If the Prime Minister had had a clear plan and had executed it properly, yesterday’s reshuffle would not have been the media disaster that it is this morning. It terms of personnel changes, her options were always going to be limited. In November and December, she lost three cabinet in ministers in quick succession, and yesterday a further three (Sir Patrick McLoughlin, James Brokenshire, and Justine Greening) left the Government. Sir Patrick was expected; James Brokenshire was a sad departure and I send my good wishes to him for a speedy recovery; and Justine Greening simply isn’t up to the job of a cabinet minister. I am sure that she is a nice person (I have never met her), but I have never regarded her as competent, nor is she a good media performer.
Removing the Chancellor was always going to be tricky. If she had fired him, he would have created more trouble for her on the backbenches. If she had tried to keep him in the cabinet, she would have had to offer him another senior position or he would have resigned. That would have meant moving Boris or Amber Rudd. But where to? And if Boris had left the Government, he would have been a thorn in May’s side.
It was all too complicated, and for a Prime Minister who already lacks authority, it was never going to happen. Continue reading “An omnishambles of a cabinet reshuffle once again paints May as weak and wobbly”