Chaotic start to British PM's new year reshuffle

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"I'm not someone who quits, I'm here for long term", he said at BBC. She hoped to showcase a fresh generation of Tory talent; shake up the party election-fighting machinery that misfired so badly a year ago; and show her determination to get to grips with domestic challenges that have been all but overshadowed by Brexit for the past 12 months. And some of the new lineup, including Bradley, and Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch, presented a younger, fresher face to the world.

According to Curtice, May failed to achieve her first objective, as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to be moved to the position of business secretary while Secretary for Education Justine Greening stepped down from the government, after turning down the offer to become work and pensions secretary.

But that was as good as it got for the prime minister.

It is understood that May does not intend to appoint a first secretary of state in what has been billed as her biggest reshuffle since taking office in 2016.

But her most senior colleagues - including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Secretary David Davis - will remain in post.

Like Green, Lidington will stand in for May in the House of Commons when she is unable to make weekly Prime Minister's Questions.

'Flight of the Conchords' special planned for May on HBO
The duo, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie , made the announcement on Facebook this morning. No word yet on whether Murray and Mel will be "present" for the new HBO special, though.


May also replaced Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire after he resigned to undergo major surgery, as a small lesion was found on his right lung. Adding "housing" to Sajid Javid's job title, when he already had powers over the policy area, appeared to be more about optics than practicalities. Mark Garnier, who was cleared before Christmas over alleged inappropriate behaviour towards his personal assistant, lost his job as a trade minister.

The shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, said: "The secretary of state for health should be here ... not pleading for a promotion in Downing Street".

The Prime Minister said she wanted to lead the Conservatives into the next general election - due to take place in 2022 - saying: "I'm not a quitter".

These scenarios are ones that the government has itself warned of, however Davis told the Prime Minister the government "cannot let these actions go unchallenged" - although was cautious about making any formal move.

May has limited political capital for bold moves and can not afford to upset the pro- and anti-EU balance of her cabinet following the loss of her parliamentary majority in the last election and persistent internal turmoil over Brexit and her leadership.

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