Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Ken Clarke out as Cameron reshuffles Government
As David Cameron begins his first major reshuffle of the coalition government, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has become one of the first to be removed from her role. Conservative Party co-chairman Warsi had appealed to the Prime Minister to allow her to carry on in her current post but her departure came as no surprise.
Deputy Michael Fallon, Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Employment Minister Chris Grayling are seen as strong candidates to take over her role.
Warsi used her official @ToryChairman Twitter account to confirm she was “signing off,” saying it had been “a privilege and an honour to serve my party as co-chairman.”
Another minister who used Twitter to announce her departure was Cheryl Gillan, who removed her role as Welsh Secretary from her account biography.
Meanwhile, Ken Clarke is being downgraded from Justice Secretary to minister without a portfolio.
Clarke today denied that being moved from Justice Secretary to minister without portfolio was a humiliation, telling reporters, “Being offered a job in the Cabinet at my age? Don’t be so daft. It’s rather a privilege, I think.”
The first appointment of the reshuffle was of Andrew Mitchell as the new chief whip. Cameron praised his new chief whip, saying, “Andrew has done a superb job as Britain’s Development Secretary. He has made British development policy transparent, focused and highly effective.”
Former Lib Dem Treasury Minister, David Laws, is expected to make a return to the front benches, while key figures like Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague are expected to remain in place.
As Cameron continued discussions with MPs in shaping his new team, Downing Street said the new Cabinet would not meet today.
The reshuffle is expected to see ministerial jobs given to new faces from the 2010 intake as Cameron is attempting to build a new team in the run-up to the next general election.