New UK Cabinet - July 2016

livingstone

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So I have previously started threads on the 2012 and 2014 reshuffles – with mixed results on the prediction front.

Tomorrow there will be a new PM in No 10 and we will probably see the first of the reshuffle as early as tomorrow night, with the bulk probably coming on Thursday. Of course ministers remain in office unless and until they are sacked/moved by May – the only exception is in the Home Office where there is an immediate vacancy. Personally I’d think that she’d want to get the big hitters in place – particularly Chancellor – before markets open on Thursday morning, and she might be keen to replace herself as Home Secretary quite quickly too.

In terms of the key jobs:

Chancellor
I think she’ll want a safe pair of hands, nothing too flashy here, which suggests Philip Hammond rather than someone like Leadsom or Sajid Javid. Chris Grayling is obviously in line for a promotion, so if May wants a leaver as Chancellor, it seems likely to be him.
I think there is a teensy, tiny, outside chance of keeping Osborne in the interests of promoting continuity. But I think it’s almost non-existent.
My bet: Hammond

Home Secretary
Chris Grayling was her campaign manager and is in line for a big job. He was Shadow Home Secretary before the 2010 election, so this could be a good match. I think, however, he might want to be at the centre of the action on Brexit, which means he’s more likely as a Secretary of State for Brexit (or the Brexitary of State).
If it’s not Grayling, I think we could see Stephen Crabb rewarded for dropping out of the race and backing May quite early.
My bet: Crabb

Foreign Secretary
This will be a trimmed down job, with all things Europe going to a Secretary of State for Brexit – so it’s a safe place for a remainer. If Hammond doesn’t get Chancellor, he could keep the Foreign Office. If not, however, this could be a spot for George Osborne – particularly if you task him with some of the work involved in building new trade relationships with other countries.

Liam Fox, however, has taken on a fairly significant role in May’s campaign since being eliminated, and has always fancied himself as a Foreign Secretary (hence is continued references to phonecalls from Putin during the leadership race).
My bet: Liam Fox

Brexitary of State
This will probably be one of the most senior jobs in Cabinet for the next few years. Grayling seems the obvious choice – but if he ends up in the Home Office or the Treasury, Liam Fox might get a look in.
I think we could see David Davis as junior minister for Brexit.
My bet: Grayling

Defence and International Development
Michael Fallon could keep his job here. He hasn’t done much wrong. But as I set out below, I think he might be more sought after in BIS, freeing up defence for someone to be promoted. One option might be a direct swap with Javid – but I think Javid’s skills probably suit him for an economic role of some description. One possibility here might be Alan Duncan, a very strong backer of May. Personally, I think he’s more likely to go to International Development – having been a minister there previously, and formerly a Shadow International Development Secretary. One interesting promotion could be Amber Rudd. A strong backer of May, and current Energy Secretary, I think she would be promising runner to be first woman Defence Secretary.
My bet: Rudd to Defence, Duncan to International Development

Justice and Attorney General
Whither Gove? I don’t think May will promote him, sacking him comes with the risk of having him outside the tent peeing in, and I don’t think he’d accept a demotion. So the path of least resistance may be to keep him in Justice. And although May dislikes him, apparently she rates him as a reforming Departmental minister, so may want to task him to continue his prison reform agenda.

The alternatives could be Dominic Grieve. A very good Attorney General, he would restore the tradition of appointing well regarded lawyers as Lord Chancellor (Grayling, then Gove, were the first two non-lawyers to hold the position). He might be a bit too liberal – particularly given his opposition to reform of the Human Rights Act when compared with May’s support for ECHR withdrawal. But with that in mind, I think Grieve should expect something, and a return to AG where he was highly rated might be on the cards. Anna Soubry might also be a possibility – she was a vocal May supporter, she’s a former barrister, a pretty impressive media performer.
My bet: Gove to remain in Justice, Grieve to return as Attorney General

Business, Innovation and Skills and Chief Secretary to the Treasury
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this Department repurposed somewhat to reflect the massively increased importance of trade. I think May might be looking for an economically literate big hitter here – and may want a Leaver in charge so that if trade deals fail to materialise, the remain side can’t be blamed. With that in mind, Leadsom might be a possibility. Although not a leaver, Michael Fallon (current Defence Sec) is a ‘heavy hitter’ and could make a feature here.

Sajid Javid hasn’t been wildly impressive here – his handling of Tata steel left something to be desired. I think he might move to Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
My bet: Fallon to BIS, Javid to Chief Secretary

Health, Education, Work and Pensions
These are big spending, fairly high profile roles. They tend not to be the most glamorous roles but need decent figures heading them.

