ALL CHANGE? PLMR’S ROUND-UP OF TODAY’S CABINET RESHUFFLE
Today saw David Cameron’s first major Government reshuffle, giving PLMR the opportunity to dig down into the movers and shakers and present our readers with the new Cabinet in full. With all Liberal Democrat Secretaries of State keeping their positions, all eyes were on the Conservative Party top order in today’s announcements.
In one of the boldest moves Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to Health Secretary, with Andrew Lansley now sitting as Leader of the Commons. This has been widely seen as a demotion and reflects the widespread unrest stirred up by Lansley’s health reforms. Watch this space for how Hunt plays it. In other corners Kenneth Clarke, a member of the Conservative front bench since 1972, is no longer Secretary of State for Justice, having been replaced by Chris Grayling. This is a nod to the right of the party, but stalwart Clarke will continue to attend cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio. After the u-turn on forestry Caroline Spelman is also dropped from Defra in favour of former Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson.
With widespread reports that women would feature heavily in today’s reshuffle, there are just as many going down as going up within the Cabinet. Baroness Warsi loses her Party Co-Chairmanship, Caroline Spelman is out, Cheryl Gillan loses Wales and Justine Greening is moved to International Development. Promotions have come for Maria Miller and Theresa Villiers, but we suspect it will be in the lower ranking positions where women will be given the biggest boost. PLMR will be reporting on junior appointments in the next couple of days.
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Rt Hon William Hague (Con)
• Born in 1961, to Nigel and Stella Hague
• Graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1982, and later attended INSEAD Business School in France
• Hague famously spoke to the Tory conference when he was just 16, and was declared the new William Pitt by Margaret Thatcher (Hague would later write a biography of Pitt). He joined Parliament in 1989, winning a by-election in Richmond (Yorkshire). His majority in 1989 was just over 2,000 but has increased it ever since, and he now boasts the largest majority in the House after the 2010 election, with 43% of the vote
• Hague was PPS to Norman Lamont as Chancellor, and then a junior Social Security Minister. In 1995 he entered the Cabinet as Welsh Secretary, where he met his wife, Ffion. He became Leader of the Conservatives in 1997, but famously failed to undo the damage caused by the Labour landslide, gaining only one extra seat in the 2001 election. It appeared that Hague’s front bench career was more or less over before he was 40, but after he resigned, he kept a low profile, declining to join the Shadow Cabinet and became the highest paid MP through his work as a biographer and an after dinner speaker. Hague rejoined the Cabinet in 2010 as a generally well-respected politician.
• Personal interests include sailing, skiing and judo
PLMR says: Hague is remaining as Foreign Secretary. This comes as no surprise as he has refused to leave the Foreign Office, hinting it will be his last job in politics, and doesn’t have eyes for any other.
Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon George Osborne (Con)
• Born in 1971 to Sir Peter George Osborne, founder and chairman of Osborne and Little plc, and Felicity Osborne née Loxton-Peacock. Birth name: Gideon Oliver Osborne
• Graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1993 with a degree in Modern History
• Joined Parliament in 2001 as MP for Tatton, having worked in politics since 1994
• A rapid rise through the party ranks saw him take the post as Chancellor alongside David Cameron, the godfather to his children, after roles in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Downing Street Office and as William Hague’s Political Secretary during the current Foreign Secretary’s tenure as Leader of the Opposition
• Personal interests include cinema, theatre, and American politics
A non-mover. Despite growing pressure from both sides of the Commons, Cameron held firm with his Chancellor, sending out a strong signal that the Government will stick to Plan A on deficit reduction.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP (LD)
• Born in 1972 to Jane and Dion Alexander
• Graduated from St. Anne’s College, Oxford, in 1993 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics
• Whilst at university, Alexander worked a summer job as a researcher for the Campaign for Freedom of Information, joined the Lib Dems in 1993 and went straight to work as Press Officer for the Scottish Liberal Democrats
• Joined Parliament in 2005, as MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in Scotland, a highly marginal seat. He rose quickly to the frontbench as a junior spokesman on work and pensions. In 2007, he was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, and crucially became Chief of Staff to the new leader, Nick Clegg, chairing the group who wrote the 2010 Manifesto
• Personal interests include fishing, golf, cricket and reading
Danny Alexander has become an important linchpin for the Liberal Democrats after David Laws resigned soon after the coalition’s formation. He has grown into the role and become a vital player in ‘The Quad,’ the foursome that push coalition strategy through. In the reshuffle Alexander has stayed put, despite drawing criticism in some circles for his 2011 windfall tax on North Sea Oil revenue
Chris Grayling, the former Welfare Minister, has become Justice Secretary.
