London: British Prime Minister Theresa May today continued the shake up of her ministerial team for the second day by promoting several junior ministers including Indian-origin MP Alok Sharma, even as two senior ministers refused to be moved to their new posts.
The prime minister turned her attention to the lower ranks after a Cabinet reshuffle yesterday that descended into chaos when Jeremy Hunt refused to be moved from his job as health secretary and Justine Greening quit rather than move from education to work and pensions.
The junior ministerial changes were billed in advance as an opportunity for May to clear out some older ministers and promote newer MPs, after yesterday’s moves left the Cabinet still overwhelmingly male and white.
However, the first tranche of ministers who entered No 10 to be promoted were all men. Sharma went from housing to employment.
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, was promoted to minister of state at the department for transport and minister for London.
The prisons minister Sam Gyimah replaced Johnson as minister for higher education.
Rory Stewart became a minister of state in the justice department, moving from international development, while Stephen Barclay was made a minister of state at health, moving from the treasury.
The first woman to get a junior-level promotion was Caroline Dinenage, who was also made a minister of state for health.
Her move was quickly followed by a bigger job for Margot James, made minister of state in the department for digital, culture, media and sport, and for Harriett Baldwin, who became a minister of state at the Foreign Office.
A number of more experienced colleagues were sacked to make way for fresh talent. Mark Garnier, who was cleared before Christmas over alleged inappropriate behaviour towards his personal assistant, lost his job as a trade minister.