If Crabb doesn’t go to the Home Office, then he might be kept in Work and Pensions – he’s only been there a wet week, after all. Plus the council-estate-boy-done-good image is good if you’re going to be cutting people’s benefits. If he moves, though, I think Jeremy Hunt (early backer of May, and would probably like an escape route from Health) would be a likely pick.

In education, Nicky Morgan is widely regarded as fairly good but I’m never sure why. She doesn’t seem to have made much of a mark in education, and as a close Gove backer, I’d expect to see her demoted (but not completely sacked). Justine Greening was another early backer of May, has an interest in yoof, opportunity and all that jazz, so I think she would replace Morgan at education.

That leaves Health. I think Hunt is likely to move. He’s been pretty bruised by the junior doctors strikes. Who replaces him will be interesting. Sarah Woolaston is a high profile backbencher and chair of the Health Select Committee – it would be quite a leap to go from the back benches to Cabinet with no junior position in between. Jane Ellison is apparently a pretty well performing minister in the Health Department, so might have a shout. The outside bet, if he doesn’t get a bigger job could be (Dr.) Liam Fox.
My bet: Hunt to DWP, Greening to Education, Woolaston to Health

The Rest
I don’t plan to go through all the rest of the Cabinet positions – but the big question is what happens to Boris. I don’t think he’ll be offered a big job, and I’m not sure he’d take a mid-ranking job. I suspect he might be offered something that links to his mayoral background, so Transport or Communities and Local Government (which, by the way, I think might be renamed to give explicit responsibility for housing in the name). But I don’t think he’d take it.
The remaining positions I haven’t specifically predicted yet – with my predictions are:
• Communities and Local Government (Matthew Hancock)
• Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Anna Soubry)
• Energy and Climate Change (Leadsom)
• Culture, Media and Sport (Nicky Morgan)
• Transport (Liz Truss)
• Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (David Mundell, David Jones and Theresa Villiers)
• Minister for the Cabinet Office (Michael Ellis)
• Leader of the House and Chief Whip (Therese Coffey and Damian Green)
 


gleeful

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Philip Hammond has suggested it might take 4 years to invoke Article 50 - which would be conveniently after the next election.

Sounds like never to me.
 

Jim Car

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I wonder would Cameron get a position. I think it highly unluckily. But he did resign on principle rather then being forced out as a result of party upheaval/rebellion so there would be no bad blood so to speak and he is it seems quite well liked or at least trusted amount the conservative party. He is apparently a very good negotiator something the UK needs especially now with the whole negotiations with the EU coming on top of that he also has a very good working relationship with other EU leaders. So maybe he could be foreign minister.

That said i do think it highly unlikely. No doubt due to the fact he is well liked and has not been forced out could mean he would be a threat to who ever is leader of the party maybe not in the short term but certainly in long term if he were to preform well and people started to look to him for stable leadership should May start to mishandle things.
 

NYCKY

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Has it been confirmed that Brexit would get a full Cabinet position?
 

livingstone

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Has it been confirmed that Brexit would get a full Cabinet position?
Yep. Theresa May committed to create a new Brexit Department headed by a Cabinet member.

In practice, the Brexit Unit that Cameron put in place after the result is already up and running as part of the Cabinet Office, but with Cabinet level oversight (by Oliver Letwin) and headed by someone of the rank of Permanent Secretary. Whether she actually splits that off as a new Department, or just continues to have it as part of the Cabinet Office is to be seen, I think.

But either way, it will have a separate, dedicated Cabinet member overseeing its work.
 

livingstone

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I wonder would Cameron get a position. I think it highly unluckily. But he did resign on principle rather then being forced out as a result of party upheaval/rebellion so there would be no bad blood so to speak and he is it seems quite well liked or at least trusted amount the conservative party. He is apparently a very good negotiator something the UK needs especially now with the whole negotiations with the EU coming on top of that he also has a very good working relationship with other EU leaders. So maybe he could be foreign minister.

That said i do think it highly unlikely. No doubt due to the fact he is well liked and has not been forced out could mean he would be a threat to who ever is leader of the party maybe not in the short term but certainly in long term if he were to preform well and people started to look to him for stable leadership should May start to mishandle things.
No chance.

May wouldn't want it - having a former PM knocking about is a fast road to undermining your authority.

Cameron wouldn't want it - he won't want the drudgery of having to run a Government Department having been PM.
 

Dame_Enda

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I think Leadsom will get something but nothing senior. Maybe Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Cabinet Office Minister) or Leader of the House. Someone on Sky quipped she should get Secretary for Children since she attaches such importance to them.

By accounts on Sky May clashed with Gove over religious extremism in schools which resulted in an aide to May having to resign some years ago. There is not much love lost between them but if you sack him do you really want to get on the wrong side of his spindoctor Dominic Cummings after what happened to Boris? Also he got a decent 46 votes - about one third of the Brexit Tory MPs.