Secretary of State for Justice – Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP (Con)
• Born in 1962 to John and Elizabeth Grayling
• Graduated from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge with a degree in History.
• Worked as a Journalist at the BBC and for a marketing firm before entering politics
• Elected to Epsom and Ewell in 2001
• Quickly rose through the ranks of Shadow Cabinet – with jobs in numerous departments- whilst party was in opposition. However scandal over his remarks on same sex couples sharing B&B rooms cost him the job as Home Secretary and he was demoted to Employment Minister
• Personal interests include golf, cricket and football
Grayling was one of the three Shadow Cabinet Members to oppose the Coalition with the Liberal Democrats and is to the right of the party, making him popular with rank and file Conservatives. His promotion to Justice Secretary will most likely mark a shift in that Department. Whilst Ken Clarke said that the Human Rights Act was here to stay, Grayling has previously said he wants to “rip it up”.
Secretary of State for the Home Department / Minister for Women and Equalities – Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Con)
• Born in 1956, to Reverend Hubert May and Zaidee Braiser
• Graduated from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, in 1977 with an MA in Geography
• May has a background in the City, working as Chair of the Association for Payment Clearing Services from 1985 until her election
• May first joined Parliament in 1997, as MP for Maidenhead. She achieved rapid promotion to the Cabinet in just two years, as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment, and three years later became first female Chair of the Party. She did not prosper greatly under Michael Howard, but her career has never been under serious threat, holding a number of high profile posts in the last decade, including Shadow Minister for Women and Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions
• Personal interests include walking and cooking
PLMR says: Without much room for manoeuvre above her, May is unsurprisingly a non-mover in today’s reshuffle. She heads a famously chaotic department, with a wide brief covering policing, security and border control. There is still much work to be done.
Secretary of State for Defence – Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP (Con)
• Born in 1955, son of Bernard Hammond, civil engineer and local government officer
• Graduated in 1977 from University College, Oxford with a degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics
• He subsequently followed a business career in manufacturing, consultancy, property & construction, and oil & gas, both in the UK and abroad
• Philip was Secretary of State for Transport from May 2010, when he was appointed as a Privy Counsellor. He is the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge
• Married with three children, he likes travel, cinema and walking in Scotland
A long-serving frontbencher, Hammond has made his way steadily up through the Opposition ranks. He is well regarded and has only recently moved into this post after the mini reshuffle around Chris Huhne’s departure. With his analytical strengths and broad commercial experience it makes sense that he has stayed put. A safe pair of hands for Cameron.
Business, Innovation and Skills
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – Rt Hon Dr Vincent Cable MP (LD)
• Born in 1943, to Leonard and Edith Cable
• He graduated from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 1966, with a degree in Natural Science and Economics. He also earned a PhD in International Economics in 1973, whilst he was a Labour councillor there. He also fought Glasgow Hillhead for Labour in 1970
• Cable was finance officer at the Kenyan Treasury from 1966 to 1968, and then an economics lecturer at Glasgow University. He was special adviser to John Smith in 1979 and was involved with the Labour party at a variety of levels. He left Labour in the 1980s, because of the perceived lurch to the left, and joined the Liberals. He was Chief Economist at Shell International during the 90s, before he became MP for Twickenham. He has written a wide variety of political and economic books and pamphlets and is a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and the London School of Economics, and a research fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs
• He caught the Liberal tide in 1997 and ousted the long-sitting Toby Jessel in Twickenham with a big swing and a majority of 4,281, which he had almost tripled by 2010. He rose up the Liberal Democrat ranks, and even toyed with the idea of leadership in 2006, before saying that he did not feel an older candidate would benefit the party. He now chairs BIS – a department he once threatened to abolish
• A long-time devotee of ballroom and Latin dancing, he has won many competitions and danced on television with the winner of Celebrity Come Dancing Alesha Dixon. He had expressed an ambition to take part in the contest himself
• His first wife Olympia, a Goan from Kenya, died from cancer in 2001, leaving three children. In 2004 he married Rachel Smith, a farmer from Hampshire
Some senior Tory MPs called on Cable to be sacked, arguing that he represented a “roadblock” to the economic recovery and employment laws’ shake-up. However, a ComRes poll for the Independent, published in August, found that one in three Britons preferred Cable as Chancellor to Osborne. He is a respected, influential figure in the party.
