15 July 2014

What is expected to be David Cameron’s final government reshuffle before the 2015 General Election is underway. Gavin Freeguard and Caragh Nimmo provide the data as part of a Whitehall Monitor live blog.

15 July 2014 18:13

One final graph from us tonight: based on today's announcements, this is now the gender balance of the Conservative part of the Government. We've got a percentage version, as well as an absolute number version.

Thank you to everyone who's tweeted and retweeted, to Andrew Sparrow whose excellent blog sent many readers our way, and to our colleagues here at the IfG for their expertise and support.

Until the next reshuffle... or the next release of government data, which we'll analyse as part of Whitehall Monitor.

15 July 2014 18:00

Here's how the Whips' Offices, law officers and leaders of the two Houses of Parliament look after today's reshuffle:

15 July 2014 17:56

Another appointment: Tobias Ellwood becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the FCO. Judging by the Prime Minister's latest tweet - which links to a full list of today's announcements - that might be it for the day. Here's our final (hopefully) department graph:

15 July 2014 17:33

One thing we've not analysed today is something David Cameron hasn't done as part of any of his reshuffles, and that's make big changes to the Machinery of Government.

The roles of a number of departments have changed significantly since 2010, and structures within and between them have changed: think equalities moving into the Home Office (and latterly DCMS), constitutional affairs going to the Deputy PM at the Cabinet Office, financial forecasts leaving the Treasury for the OBR and media regulation swapping BIS for DCMS, or various changes to arm's-length bodies. But we have the same government departments in 2014 as we did in 2009.

A previous report by the Institute with the LSE, Making and Breaking Whitehall Departments (2010), includes this helpful graphic of changes between 1979 and 2009:

15 July 2014 17:18

Away from the ministerial reshuffle was the news that Sir Bob Kerslake is departing as Head of the Civil Service, and will be stepping down as Perm Sec of DCLG in February:

Here's a short extract from Peter's blog:

The real problems in the civil service leadership are structural. It was right in January 2012 to split the functions of Cabinet Secretary and Civil Service Head since no one could perform both roles. However, it was a mistake for Sir Bob to double-hat as Head of the Civil Service and a departmental Permanent Secretary. That created impossible pressures on him, and, in this position, he never had the powers or authority to lead the changes expected of him.

And here's our graphic of Permanent Secretaries since 2010:

15 July 2014 17:09

I suspect I'm on safer ground with this one - unless there are any dramatic late changes at Cabinet level. Based on today, and assuming no changes between now and General Election 2015, this is what the Secretaries of State for key departments would look like, 2010-2015.

Today's changes mean MoD, Defra and Wales are now on their third Secretary of State of the parliament, joining Scotland, DfT and DCMS.

Hague's replacement by Hammond at the Foreign Office makes it the first of the great offices of state to change hands since May 2010. The other change was Nicky Morgan taking over DfE from Michael Gove, the new Chief Whip.

15 July 2014 17:04

I knew I was asking for trouble... two more appointments: Sam Gymiah appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DfE, Jo Johnson promoted to Minister of State at the Cabinet Office:

15 July 2014 16:57

This is a graph of ministerial changes within core departments. The pink shows people new to their posts today - which is quite a lot of them...

As we pointed out earlier (12:14 with reference to the Treasury), this doesn't capture where people have been promoted within a department, or have other experience of working there.

15 July 2014 16:31

I'm wary of doing this, just in case there's another flurry of announcements, but it's beginning to feel like the reshuffle is over - and, therefore, time for some summary posts.

This is what has happened to the gender balance of the Conservative part of the Government during this reshuffle. Top line - we've gone from three full female members of the Cabinet, plus two attending, to five full members, plus three attending:

15 July 2014 16:17

Five appointments to the Whips' Office in the Commons - Mel Stride, Therese Coffey, Ben Wallace and Damian Hinds as well as Alun Cairns - leave our graph of the Whips, law officers and House leaders looking like this:

15 July 2014 16:07

So much for that winding-down... Alun Cairns has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, and a Government Whip:

15 July 2014 15:49

Norman Smith for the BBC is reporting that that might be it for the reshuffle. We'll bring you some summaries in a bit, but first:

15 July 2014 15:42

And here's how the Cabinet looked between 2005 and 2010. Some key points:

  • Only Des Browne (Defence) and Peter Hain (Wales) kept the same post when Brown took over from Blair as Prime Minister
  • Blair's final unforced reshuffle was quite extensive - 10 of the posts on our chart changed hands
  • There are lots of machinery of government changes, especially around the Business brief.

