Theresa May is going to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday – with reports that a number of senior ministers are going to get the axe.
The PM has been forced to make changes to her top team following Damian Green’s resignation last month as ‘deputy PM’, after he admitted lying about the alleged discovery of pornographic images on his Commons computer during a police raid.
But unlike the previous resignations of Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel – where consequent changes were kept to a minimum – Green’s departure is expected to trigger a more dramatic ministerial re-jig.
Downing Street sources indicated that it would continue into a second day on Tuesday, with the middle-ranking and junior ministerial appointments.
May’s most senior colleagues – including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Secretary David Davis – were reported to be safe.
However, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin, Business Secretary Greg Clark and the Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom were among those said to be vulnerable.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Ms Greening was fighting to hold on to her position, posting a series of tweets attempting to highlight her achievements in her education brief – twice declaring ‘school standards are rising’.
Downing Street sources sought to play down the reports, describing them as ‘speculation’ and ‘guesswork’.
It is thought that May will take the opportunity to bring forward some more junior ministers, with Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis and Justice Minister Dominic Raab among those tipped for promotion.
And it is as yet unclear whether May will announce a direct replacement for Green, whose official title was First Secretary of State.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had widely been seen as the favourite for the role, but reports have suggested that May’s reluctant to move him in the midst of an NHS winter crisis.