New Year Cabinet reshuffle on the cards as pressure on May continues

 
Catherine Neilan
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Boris Johnson could lose his role as foreign secretary (Source: Getty)

A New Year reshuffle of Theresa May's top team is looking increasingly likely as the embattled Prime Minister continues to face down pressure over her leadership.

Boris Johnson could lose his role as foreign secretary to take on a tougher gig involved with Brexit delivery, although allies have told the Sunday Times the Leave-backing minister would fight this.

Transport minister Chris Grayling, party chairman Patrick McLoughlin and education secretary Justine Greening are also thought to be for the chop, alongside Commons leader Andrea Leadsom.

May must replace Cabinet Office minister Damien Green, who was forced to quit shortly before Christmas after an investigation found he misled the public and MPs over pornography found on a Commons computer, although it is not thought his role as first secretary of state will be replaced.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is the longest serving Cabinet minister, is thought to be a potential candidate.

So far May has resisted any major reshuffle, conscious of her tenuous grasp on power and the risk of a leadership challenge if she upsets the apple cart. So far, Johnson has clung onto his roles despite numerous gaffes including the serious misspeak over Nazazin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and others including his "dead bodies" comments.

But with Green her third minister in seven weeks to go, the Prime Minister may have no alternative but to shake things up.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon resigned over sex pest claims, followed just days later by international development secretary Priti Patel, after a series of unofficial meetings with Israeli authorities were revealed. May replaced Fallon with chief whip Gavin Williamson, while Patel was replaced with fellow Brexiter Penny Mordaunt.

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