15 July 2014 15:29

I mentioned earlier that we'd recently compared the first four years of reshuffles by Tony Blair and David Cameron. That comparison suggested that they were both relatively similar in the amount of shuffling they did, but later New Labour terms saw a bit more churn.

Here's a graphic of Cabinet ministers for key departments, 2001-2005.

15 July 2014 14:59

According to GOV.UK, it looks like Baroness Stowell is now down as attending Cabinet, rather than a full member. That gives five full female members plus three attending, and not six plus two as it appeared earlier.

15 July 2014 14:49

Brandon Lewis has been promoted to Minister of State at DCLG.

15 July 2014 14:32

Why does ministerial stability matter? It seems civil servants and ministers agree on the benefits - this is from A Game of Two Halves:

Reflecting on the lack of changes since May 2010, many civil servants are pleased with this period of relative stability: “From a Civil Service perspective, I think it’s quite refreshing seeing ministers in a job for as long as you would expect somebody to be in a job for in the real world” [senior civil servant interviewed by the IfG]. [Former Labour minister Pat] McFadden agrees that “it takes you six months to get your head around the department anyway; so if you’ve got a new secretary of state after a year, you’ve got to start that process again”.

But there are times when reshuffles may be necessary:

…while the frequency of reshuffles in past governments tended to be disruptive and counterproductive, there are times when a judicious reallocation of ministerial portfolios can help to give an administration a new lease of life. Reshuffles also serve as an effective form of performance management of current and aspiring ministers, and can also counteract the tendency of ministers to “go native” in their departments.

A Game of Two Halves

There is ‘a fine balance between serving long enough and too long’:

A common civil service view is that ministers are “most effective after a year, but not the opposite extreme of being stuck for five or six years”. A minister commented: 

“You can’t do anything in 18 months [one estimate of the average tenure] – but three or four years is a bit long because you come round to things you have done before. There is a tendency to lose energy. Two or three years is probably about optimal.” 

A senior civil servant agreed: “A reasonable amount of time in post is hugely important – 18 months at a minimum and two and a half years [is] good.”

The Challenge of Being a Minister

15 July 2014 14:16

This is the Tory part of the Government's gender composition, as of 14:15:

15 July 2014 14:13

Ed Vaizey has been promoted from Parliamentary Under Secretary at DCMS to Minister of State at DCMS and BIS (he was a Parliamentary Under Secretary jointly between those two departments at the beginning of the Parliament). That means DCMS joins Wales, Northern Ireland, Transport, Education, DfID, Defra and MoJ in not having anybody in the same job as they were prior to the October 2012 reshuffle.

Brooks Newmark has been appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office. That means only the Scotland Office has yet to see a new appointment today.

15 July 2014 13:58

George Freeman becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary at BIS and Health, Andrew Murrison becomes Parliamentary Secretary at the Northern Ireland Office (moving from MoD):

15 July 2014 13:48

Desmond Swayne to DfID (Minister of State) and Julian Brazier to MoD (Parliamentary Under Secretary) leave our department graph looking like this:

15 July 2014 13:39

Robert Buckland is the new Solicitor General, replacing Oliver Heald. That's quite a turnover of law officers, with Jeremy Wright having replaced Dominic Grieve as Attorney General. Of the law officers, only Lord Wallace of Tankerness - the Advocate General for Scotland - remains from initial appointments in May 2010.

15 July 2014 13:35

As we saw earlier, Sir Bob Kerslake is to depart as Head of the Civil Service. However, he'll remain as Permanent Secretary at DCLG until February next year.

There's been quite a lot of change to Perm Secs since the 2010 General Election, as you can see from the chart below. We think that covers everyone, but let us know if you think not.

