GEORGE Osborne last night emerged as the main winner of a government reshuffle that barely touched cabinet positions but shuffled dozens of second-tier jobs.
Allies of the chancellor were yesterday placed in key roles across ministries with an economic role – and also within the whips office – tightening Osborne’s control on the government’s agenda.
Sajid Javid, a former Deutsche Bank employee and Osborne loyalist, was promoted to the position of financial secretary, the third most important position in the Treasury. He replaces Greg Clark, MP for Royal Tunbridge Wells, who is moving to be minister for cities at the cabinet office.
Matt Hancock, another former Osborne aide, was given a skills brief in both the business and education departments.
Cameron had pledged to use the reshuffle as a chance to promote women and there were jobs for Battersea’s MP Jane Ellison, former GMTV presenter Esther McVey, and a spot at the Treasury for Nicky Morgan. Former Liberal Democrat MP Baroness Kramer also took a job as a transport minister.
The only cabinet change was the sacking of Lib Dem Scottish secretary Michael Moore, who has been replaced by Alistair Carmichael and told to defend the union ahead of next year’s Scottish independence referendum.
Several ambitious MPs were placed in junior roles at the governments whips office, which saw a clear out of the old guard. Hastings MP Amber Rudd, anti-porn campaigner Claire Perry and Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell will attempt to maintain party discipline.
They will be assisted by newly-promoted chief whip Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham, along with David Cameron’s former aide Sam Gyimah.
In a surprise move, Nick Clegg decided to sack Lib Dem home office minister Jeremy Browne and replace him with Norman Baker, who had held a post in the Department for Transport.
Baker gained notoriety after writing a book on alternative theories on the death of government scientist David Kelly in the run-up to the Iraq war.