Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Greening and Lansley Could Face Reshuffle Axe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Greening and Lansley Could Face Reshuffle Axe

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

DAVID CAMERON is closeted with ministers as he draws up his first major Cabinet reshuffle, with questions flying over the future of key ministers, including Transport Secretary Justine Greening and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Insiders say the Prime Minister is determined to carry out a bold reshuffle which will be more expensive than previously thought. Insiders expect sweeping changes of middle and junior ministers at defence, and among the lower ranks at education.

MPs and officials think the chances of Ms Greening moving jobs has increased following confirmation from sources that a consultation on aviation expansion in the South-East is likely to be handed to an independent commission.

The minister, who is the Cabinet's leading opponent of a third runway at Heathrow, is battling to stay in the department that she joined only 10 months ago to the delight of west London residents under the flight path. But a Whitehall insider said she had effectively had her "influence downgraded".

It follows claims that she has had poor relations with Chancellor George Osborne.

Mr Lansley's NHS reforms last year, which caused No 10 to have concerns about his political salesmanship, could be a reason to drop him from the highly sensitive department and move on.

Tory MPs think that at least half a dozen Cabinet changes are on the cards. Chief whip Patrick McLoughlin is widely tipped to be moved following the spring and summer Tory rebellions, and possibly replaced by Andrew Mitchell, the Right-winger who ran David Davis's leadership campaign.

With Mr Cameron eager to appease the Tory Right after the fiasco of Lords reform and complaints about Liberal Democrat influence, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is battling to avoid being demoted to Leader of the House. Deputy Premier Nick Clegg is carrying out his own reshuffle.

Mayor and PM at loggerheads over Heathrow Page 10 'TIME SOME MINISTERS HAD A MOVE' COMMENTARY Joe Murphy BY THE time ministers say their prayers tonight, David Cameron's first reshuffle is likely to be under way with consequences that will reverberate to the next election. …

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