Justine Greening quits Cabinet after losing education post in May's reshuffle

Mindy Sparks
January 13, 2018

She is able to claim, as planned, to have upped the numbers of women in government and new ministers from ethnic minorities.

There was little that was dramatic in Theresa May's reshuffle of her Cabinet on Monday, though the British Prime Minister has made the underlying objective obvious enough ~ to add more power to her elbow before the Brexit negotiations are in full flow.

Mrs May's Cabinet met for the first time since a misfired reshuffle of top jobs on Monday, which saw Justine Greening walk out as education secretary rather than accept a move to work and pensions, while Jeremy Hunt turned down the PM's offer of the business brief, insisting instead on an expanded health and social care role.

Overall, Cabinet ministers were more than five times more likely to have gone to a fee-paying school than the general population, the Sutton Trust analysis shows.

Theresa May's new top team is now more privileged than before, with more than a third of those attending cabinet educated privately. With nearly 120 members of the government altogether, that means female representation has risen from 25% but is still just 30%. She was anxious too to consolidate her leadership by moving out individuals and sections of the party without suffering from it herself.

Damian Hinds, a junior DWP minister, is promoted to be the new Education Secretary.

Mr Johnson had been in the firing line over the appointment of columnist Toby Young to the board of the government's universities regulator.

Tuesday's moves were seen as May preparing for a potential successor as Tory leader from the party's next generation, after media reports about senior ministers such as Boris Johnson and David Davis eyeing up the role. He then added a hashtag urging May to "get it right". "And we have to transform the culture in Westminster which has normalised sexual harassment".

On the weekend Theresa May said that the controversialist who had made disparaging remarks about working class students, called for genetically modifying poor people, homophobic statements, appalling remarks about women's bodies - including MP's and scoffed about needing tissues but not for crying while watching charity appeals - had her full confidence in the role she had given him overseeing students' interests.

One of those appointed in their place is Suella Fernandes, the chair of the European Research Group, who was elected in 2015 and is the daughter of immigrants from Kenya and Mauritius.

Rightly have constitutional experts remarked that any Prime Minister's executive power over his or her colleagues is never more strikingly revealed than in a reshuffle. But what is most notable about this one, and beyond the above, what is causing dismay on the Tory benches is Theresa May's inability to make all the cabinet moves that she wanted to.

If this was the prime minister's goal, she failed here too, ignoring some of the party's rising stars such as Tom Tugendhat and Johnny Mercer altogether and moving others from positions where they shone to posts for which they are not obviously qualified.

There has been inevitable concern in some quarters that white, male ministers were moved out to make space irrespective of their performance.

Having served May in the early months of May's premiership, Perrior resigned following the announcement of a snap election in April, while criticising some of her other advisors.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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