15 July 2014 13:22

Nick Gibb is returning to government as a Minister of State at DfE. He was previously a Minister of State at DfE, 2010-12.

37.5% of DfE ministers are new to their posts today.

15 July 2014 12:54

As of now, this is a graph of when government ministers took up their current post - including a new Secretary of State in the Wales Office, and new ministers in positions at DECC, DfT and BIS:

15 July 2014 12:36

Appointments for Amber Rudd (now Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DECC) and Penny Mordaunt (at DCLG) mean our gender graph looks like this at lunchtime:

15 July 2014 12:30

Back to the Civil Service reshuffle, and the departure of Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Civil Service. He's now written about it on his blog.

15 July 2014 12:28

Claire Perry becomes a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Transport, the second appointment at DfT today after John Hayes.

Priti Patel is the new Exchequer Secretary, replacing the promoted David Gauke on the Treasury's ladder to higher ministerial office.

15 July 2014 12:19

Anna Soubry's promotion to Minister of State (from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) at the MoD changes our gender graph again. There is now one female Minister of State not attending Cabinet, as there was before the reshuffle started.

15 July 2014 12:14

David Gauke has been promoted to Financial Secretary to the Treasury, from his previous role as Exchequer Secretary. He replaces DfE-bound Nicky Morgan. John Hayes has added Minister of State for Transport to his portfolio as, er, Minister of State without Portfolio at the Cabinet Office.

One thing our graphs don't capture is moves within a department (they just show when people were new to their current post). It's interesting to note that Gauke, Morgan and before them Sajid Javid all rose through the various ranks at the Treasury.

15 July 2014 12:06

Some other important news in the midst of the reshuffle: it's been reported that Sir Bob Kerslake is to depart as the Head of the Civil Service. The Institute has just released a statement from our director, Peter Riddell, which begins:

The Prime Minister now has an opportunity to correct past mistakes and ensure there is a leadership structure at the top of the Civil Service that works now and for the long-term. The role of the Head of the Civil Service is important for the effectiveness of government and for the successful delivery of the Prime Minister’s priorities. The position carries enormous responsibilities and is a full-time job that requires a full- time appointment, separate from the Cabinet Secretary.

15 July 2014 11:56

Gender update: with Baroness Stowell becoming Leader of the Lords, we have six female full Cabinet ministers and two women attending Cabinet. That's up from three full members and two attending before the reshuffle started.

15 July 2014 11:45

The reshuffle is now well into more junior ministerial ranks. I linked earlier to Emma Norris's piece on why junior ministers matter, but here's more from the archive.

As we noted in The Challenge of Being a Minister:

Secretaries of state have dominated the discussion on ministerial performance in previous studies and memoirs. But there are four times as many junior ministers as those in the cabinet and their role has often been neglected... Ministers of state and under-secretaries often play a very important role in delivering change and implementing policies – and they are, of course, the cabinet ministers of the future, even if only a few make it that far. But their appointment can often be haphazard. Prime ministers do not – in the view of both ministers and civil servants – give enough attention to junior ministerial posts. In our interviews, ministers and civil servants were in complete agreement about the often random and arbitrary way in which such ministers are appointed and dismissed. Not only is there little attention to which minister has the appropriate experience and skills for a post, but prime ministers often negotiate with powerful secretaries of state keen to protect their allies and protégés. In other cases, weaker or new heads of departments had no real say in the choice of junior ministers: “it all depends on your place in the pecking order”, as one cabinet minister ruefully noted about the bargaining and bartering that went on for the most promising junior ministers ahead of any reshuffle.

The incentives for junior ministers to make their mark are also interesting. Nick Raynsford MP told the Public Administration Select Committee back in 2006:

“[Ministers are] assumed to have to make their mark within a year or two… they are going to want to do something quickly. The last thing they are going to want to do is to focus on maintaining a programme that is going to take 10 years to produce results when they will not be there to get the benefit of the praise. That, I think, is an insidious culture.”

15 July 2014 11:40

The Prime Minister has announced that Mike Penning has been appointed Minister of State at Home Office and MoJ (moving from the same rank at DWP), and Nick Boles has been appointed as Minister of State at BIS and DfE (a promotion from Parliamentary Under Secretary for Planning at DCLG). The departing Damian Green was previously a Minister of State across HO and MoJ, the promoted Matt Hancock at BIS and DfE.