Work and Pensions
Iain Duncan Smith turned down the offer of Justice Secretary. He remains as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions- Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP (Con)
• Born in 1954 to late Group Captain W. G. G. Duncan Smith, DSO, DFC, and Pamela Duncan Smith, née Summers
• Graduated from Universita per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy, RMA Sandhurst; and Dunchurch College of Management
• Self-described ‘quiet man’ who set up Centre for Social Justice
• Joined Parliament as member for Chingford in 1992
• Was Conservative Party Leader from 2001-03 after a surprise victory considering his lack of parliamentary experience. In 2003 he lost a vote of confidence 90-75. However he has returned to front bench politics remarkably well
• Over-hauled welfare system introducing ‘Universal Credit’ to combat welfare dependency
• Personal interests include cricket, rugby, theatre and family
PLMR says: Unsurprisingly IDS is a non-mover. His overhaul of the welfare system has yet to come into full effect and his ‘Universal Credit’ has proved popular on all sides. He has faced a lot of criticism for his changes to disability benefits, but his experience in social justice (setting up Centre for Social Justice) and his respect within the party proves him to be well suited to his current position.
Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – Rt Hon Edward Davey MP (LD)
• Born in 1965 to John Davey, a solicitor, and late Nina Davey, née Stanbrook, a teacher
• Graduated from Jesus College, Oxford with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and Birkbeck College, London with an MSc in Economics
• Was an Economics Adviser to Alan Beith and Paddy Ashdown before joining Parliament
• Member for Kingston and Surbiton since 1997
• In opposition Davey enjoyed the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary and when the coalition formed he was given a job as a Junior Minister in Department for BIS. However, after the scandal caused Chris Huhne to resign, Davey was promoted to head up DECC
• Personal interests include music, walking and swimming
PLMR says: A non-mover. Davey only took up this role in February 2012 and has not had enough time to establish himself in the role.
Jeremy Hunt, the former Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport, has become Secretary of State for Health.
Secretary of State for Health (previously Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport) – Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP (Con)
• Born in 1966, to Sir Nicholas Hunt, admiral, and Meriel Hunt
• Graduated Magdalen College, Oxford in 1988, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics
• He worked for a management consultancy for a year, and spent another year teaching English in Japan. In 1991 he co-founded the highly successful Hotcourses Ltd, providing information on educational opportunities, which now employs more than 230 people. He ceased to be a paid director in 2006 but remains a shareholder
• After his election to Parliament for South West Surrey in 2005, Hunt rose quickly through David Cameron’s frontbench to reach the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in 2010. However, two years later he was facing calls for his resignation after claims that he had acted as a “cheerleader” for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp over its bid to take over the whole of BSkyB
• As part of his role at DCMS, Jeremy Hunt was intimately involved with the successful planning of the Olympic Games
• He is the fourth richest Cabinet Minister with a personal fortune estimated at £4.8 million. In 2004 he set up the Hotcourses Foundation charity, of which he is a trustee, to provide educational opportunities for AIDS orphans in Kenya
PLMR says: Hunt continues to surf the wave of good feeling the summer has brought him. One of the key politicians involved in the Olympic Games, deemed a huge success by even the most cynical sections of the press, and endorsed by Cameron during his time at the centre of the NewsCorp storm, Jeremy Hunt’s promotion to Health Secretary is a nod of recognition from the PM. However, Hunt must know as well as anyone that taking over from Lansley will not be without challenge, with the BMA and medical profession eagerly anticipating his approach to health reform.