Rumours Liam Fox wants back into the Cabinet. I would advise against after the Werrity controversy some years ago.

Suggestions her criticism of lack of progress in some areas of economic policy is code for Osborne being moved out of the Chancellory. Sky thinks Richard Hammond is in with a good shot.

Faisal Islam the Sky Political Editor (I think) said he doubted Boris was the Brexit minister given Mays remarks some time ago dissing his negotiating skills about only being able to negotiate for water cannons off of the Germans (or something).
 

livingstone

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I think Leadsom will get something but nothing senior. Maybe Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Cabinet Office Minister) or Leader of the House. Someone on Sky quipped she should get Secretary for Children since she attaches such importance to them.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster could go anyway - it's a purely ceremonial role in and of itself, so its role depends on the clot whoever holds it has. Oliver Letwin has it now, and has massive power within the Cabinet. Leadsom would not have that level of power.

By accounts on Sky May clashed with Gove over religious extremism in schools which resulted in an aide to May having to resign some years ago. There is not much love lost between them but if you sack him do you really want to get on the wrong side of his spindoctor Dominic Cummings after what happened to Boris? Also he got a decent 46 votes - about one third of the Brexit Tory MPs.
Cummings is a bit of a busted flush. His influence relied on his political masters holding power. Now he's little more than a glorified blogger.

Suggestions her criticism of lack of progress in some areas of economic policy is code for Osborne being moved out of the Chancellory. Sky thinks Richard Hammond is in with a good shot.
I know he's left Top Gear, but it would be a big leap to the Treasury ;)
 

President Bartlet

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In terms of the top ones:

First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer - Phillip Hammond
Foreign Secretary & Brexit Minister - Chris Grayling
Home Secretary - George Osbounre

or if Brexit is to be split

First Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer - Phillip Hammond
Foreign Secretary - George Osbourne
Brexit Minister - Chris Grayling
Home Secretary - Stephen Crabb (Rumours that Jeremy Hunt could well get it but I think he moved out of Health and take Work and Penisons
 

President Bartlet

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Tory MP on Sky News saying Phillip Hammond for Chancellor if he was a betting man - outside bet - Savid Javid
 

Prester Jim

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I think Boris has dirtied his bib too much to get anything but the most junior of non financial ministries, Gove has effectively neutralised himself from ever being any kind of a threat, he is now the ultimate political eunuch so he might well be kept in Justice, Crabb has made a fool of himself over the sexting controversy, (a married, right-wing, Christian sexting members of the public is so USA) so he may be left out, plenty of other talented MPs to choose from.
Morgan has actually lost a lot of support in education and was only continuing on with Gove's "brainwaves" anyway, ripe for transfer and then new blood there.
Surely this is a great time to get rid of Hunt too, he doesn't expect that he has much of a career left to him after the mess he made of the fight with Junior Doctors, it will be interesting to see if May lets him continue there or if she has different ideas about the NHS, is she as hardcore about creeping privatisation and marketising as Cameron?
 

sgtharper

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Philip Hammond has suggested it might take 4 years to invoke Article 50 - which would be conveniently after the next election.

Sounds like never to me.
Your unbridled optimism throughout all this has been remarkable.
 

President Bartlet

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Sky News Correspondent: Speaking to a female Tory MP earlier -she said to expect a 50% + female govt under May. Cameron got to 25%
 

livingstone

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Sky News Correspondent: Speaking to a female Tory MP earlier -she said to expect a 50% + female govt under May. Cameron got to 25%
I'd be surprised if she gets to 50% but 40% seems eminently possible.

I predicted 10 women out of 24 spots. I realised later that I forgot Priti Patel who I'd expect to be in the mix somewhere - so 11 women out of 24 positions seems very possible.
 

Betson

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Sky News Correspondent: Speaking to a female Tory MP earlier -she said to expect a 50% + female govt under May. Cameron got to 25%
A female minister today said she expected a Turbo charged feminist Government from May with females dominating all the top positions.

If May does go down the PC token route she leaves herself open to a lot of criticism if things start to go wrong , Thatcher never had time for that kind of nonsense and the stakes are very high for the UK to start experimenting with a PC engineered cabinet.
 

President Bartlet

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If it is stability she wants she will need to keep many of the heavy hitters of Cameron's admin and in the top jobs
 

daveL

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A female minister today said she expected a Turbo charged feminist Government from May with females dominating all the top positions.

If May does go down the PC token route she leaves herself open to a lot of criticism if things start to go wrong , Thatcher never had time for that kind of nonsense and the stakes are very high for the UK to start experimenting with a PC engineered cabinet.
Picking women doesn't automatically mean PC.
 


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