Mark Harper is also to return to government as Minister of State at DWP.

15 July 2014 11:30

With Matthew Hancock attending Cabinet, here's the current gender composition of the Conservatives in government:

15 July 2014 11:22

Matt Hancock replaces Michael Fallon as Minister of State at DECC and BIS and Minister for Portsmouth (no, really).

15 July 2014 11:12

So far we've been focusing on the core ministerial departments, but there have been changes to the Whips and Leaders of both Commons and Lords (Baroness Stowell is to replace Lord Hill, David Cameron's nomination for European Commissioner). We'll add law officers to this graph when we know what's happening there, with Attorney General Dominic Grieve and Solicitor General Oliver Heald reported to have gone.

15 July 2014 10:48

Greg Clark has been appointed as Minister for Universities and Science at BIS, in addition to his current role as Minister for Cities and Constitution at the Cabinet Office. Our graph of when people took up their government posts now looks like this:

15 July 2014 10:42

Esther McVey attending Cabinet means that, as of 10:40, there are five female full Cabinet members, and two women attending Cabinet. Before the reshuffle, it was three full members and two attending.

15 July 2014 10:33

Esther McVey is to attend Cabinet in her current role as Minister of State at DWP. That changes our gender composition graph a bit, which we'll update shortly.

While we do that, here's the House of Commons Library with some information on the limits to Cabinet, and government, appointments - for example, there can only be 22 full Cabinet members.

15 July 2014 10:20

Reshuffles can be difficult for those doing the shuffling as well as those being (or at risk of being) shuffled. And it’s not just David Cameron:

…past leaders have described having to break the bad news as “a ghastly business” (Tony Blair), “the most distasteful...of all the tasks which fall to the lot of a prime minister” (Clement Attlee), and “something you have to grit your teeth to do” (Margaret Thatcher).

Tony Blair was apparently a weak ‘butcher’ when it came to reshuffle day:

On one occasion, Keith Vaz was called in to see the PM, who spent half an hour telling the delighted Vaz what a good job he was doing as Minister for Europe. As he left the office, it was left to Jonathan Powell to break the bad news.

Shuffling the Pack, following Andrew Rawnsley’s The End of the Party

15 July 2014 10:14

The appointments so far mean that five women (May, Greening, Villiers, Truss and Morgan) are now full members of the Cabinet, as opposed to three before the reshuffle. Michael Fallon's appointment to MoD means the wait for a first female Defence Secretary continues.

15 July 2014 10:00

Michael Fallon's appointment as Defence Secretary leaves our projected Cabinet graph looking like this:

15 July 2014 09:56

As of now, and considering only those appointments announced by the Prime Minister on Twitter, these are when ministers in core government departments took up their posts:

15 July 2014 09:48

As my colleague Cath Haddon points out, despite their earlier health warning ('This page may not reflect all the latest ministerial changes'), GOV.UK do seem to be having a good go at live updates.

15 July 2014 09:45

In our analysis, we’ll be distinguishing between what we call ‘unforced’ and ‘forced’ reshuffles:

  • Unforced reshuffles are where the PM has chosen to freshen up their government and has a relatively free hand. They’ve not been forced into it by a resignation. These are the ones we’re concentrating on.
  • Forced reshuffles are where a PM has had to make changes because of a ministerial resignation.

Here's a list of those since 1997 - let us know if we've missed any:

15 July 2014 09:41

So far we’ve concentrated on Secretaries of State (as those are the moves currently being announced). But we’ll also be looking at junior ministers. My colleague Emma Norris blogged yesterday on why junior ministers are important:

Good junior ministers who have stuck with a policy for some time have knowledge of the detail and of why decisions and compromises have been made, hold strong relationships with people outside government, and have a keen awareness of and ability to manage the politics of implementation. Changes and churn can destabilise this. To date, junior ministers under this government have benefited from some measure of stability.

