Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt promoted in David Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle
12:07 04 September 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Culture and Olympics Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to Health Secretary in today’s reshuffle of the Cabinet by Prime Minister David Cameron.
"Being offered a job in the Cabinet at my age? Don’t be so daft"
Mr Hunt, who came under huge pressure earlier this year over his role in the BSkyB takeover bid, replaces Andrew Lansley, who becomes Commons leader.
Other changes include Ken Clarke being replaced as Justice Secretary by employment minister Chris Grayling. Mr Clarke becomes minister without portfolio, and denied the move was a humiliation.
The 72-year-old Tory told reporters: “Being offered a job in the Cabinet at my age? Don’t be so daft. It’s rather a privilege, I think.”
There was also a promotion for Theresa Villiers, who replaces Owen Paterson as Northern Ireland Secretary - but several female colleagues were ousted from their roles.
Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman have all departed.
There is also a return to the front benches for former Liberal Democrat Treasury minister David Laws, who resigned during the expenses scandal, 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.
Mr Cameron paid tribute to Sir George Young, who is returning to the backbenches after serving as Commons Leader since the coalition Government came to power in 2010.
The new-look Cabinet was discussed by Mr Cameron and Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, although the final decisions on each party’s ministers was taken by the two leaders individually.