Cabinet reshuffle: Brandon Lewis named Conservative chairman, David Lidington as Cabinet minister amid reshuffle kerfuffle over Chris Grayling

 
Catherine Neilan
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The Prime Minister Holds A Cabinet Meeting At Chequers
Who will Theresa May be facing down over the next Cabinet meeting? (Source: Getty)

Latest: Justice secretary David Lidington has been made cabinet minister, and de facto first secretary, in the most senior of Theresa May's reshuffle announcements.

Lidington was in the justice role for just seven months, although he has held a number of ministerial roles previously, most notably as Europe minister during the referendum. He will deputise for Theresa May during PMQs.

Work and pensions minister David Gauke has taken on Lidington's role as Lord Chancellor and justice secretary.

However Jeremy Hunt, who was widely tipped for a promotion, endured more than an hour at Number 10 before emerging with a new job title, making him secretary for health and social care.

Sajid Javid similarly received a rebrand, becoming secretary for housing, communities and local government.

Earlier in the day immigration minister Brandon Lewis was confirmed as Conservative party chairman amid confusion over whether the role was actually going to transport minister Chris Grayling.

CCHQ tweeted congratulations on Grayling's appointment, before quickly deleting the message. Minutes later Lewis was seen arriving at 10 Downing Street, but his appointment was not confirmed until well over an hour later.

Lewis, who has also been named minister without portfolio, takes over from Patrick McLoughlin, who was widely expected to be among those to be sacked today, having overseen the party's disastrous election last summer.

Who's in

What's the new role?

David Lidington, former justice secretary Cabinet minister and de facto first secretary
Brandon Lewis, former immigration minister Conservative party chairman
James Cleverly MP Deputy chairman
Sajid Javid, communities and local government secretary Housing, communities and local government
Jeremy Hunt, health secretary Health and social care secretary
Matt Hancock Culture secretary
Karen Bradley Northern Ireland secretary

Pro-Brexit MP James Cleverly has been confirmed as the new deputy chairman while a number of new vice chairs have been named including Kemi Badenoch (for candidates), Maria Caulfield (for women) and James Morris (for training and development).

So far, chancellor Philip Hammond and home secretary Amber Rudd have been confirmed as staying on. Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has also been retained.

The changes are being made as part of a major shake-up of Theresa May's Cabinet team today, with around a quarter of the top jobs thought to be reshuffled, although the most senior - chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary - are not expected to change.

The announcements were drip-fed throughout the day as the Prime Minister carves up her top team.

The new year reshuffle has been partly prompted by the forced resignation last year of May's long-time ally Damian Green, but is also an opportunity for the Prime Minister to oust people who have been disloyal or broken with her vision for government.

Who's out? What was the role?
Damian Green Cabinet Office minister and first secretary
James Brokenshire Northern Ireland secretary
Patrick McLoughlin Party chairman

Business secretary Greg Clark and leader of the house Andrea Leadsom survived the cull, despite widespread reports they would be sacked.

However education secretary Justine Greening quit after a long meeting with Number 10, in which the Prime Minister was reportedly trying to hand her the work and pensions brief.

Shortly before today's reshuffle began, Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire revealed he was resigning, citing ill-health, opening up another role for May to fill.

Brokenshire, who has been in the role since July 2016, will soon undergo surgery for a "small lesion" on one of his lungs.

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