Cameron’s cabinet non-shuffle – who has actually moved?

Here’s the post-election line-up

This year’s election result has been a shock to everyone – including Conservative leader David Cameron.

Everyone was certain we’d have days, if not weeks, of coalition negotiations and yet we find ourselves with a Conservative prime minister and a majority government.

There’s been a wave of resignations across British politics, including the leaders of Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP – meanwhile Cameron has had more candidates from which to choose his government than ever before and more positions to fill.

Did this mean he’d monumentally shake-up his cabinet? Er… no.

***We’ll update this story as new moves are announced.***

Who has moved?

Justice Secretary – Michael Gove

The puzzle of Michael Gove: what to do with a man who has no experience of any useful industry? Cameron tried to put him in Education where he became the least popular education secretary for decades (maybe ever). Then Gove was moved to chief whip – a role requiring him to be able to keep MPs on his side – where he oversaw a couple of failed Tory votes.

Leader of the House of Commons – Chris Grayling

Whenever there’s a reshuffle it’s not always clear whether MPs are deliberately “moved out of” a position or “moved into” one. In this case, was Chris Grayling moved from the Department of Justice to make way for Gove, or was he appointed HoC leader to help with Scottish devolution? However, with 15 years’ experience in Westminster, Grayling is also a trusted pair of hands at PMQs if the prime minister is ever away – something that comes with the role.

Business Secretary – Sajid Javid

Culture Secretary – John Whittingdale

Energy Secretary - Amber Rudd


Who has stayed put?

Chancellor of the Exchequer – George Osborne

They were the Batman and Robin of the Tory party in the last government and nothing has changed since the election. The two are inseparable in real life as well as politics (they’re godfathers to each other’s children) and Osborne is by far Cameron’s most trusted ally in the party. In the past, Osborne has suggested he might like to be foreign secretary at some point – he’s a lover of travel and diplomacy – but after what has generally been seen as a positive term as chancellor, there was nobody else for the job. He’s also been given the title First Secretary of State – it doesn’t really come with any responsibilities and just means he’s more senior than the other cabinet members.

Home Secretary – Theresa May

Theresa May has performed strongly in the role, weathering many small storms and emerging with barely a scratch to her reputation. We already know the Tories are planning bigger cuts to welfare and the state than they made in the last parliament and so it makes sense for Cameron to keep May where she is.

Foreign Secretary – Philip Hammond

We knew Cameron would choose someone with experience for the role this time and someone who can take orders, considering its significance in this term with the EU referendum on the horizon, and lo-and-behold Philip Hammond has stayed.

Defence Secretary - Michael Fallon

Michael Fallon was moved into the defence secretary position in the last re-shuffle, so he hasn’t really had the chance to make his mark on defence. Perhaps that’s why Cameron has chosen to keep him in that department.

Work and Pensions Secretary – Iain Duncan Smith

IDS has been work and pensions secretary since the formation of the first coalition cabinet in 2010 and is considered a trusted and experienced ally to Cameron. With all eyes on the labour market this parliament, it looks like the PM has chosen to keep a strong performer in the role.

Education Secretary – Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan was brought in to replace Michael Gove during Cameron’s most recent reshuffle. While she was only elected in 2010, and has less experience than other cabinet members, she’s worked in the Treasury and as minister for women – a job she still holds.


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Readers' comments (2)

  • Your comments re Michael Gove are completely wide of the mark
    Just like Iain Duncan Smith, he is courageous in trying to address the right issues regardless of any unpopularity from biased audiences
    Education needs major reform - he was prepared to try to address this - I believe that he was moved for political reasons, i.e. not wanting a war with teachers with an election coming
    Frankly, our PM should have had the bottle to leave him in place or to now reinstate him in Education - Nicky Morgan is just what the teaching unions want, toothless and without any real agenda to fix our failing education system
    Gove is to be admired, not denigrated, for trying to address this

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  • Anonymous

    Michael Gove knows nothing about education. Teachers do. If his reforms were good for education, there wouldn't have been a "war with teachers".

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