Secretary of State for Education- Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (Con)
• Born in Edinburgh in 1967, he was adopted at the age of four months and brought up in a Presbyterian household in Aberdeen, where his adoptive father was a fish merchant
• He worked for his degree in English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
• Before becoming an MP, Gove worked as a journalist. For four years he also worked as a reporter for BBC news and current affairs, including the Today programme and On the Record
• He has been MP for Surrey Heath since 2005. He served as a Shadow Minister for housing for two years and as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for three years before taking on the Education brief
PLMR says: Popular within the ranks of the Conservative Party and widely touted as a bold reformer Gove holds on to his position to continue his work re-organising the UK schooling system. His tenure has not been without controversy, with BSF, school sports and GCSEs stirring much debate. The decision to keep Gove in post signals Cameron’s backing of Gove’s policy programme.
Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government- Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP (Con)
• Born in 1952 into a family with left-wing antecedents (his great-grandfather was a founder of the Independent Labour Party)
• He was educated at Greenhead Grammar School in Keighley and Leeds Polytechnic
• Before becoming an MP, he worked as an employment consultant. A former Young Conservative leader, he was a member of the Conservative National Union Executive by the age of twenty-three and a councillor four years later. Pickles was the leader of Bradford Council in the late 1980s
• Elected as MP for Brentwood and Ongar, in Essex, in 1992. He served as opposition spokesperson for Education and Social Security for three years, and was a Shadow Transport Minister before taking over the Shadow Local Government brief in 2003
• He is a film and opera buff and a serious fell walker
PLMR says: No move for Pickles. Having shown himself to be a stalwart MP, loyal to the leadership and a gatekeeper to David Cameron’s new regime for Parliamentary selections, Pickles is safe. He also brings rare experience in local government to the Cabinet.
Patrick McLoughlin, the former Chief Whip, has been made Transport Secretary.
Secretary of State for Transport -Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP (Con)
• Born in 1957, son of Patrick Alphonsos McLoughlin
• He left Cardinal Griffin Roman Catholic School at sixteen, went to agricultural college, and worked as a farm labourer and then as a miner in Staffordshire. He became national chairman of the Young Conservatives and served on Cannock Chase and Staffordshire councils in the early 1980s
• He was narrowly elected MP for West Derbyshire in 1986 and was elected to the successor seat of Derbyshire Dales in 2010, with a majority of nearly 14,000
PLMR says: Former miner Patrick McLoughlin has been moved from Chief Whip to replace Justine Greening as Transport Secretary. This is more of a sideways move than a promotion, but McLoughlin will be a full member of the Cabinet and for the first time will have a public profile, which he never had in his long tenure as Whip. This also helps Cameron boost his working class representation in Cabinet.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Owen Paterson, the former Northern Ireland secretary, has become Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs -Owen Paterson MP (Con)
• Born in 1956
• He read history at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
• Before becoming an MP Paterson worked as a tanner at his family business, The British Leather Company
• He was elected MP for North Shropshire in 1997. Before becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 2007, he was a PPS to Iain Duncan-Smith and a Shadow Minister at DEFRA
• He is a liveryman of the Leathersellers’ Company and a patron of Shropshire Cricket Club. He is interested in country sports, as well as “trees, racing and poultry”
PLMR says: Paterson’s promotion from Northern Ireland to Environment Secretary continues the neo-Thatcherite’s upward trajectory. He served as Shadow Environment Secretary from 2003-2005, giving him clear credentials to work under the environment brief. He made waves across the last parliament, being the first member of the cabinet to say publicly he does not support gay marriage and will have the scope to create more controversy in his new role.
Justine Greening, the former Transport Secretary, has become International Development Secretary.
