David Cameron’s first reshuffle prompts outrage at sidelining of Heathrow rebels

Other big movers include Ken Clarke, the "big beast" who has left the Cabinet and accepted a more junior role as a Minister Without Portfolio. He will advise the Coalition on economic policy.

Iain Duncan Smith openly defied Mr Cameron by turning down his offer to move from Work and Pensions to Justice, saying that he wanted to stay in his post in order to oversee the implementation of a new form of benefit, the Universal Credit.

In a sign that the Prime Minister heeded calls for more representatives from the Right of the Conservative Party, there were promotions for Theresa Villiers, who joined the Cabinet as Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson, who became Environment Secretary, and Andrew Mitchell, a popular choice with Tory backbenchers as Chief Whip.

But there was anger at Mr Cameron's failure to carry out his pledge to bring more women into high office. Caroline Spelman, Cheryl Gillan and Baroness Warsi left their jobs as Environment Secretary, Welsh Secretary and Party Chairman respectfully.

Maria Miller's appointment as Culture Secretary was not enough to restore the balance of women in the Cabinet. After hours of wrangling, Baroness Warsi reluctantly accepted a new job as a Senior Minister at the Foreign Office.

Grant Shapps was promoted from Housing Minister to become the new Tory Party Chairman.

And David Laws, the Liberal Democrat who resigned over his expenses after just 16 days in office two years ago, returned to the Government as Minister at the Department of Education. He will also have a role advising the Coalition on policy across Government.

There were no changes at the most senior level of the Government, with Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, George Osborne, the Chancellor, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, all staying in their posts.

6 thoughts on “David Cameron’s first reshuffle prompts outrage at sidelining of Heathrow rebels”

  1. Since the policy of expanding Heathrow is about as popular as genital herpes, the best tactic would be to oppose this expansion, whilst not pushing too hard for Boris Island right now. Have the high-speed rail link go to Birmingham airport instead Boris Island will enrage the bird fascists and the “friends of the ragworm”. Softly softly catchee monkey.

  2. Well done for standing up for the beleaguered people of Heathrow, Boris. Please come and be Mayor of Essex too, we need you to fight against Stansted expansion for us! Do you realise that the people of Essex have been fighting Stansted expansion since 1989? We love your alternative idea of Boris Island – go for it, Boz!

  3. We need the new airport. We don’t need to kowtow to a small, noisy group of selfish past-timers. If something is right, the Conservative party should have the courage to do it. But I guess the leadership will tell us, at length, about what cannot be done.

    As usual.

  4. Ed Gibb: This noisy protestor agrees with your view that we need a new airport. What I totally disagree with, however, is your confused stereotype of local democracy and community protest groups.

    The reason the protest movement against Stansted expansion has not only survived for some 30 years – spanning two generations – but has grown in size throughout that period, is that the majority of the community in Essex totally oppose building a second runway at Stansted.

    A second runway at Stansted would make Stansted Airport larger and more noise and air polluting than Heathrow. It would effectively transplant the existing Heathrow nightmare – and some more nightmares besides – to Essex.

  5. That is why two Stansted Public Inquiries and a Royal Commission in the course of the last 30 years have ruled against Stansted expanding beyond a single runway, most recently in the 1980s when it was judged that a second runway at Stansted, in any position or location, would be an “environmental catastrophe”.

    The words of the Inspector, Graham Eyre QC (later Sir Graham Eyre) were as follows:

    “I would not be debasing the currency if I express my judgement that the development of an airport at Stansted, with a capacity in excess of 25mppa and requiring the construction and operation of a second runway and all the structural and operational paraphernalia of a modern international airport as we know the animal in 1984, would constitute nothing less than a catastrophe in environmental terms.”

    We in Essex are not prepared to suffer that environmental catastrophe for any government.

    So if Cameron and the new transport minister want a fight, we are up for it, bring it on.

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