By Gregory Taylor
So the Prime Minister seems to have had a “Night of the Long Knives” part 2, as any political geek will know that Harold Macmillan famously sacked seven members of his cabinet in one night. Although the PM has not sacked seven members of the cabinet he seems to have sacked most of the moderate Tories from the pre 2010 election, and he seems to have brought in a lot of the ‘class of 2010’ intake. Of course the biggest shock would have to be Hague moving from the Foreign Office to become Leader of the House, many would have thought he would have stayed until the election before going.
The other big move was Michael Gove being moved from being Education Secretary to being Chief Whip. Other high-profile ministers who have gone, include Owen Patterson as Environment Secretary, Alan Duncan as Minister for International Development, Greg Barker Minister for Energy, Hugh Robertson as a Foreign Office Minister, and Nick Hurd as Minister for Volunteering. Not even Ken Clarke survived the cull and it is interesting to note that Ken Clarke has been a member of every Tory government from 1970s onwards.
It is almost like the Prime Minister is looking for a clean slate for the government in the run up to the election, but I feel some of the people who he sacked could have been very useful, with the run up being months only. It all well and good to bring new faces into the government, but it just seems that he’s been sacking ministers because they didn’t fit the new image the party is looking for. It’s great that we have more women in government and I very much support that, also people with a wider range of different backgrounds in government.
Overall it’s been a mixed reshuffle, some very good appointments but others I’m not too sure about. I feel that moving Gove was nothing more than the PM giving into the left-wing press, equally I feel the appointment of Philip Hammond as the Foreign Secretary is an unwise move because he lacks the personality that Hague has, I feel it’s a great shame that Hague left the FCO although it’s debatable if he has past his best.
It’s great to see Michael Fallon in the cabinet at last, he’s been a great spokesman for the government and comes across well in the media; he also knows his brief well. Liz Truss is another good appointment. Some of the other junior appointments like Brooks Newmark as Minister for Volunteering and George Freeman as Minister for Life Science are good choices to bring into the government. Matt Hancock is also another bright young Minister who is rising fast through the ranks. It was also good to see the appointment of Priti Patel to the Treasury, she is someone who been seen as very much on the right of the party on certain issues, and is known for her anti EU feelings.
Although it’s good that the Prime Minister is bringing in more women and some of the people elected in 2010, but I can’ t help feeling that sacking so many experienced ministers could be harmful in light of the up and coming year with an election a matter of months away. I think this new team of ministers will make it a very interesting nine months before the election next year.