Secretary of State for International Development – Rt Hon Justine Greening MP (Con)
• Born in 1969, and attended Southampton University, graduating with a BSc in Business Economics and Accounting in 1990. She gained an MBA from London Business School in 2000
• She started work as an auditor for Price Waterhouse, moved on to be finance manager for Smithkline Beecham, and in 2002 became sales and marketing finance manager for Centrica plc. She won her political spurs serving on Epping Town Council and contested the hopeless Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush constituency in 2001
• Justine Greening became something of a poster girl for the beginnings of a changing Conservative Party when she won Putney back from Labour in 2005. Six years later she became the fifth woman in David Cameron’s Cabinet, promoted to be Transport Secretary in the reshuffle after the resignation of Liam Fox
• Justine lists her interests as swimming and cycling
PLMR says: Justine Greening has been moved from her transport brief and appointed the Secretary of State for International Development. This demotion indicates that Cameron could be bowing to the continued serious political and business pressure for a third runway at Heathrow, as Greening was a fierce campaigner against the airport expansion. Boris Johnson has already criticised Cameron’s decision to move Greening as it shows that the government is committed to the “simply mad” policy of a third runway.
Culture, Media and Sport
Maria Miller, the former Disability Minister, has become Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Maria Miller MP (Con)
• Born in 1964 to John and June Lewis
• Graduated London School of Economics with a BSc in Economics
• Had a previous career in Marketing and Advertising
• Member for Basingstoke since 2005
• Whilst in opposition she was quickly promoted to Shadow Education Minister then to Shadow Minister for Family Welfare and Shadow Minister for the Family. Became Minister for Disabled People in 2010
Maria Miller’s move to replace Jeremy Hunt as Culture Secretary does not come as a huge surprise – she is well liked in parliament, a hard worker and a quickly became a clear contender for promotion.
Miller has also taken over the Women and Equalities portfolio, which was held by Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone at the Home Office.
Theresa Villiers, the former Transport Minister, has been made Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP (Con)
• Born in 1968, to George, a stockbroker, and Virginia Villiers
• Villiers graduated from Bristol University in 1990, and later attended Jesus College, Oxford
• A London MEP from 1999 to 2005, Villiers is a prominent modernizer, on the board of Conservatives for Change
• Was elected as MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005. She supported David Cameron from the start of the leadership campaign, and reaped her reward in 2007 when he made her Shadow Transport Secretary. However, she was later demoted to Junior Minister
• Villiers is a keen cyclist, often riding her bike to work, and has a keen interest in animal welfare
PLMR says: Elevated to the Shadow Cabinet after less than seven months in Parliament, Villiers has continued her upward trajectory through her promotion to Northern Ireland Secretary. This move is a clear indication of David Cameron’s drive to “feminise” the image of the Tory Party.
Secretary of State for Scotland-Rt Hon Michael Moore MP (LD)
• Born in Northern Ireland in 1965, son of Reverend W. Haisley Moore, Church of Scotland minister, and Jill Moore, physiotherapist
• He read Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University
• Before becoming an MP he was an accountant
• He has been and MP since 1997. After his seat of Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale was abolished, he became MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk in 2005. He has held positions in Defence and Foreign Affairs before becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in 2010
• His interests include jazz, rugby and hill walking
PLMR says: In 2005, despite a swing to the Conservatives, Moore managed to secure a healthy majority. In 2010, he won an unexpected promotion into the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Scotland less than three weeks into the Coalition Government, replacing Danny Alexander after the sudden resignation of David Laws. His run of success continues, having done enough to stay in his post.
David Jones has been promoted to Secretary of State for Wales.
Secretary of State for Wales -David Jones MP (Con)
• Born in 1952 son of late Bryn Jones and Elspeth Jones, née Savage-Williams
• Graduated from University College London; Chester College of Law
• Joined Parliament as Member for Clwyd West since 2005
• Shadow Minister for Wales 2006-2010
• A welsh speaking lawyer, became one of the first three Conservative Welsh MPs since 1997
• Personal interests include travel
PLMR says: David Jones has been appointed Secretary of State for Wales, creeping up the ladder from his Junior Ministerial role and ousting Cheryl Gillan. He speaks Welsh, his constituency is in Wales, and he has also served in the Welsh Assembly.
