Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Brandon Lewis Named New UK Tory Chairman After Twitter Mix-Up

Brandon Lewis Named New UK Tory Chairman After Twitter Mix-Up

Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle got off to a chaotic start as the Tories bungled the announcement of their new party chairman.

The move comes as part of an ongoing reshuffle which is expected to see around half a dozen Cabinet ministers move positions or be sacked today ahead of a wider overhaul of the junior ministerial team tomorrow.

Also surprising, was the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt keeping his job and adding social care to his responsibilities.

Lewis was appointed housing and planning minister in July 2014 by then PM David Cameron.

Her first act was to replace the Tory party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin as punishment for having spearheaded a poor campaign in the general election in June a year ago when the number of Conservative MPs slipped from 331 to 318, thereby depriving the Prime Minister of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

Lewis replaces Sir Patrick McLoughlin as chairman, a veteran of the party and Parliament, having entered in 1986 and serving an under-secretary of state to Margaret Thatcher.

James Cleverly MP will serve as his assistant, according to the Spectator's James Forsyth and Telegraph's Gordon Rayner.

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Another name in the frame for the position is Transport Secretary Chris Grayling who was one of the first pro-Brexit ministers to back May when she stood for the Conservative leadership in 2016.

In an early blow, Northern Ireland Minister James Brokenshire stepped down because of ill health.

10 Downing Street on Monday. The government big hitters have kept their jobs, and only a handful of cabinet ministers have moved or left the government altogether.

It was reported that one of the junior ministers in the Department for Exiting the European Union could be given responsibility for getting the United Kingdom ready in case talks in Brussels fail to reach a deal, and could attend cabinet alongside Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Overall the reshuffle will be more extensive than that carried out by Mrs May following her humiliation in last year's general election when she made only limited changes to the Cabinet.

Speaking at the weekend, Mrs May insisted she still wanted to lead her party into the next election due to take place in 2022, declaring: "I'm not a quitter. I'm in this for the long term". Her long-time ally is to undergo surgery for a lung lesion.

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