March 9 2014 Latest news:
Monday, September 3, 2012
The prime minister’s spokesman tried hard to avoid saying anything about a reshuffle at the Lobby briefing this morning, with a shake-up widely expected this week. But a few bits of information did creep out.
I was told recently by a source close to the top of the party that the reshuffle would certainly be this week. So with David Cameron taking Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and, as confirmed by the spokesman this morning, to meet French president Francois Hollande on Thursday, it does strongly suggest the reshuffle will be tomorrow.
Each Monday the spokesman names ministers making announcements in coming days and on this week’s agenda were chancellor George Osborne, home secretary Theresa May, education secretary Michael Gove, business secretary Vince Cable, justice secretary Ken Clarke, health minister Ann Milton, international development minister Alan Duncan and, importantly for Norfolk, farming minister Jim Paice.
The spokesman would not be drawn on whether that means this lot will keep their jobs in any reshuffle. Ken Clarke has been tipped for a move by just about everyone, after all. But if he was to be kicked out of the cabinet altogether, it seems odd to include him in the agenda at the start of the week.
Meanwhile, very little has been said about the more junior roles that might be up for grabs. In our area South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock have both been tipped for promotion.
But the names being talked of today appear to be 2005 intake MPs; people who would have served in opposition and will feel they have a greater claim to a job than those elected in 2010, like Truss and Hancock. The East of England pair will no doubt be waiting nervously by their phones in the morning.