Conservative Party Chairman, Minister Without Portfolio
Grant Shapps, the former Housing Minister, has been made Conservative Party Chairman. He will attend Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio.
Party Chairman and Minister without Portfolio- Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (Con)
• Born in 1968, son of Tony and Beryl Shapps
• He studied Business and Finance at Manchester Polytechnic, gaining a HND in 1989
• Before becoming an MP he owned a small printing business which grew into Printhouse Ltd, a large design, print and website development company. He says he wanted to be an MP from a very young age and contested the hopeless North Southwark and Bermondsey in 1997, getting just 6.9 per cent of the vote
• He won his Welwyn Hatfield seat in 2005, four years after severely reducing the majority of the incumbent MP, Health Minister Melanie Johnson. He served for three years as Shadow Minister for Housing before becoming a Minister in 2010
• He is a keen aviator and owns a light aircraft which he sometimes uses to fly himself to speaking engagements. He says he has almost no interest in art
PLMR says: Shapps has been moved from his housing brief and appointed as Conservative Party Chairman, attending Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio. He has always been a dedicated supporter of Cameron, seconding his nomination in the 2005 leadership contest. His energetic and innovative campaigning ability has turned heads within the Conservative Party – he spent one Christmas Eve sleeping rough in London to draw attention to the plight of the homeless, and subsequently helped launch the Conservative Homelessness Foundation.
Leader of the Lords
Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster-Rt Hon Lord Strathclyde (Con)
• Born 1960, son of late Hon. Sir Thomas Galbraith, KBE, MP, eldest son of 1st Baron, PC
• Lord Strathclyde studied at the University of East Anglia
• Before entering the House of Lords, Strathclyde was an insurance broker
• He first entered House of Lords as a hereditary peer in 1985 and has previously held the positions of Opposition Chief Whip and Leader of the Opposition in the Lords
PLMR says: A non-mover, Lord Strathclyde has returned to his role as Leader of the House of Lords, despite scandal surrounding his alleged affair with a Green Party activist in 2011. He has ridden out the threats of Lords reform in the last parliament, which he was thoroughly opposed to, and will continue to preside over what he describes as a “more authoritative” second chamber, which “may resist changes rather more than it does now.”
Leader of the House of Commons
Andrew Lansley, the former Health Secretary, has become Leader of the House of Commons.
Leader of the Commons – Andrew Lansley CBE MP (Con)
• Born in 1956, son of Thomas Lansley, OBE, and Irene Lansley
• Graduated from Exeter University in 1979 with a BA in Politics
• He started as a civil servant at the Department of Trade and Industry, becoming private secretary to Norman Tebbit. He was later Policy Director and Deputy Director-General for the British Chambers of Commerce
• He opposed devolution and in 1997 wrote a book on the subject, Conservatives and the Constitution
• As the son of a medical scientist, he shadowed his current job for seven years, after returning to the Shadow Cabinet from a two-year career break on the back benches
• Andrew likes spending time with his children, watching films, history and cricket
PLMR says: Lansley remains in Cabinet, but has been moved from his Heath brief to Leader of the House of Commons. As Health Secretary, Lansley came under intense fire for his NHS reforms, but has shown significant resilience. In one of the boldest moves of the reshuffle Cameron has not allowed him to remain in post in order to see his controversial reforms through. It is reported that Lansley did not want any other Ministerial portfolio.
Solicitor General – Oliver Heald MP (Con)
• Born in 1954. Son of late J A Heald, chartered engineer, and late Joyce Heald, née Pemberton, teacher
• He studied Law at Pembroke College, Cambridge
• Before becoming an MP he was a barrister specialising in employment law.
• He became MP for North Hertfordshire in 1992, which became Hertfordshire East with the boundary changes of 2010. He held a wide variety of Opposition front-bench positions for ten years under four different leaders, usually after voting for their opponents, but has been sitting on the back benches since 2007
PLMR Says: Heald has bounced back on to the front benches, replacing Edward Garnier as Solicitor General. He is “surprised but delighted” to have been offered the role, to which he will bring 23 years experience of practicing as a barrister.
