UK PM Theresa May mulling New Year cabinet reshuffle, firing FM
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly considering a New Year cabinet reshuffle that might include major position changes in the current lineup of ministers.
The shakeup is an attempt by May to reunite a cabinet that is deeply divided over a range of issues, particularly the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), British media reported Monday.
The most controversial change of roles might concern Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who might be offered a more Brexit-oriented position in another department, according to the report.
Johnson, a pro-Brexit campaigner during last year’s EU referendum, has on several occasions caused trouble for May by often proposing policies that differ from those touted by May and her cabinet.
The minister’s many blunders have also caused much trouble for London, forcing May to personally clean up after him.
May could be looking to promote Home Secretary Amber Rudd as the new foreign secretary if Johnson does step aside.
Some of the people around May, including her former chief whip, Gavin Williamson, have advised her against the consequences of sacking senior Tory figures like Johnson and putting them on the backbenches.
However, May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, is adamant in promoting younger Members of Parliament and has the backing of Williamson’s successor, Julian Smith, the report noted.
The reshuffle might also see Justine Greening being moved out of education because of her siding with trade unions instead of embracing Tory reforms.
Andrea Leadsom, as leader of the House of Commons, is likely to be sacked under the new plan. The list goes on to include Chris Grayling, the transport secretary.
Greg Clark, the business secretary, could also be moved to another department, various reports noted.
May is also likely to remove Patrick McLoughlin is as party chair and replace him with the immigration minister, Brandon Lewis.
The prime minister also needs to find a replacement for her ally Damian Green at the Cabinet Office, after asking the disgraced MP to step down over a sexual harassment case.