British govt set for reshuffle today

LONDON • Britain's government is to undergo a reshuffle today as Prime Minister Theresa May looks to reassert her authority following a string of high-profile departures.

Deputy prime minister Damian Green is set to be replaced after stepping down last month over a pornography scandal. This comes after the departures of ministers Michael Fallon and Priti Patel, who were embroiled in separate controversies.

"Damian Green's departure before Christmas means that some changes do have to be made, and I will be making some changes," Mrs May told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

A Labour MP who wished to remain anonymous told Agence France-Presse that the reshuffle would take place today, having received confirmation from Conservative colleagues.

Mrs May's Downing Street office also said that widespread reports that Cabinet ministers would discover their fate today were not inaccurate.

Mr Green's resignation came as part of a broader scandal over sexual harassment at Westminster, which prompted the departure of Mr Fallon, the defence minister, in November.

His resignation was followed a week later by that of Ms Patel, Britain's overseas aid minister, who stepped down over unauthorised meetings in Israel.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is believed to be in line to take over Mr Green's role, while the Sunday Telegraph reported that Education Minister Justine Greening was facing the sack.

Leading figures such as Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Finance Minister Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis are expected to stay in their roles.

Justice Minister Dominic Raab, an ardent Brexit supporter, is reported to be in line for a top job, while Mrs May is also predicted to promote more women and racially diverse members.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2018, with the headline 'British govt set for reshuffle today'. Print Edition | Subscribe