mr Cameron has had to make some difficult decisions when choosing who will stay, who to promote and also those Cabinet members who will be demoted or kicked of the table all together. The Prime Minister is aware of the pressure on him from within his own Party and from the electorate.
The Prime Minister will be keen to flex his muscles in a bid to highlight his authority, especially when dealing with underperforming or unpopular Cabinet ministers. Indeed this is the first reshuffle since the fulltime appointment of Lynton Crosby. Mr Crosby will have ensured that the choices made by the PM make good publicity and portray a more youthful, energetic and representative Cabinet and Tory frontbench. Already some have reported that the PM is ready to cull the ‘white men in suits’ stereotype. This will be a very important step towards a wider electorate appeal, starting with a boost in the number of women around the table.
By far the biggest news from the reshuffle, he had already announced his retirement from office in the 2015 Election. However, few speculators would have imagined such a key figure departing from the Cabinet early after his successful 26 years as MP for Richmond (North Yorks) and as Foreign Secretary since 2010. Mr Hague’s experience will be irreplaceable, but it seems the most sensible course of action for Mr Cameron to take in reconfiguring a Cabinet which may well govern again post-2015.
An old hand from the Thatcher years, it came as no surprise to see Mr Clarke retire from the Cabinet. An experienced politician, he served as Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Justice Secretary over the course of four decades in Westminster.
Mr Hammond is replacing William Hague as Foreign Secretary. Mr Hammond seems a good choice for the role, in hindsight, you could even see this one coming a few months ago when he made a trip to the Baltic States, particularly Estonia, in light of Russian aggression over Ukraine.
Mrs Morgan has been an efficient politician since becoming a Conservative MP for Loughborough in 2010. She has risen through the ranks, serving in the Treasury, as Minister for Women and Equalities and now replaces Michael Gove as Education Secretary. Not only is her new job part of the PM’s quest to promote women, but her hard work over the past four years is finally being recognised.
A strong and highly intelligent MP, Mrs Truss is likely to have a very bright future ahead of her in politics. If the Conservatives win the 2015 election I have no doubt that she will be promoted to a high profile, however, for the moment she is now the Secretary for State Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
A highly controversial figure in the Government, he has faced major opposition from teachers and public alike over his education reforms. He has moved from Education Secretary to Chief Whip, but is this merely a demotion in all but name? David Cameron has axed Mr Gove in an effort to reason with many disenfranchised voters, whilst saving Mr Gove from further torment. Still a big player within the Conservative Party ranks, I have no doubt that Mr Gove will be promoted to a more substantial portfolio if the Tories win in 2015. This move is astute political and tactical manoeuvre.