Andrew Mitchell has been made Chief Whip, moving from his role as Secretary of State for International Development
Chief Whip – Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP (Con)
• Born in 1956, son of the former Tory MP Sir David Mitchell
• He read history at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he chaired the student Conservatives and was president of the Union Society
• Before becoming an MP he was in the armed forces, serving with the UN in Cyprus, and a merchant banker with Lazard Brothers
• He was MP for Gelding from 1987 to 1997, losing to Labour’s Vernon Coaker. He became MP for Sutton Coldfield in 2001. During his first spell in Parliament, he served as a Government whip and a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security. Before assuming the Shadow International Development brief in 2005, he was a Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Economic Affairs
• He enjoys music, windsurfing, skiing, and walking
PLMR says: Mitchell is a man who likes to lurk behind the scenes, being one of four ringleaders in a plot to oust Iain Duncan Smith in 2002. He has been something of a smooth operator, despite his support for David Davis in the 2005 leadership contest he was given a Shadow Cabinet position by Michael Howard and stayed in the post under David Cameron. Mitchell has been moved from International Development and appointed Chief Whip, which will give him ample opportunity to show his credentials as “the thrasher,” as he was known in the school playground. Although the Chief Whip is usually not a full member of cabinet – he just attends – this is the post that Mitchell, the former International Development Secretary, has always wanted.
Minister without Portfolio
Kenneth Clarke has lost his post as Justice Secretary. But he will remain in the Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio.
Minister without Portfolio – Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP (Con)
• Born in 1940, Son of late Kenneth Clarke, watchmaker and jeweller, and Doris Clarke
• Graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Law in 1962 and LLB in 1963
• Kenneth was first elected to Parliament in 1970 and appointed a minister in Edward Heath’s government in 1972. Since 1997 he has been President of the Tory Reform Group
• He returned to the Shadow Cabinet in March 2009 as Shadow Business Secretary. When Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010 he appointed Clarke Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
• Kenneth is well known for his enjoyment of cigars, jazz and motor racing. He also likes bird-watching and reading political history, and is popularly known for his love of suede Hush Puppies, a brand of shoes, which have been his “trademark” since his early ministerial days
• Clarke likes watching sport. He is a supporter of Nottingham Forest and is a former President of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. He is currently President of Radcliffe Olympic F C and is a keen follower of Formula One
PLMR says: Kenneth Clarke’s removal from the Justice Secretary position is one of the more controversial moves of the reshuffle. A stalwart of the Party, Kenneth Clarke has often been rebellious and Cameron has now taken heed of the right of the party and moved him. He keeps a Cabinet seat though as Minister without Portfolio.
Lady Warsi has lost her post as Conservative Co-Chairman. Instead she has been made a minister of state at the Foreign Office, with the right to attend cabinet, as well as being made Minister for Faith and Communities.
Minister of State (Foreign Office), Minister for Faith and Communities – Baroness Warsi (Con)
• Born in 1971, to Pakistani Immigrants. Her father, Safdar Hussain, operates a bed manufacturing company, which has a turnover of £2 million a year, after starting life as a mill worker. Her family was featured in 2004 in the BBC TV troubleshooter series I’ll Show Them Who’s Boss where former head of Granada Gerry Robinson found problems and family disagreements “on a scale of Dallas or Dynasty” were keeping the firm out of profitability. Warsi has said that her father’s success led her to adopting Conservative principles
• Warsi graduated from Leeds University in 1992, and worked as a solicitor before becoming active in politics
• Warsi was the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Dewsbury at the 2005 general election, becoming the first Muslim woman to be selected by the Conservatives. During the election campaign she was criticised for election literature which was described as “homophobic” by the gay equality organization Stonewall. Although she lost the election, she served as a special adviser to Michael Howard on community relations, and was appointed by David Cameron as Chairman of the Conservative Party with specific responsibility for cities, being raised to the peerage in 2007
• She lists her personal interests include writing, and spending time with her family
PLMR says: Despite her vocal protestations, Warsi has been demoted following a difficult year for the former Co-Chair of the Party. She will still attend Cabinet, but not as a full member.