Hunt promoted in Cabinet reshuffle

Hunt promoted in Cabinet reshuffle

Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to Health Secretary in David Cameron's reshuffled Cabinet

Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at No 10 Downing Street where he is putting the final touches to his first major reshuffle

New Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers arrives at No 10 Downing Street

First published in National News © by

Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to Health Secretary as the line-up of David Cameron's reshuffled Cabinet begins to take shape.

The senior Tory, who came under huge pressure as Culture Secretary earlier this year over his role in the BSkyB takeover bid, replaces Andrew Lansley who becomes Commons leader. Maria Miller will replace Mr Hunt as Culture, Media and Sport Secretary and will also be Minister for Women and Equalities.

It is the most significant element to be revealed so far of a wide-ranging shake-up of the top team that also saw Ken Clarke replaced as Justice Secretary by employment minister Chris Grayling. The veteran former chancellor has accepted a roving "wise head" role within the Cabinet.

There was also a promotion for Theresa Villiers, who replaces Owen Paterson as Northern Ireland Secretary, with Mr Paterson becoming Environment Secretary - but several female colleagues were ousted from their roles.

Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman have all departed. Baroness Warsi is to become Minister of State at the Foreign Office and Minister for Faith and Communities and will attend Cabinet. Housing minister Grant Shapps replaces Baroness Warsi and will attend Cabinet as a minister without portfolio. David Jones has been promoted from Welsh minister to Secretary of State for Wales.

Justine Greening has been appointed International Development Secretary and Patrick McLoughlin replaces her as Transport Secretary. London Mayor Boris Johnson hit out at the removal of Ms Greening as Transport Secretary, saying it meant the Government was intent on the "simply mad" policy of a new runway at Heathrow, and vowed to fight any such expansion "all the way".

There is also a return to the front benches for former Liberal Democrat Treasury minister David Laws, who will replace Sarah Teather as education minister.

While the changes are extensive, the most senior Cabinet positions are unchanged, with the Prime Minister confirming he would keep Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove in place. All of the Liberal Democrats' Cabinet ministers will also keep their jobs.

A Downing Street source said the Work and Pensions Secretary and the Education Secretary were considered "key reformers" by the Prime Minister. "He wants them to stay in place to get the job done."

Mr Clarke denied that being moved to minister without portfolio was a humiliation. The 72-year-old Tory "big beast" told reporters: "Being offered a job in the Cabinet at my age? Don't be so daft. It's rather a privilege, I think."

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