15 July 2014 09:31

With Nicky Morgan being promoted to Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, here's some more background on women in Parliament (figures courtesy of the House of Commons Library). This graph shows the percentage of MPs that were women elected in every general election since 1918:

15 July 2014 09:25

Nicky Morgan's appointment as Education Secretary leaves the (projected) Cabinet looking like this:

15 July 2014 09:23

As the new appointments start trickling out on twitter – the social media equivalent of Vatican white smoke – we should explain why we care about reshuffles.

As Akash Paun noted in Shuffling the Pack (August 2012):

Typically, reshuffles are interpreted through a narrow political lens. But a broader test that should be applied is whether reshuffles have any impact on the effectiveness, the performance or the policy direction of the government.

As we wrote in The Challenge of Being a Minister (May 2011):

A real constraint on ministerial effectiveness is that many ministers do not stay in their posts long enough, as a result of over-frequent reshuffles. A consistent theme of our interviews – and in much of the research on ministers – was that the relatively short tenure of ministers in their posts can undermine their effectiveness. This point was made by ministers and those we interviewed working in industry. Few ministers are in the same job long enough to see a policy through from inception, via legislation, to implementation. Most ministers will only have around 27 months to do what they can; the average tenure between 1947 and 1997 was 26.8 months for junior ministers, 27.2 for ministers of cabinet rank, and 28 months for cabinet ministers.

15 July 2014 09:18

By way of context, I wrote a few weeks ago comparing the first four years of changes at Cabinet level under the Coalition government and under Tony Blair’s first term (1997-2001). We looked at Secretaries of States of departments or equivalent, excluding whips, law officers and a few others.

The graphs show relatively similar levels of stability – Cameron (thus far) has had 1.74 Secretaries of State per department (33 in 19), while Blair had 1.88 (30 in 16).

In a sense, this may come as a surprise. Cameron is widely congratulated on keeping reshuffles to a minimum and Blair often regarded as a serial shuffler, but both of their first terms were relatively stable. As we’ll see later, though, looking at the 13 years of New Labour government gives a different picture.

Here’s the Blair graph:

15 July 2014 09:16

Michael Gove's move to chief whip leaves a vacancy as Secretary of State at the Department for Education:

15 July 2014 09:10

The Prime Minister has confirmed Philip Hammond's appointment as Foreign Secretary, replacing William Hague (now Leader of the House of Commons):

15 July 2014 09:07

There's been a lot of coverage about the gender composition of the government in the run-up to the reshuffle, which we'll be keeping an eye on.

In the meantime, based on this helpful research from the House of Commons Library, here are a couple of charts giving the number of women in the House of Commons:

15 July 2014 08:58

One key graphic we'll be updating throughout the day is when ministers across key departments took up their posts. This is what it looked like before the reshuffle got underway yesterday. DCMS's post-October 2013 influx includes both Sajid Javid and Nicky Morgan, who came in following Maria Miller's resignation in April 2014, but also Jo Swinson returning from maternity leave to replace her Lib Dem colleague Jenny Willott, who was covering for her.

15 July 2014 08:54

A quick note on what data we’re using – and how we’re using it. The sources we’ve used are:

As today’s reshuffle takes place, we’ll be keeping an eye on the Number 10 twitterfeed, which has announced the last few reshuffles, and David Cameron’s own twitterfeed, as well as announcements on GOV.UK.

Mind you, GOV.UK does carry a rather understated health warning this morning:

15 July 2014 08:49

There were some significant exits announced last night – not least William Hague as foreign secretary. Other Cabinet changes include David Jones leaving the Wales Office and, according to many reports, Owen Patterson leaving Defra.

If we assume that there are no further reshuffles between now and 2015 (a big assumption, not least given rumours about a Lib Dem reshuffle in the autumn), the leadership of core Whitehall departments to 2015 would look like this:

15 July 2014 07:46

Morning everyone. The latest – and possibly last – reshuffle by David Cameron has begun. As the Prime Minister shuffles his ministerial cards, we’ll be on hand to analyse and visualise what he’s dealt out.

We won’t be speculating on rumours or the political ins-and-outs of the reshuffle (for that, try Andrew Sparrow at The Guardian, the Spectator's live-blog or the BBC). Instead, we’ll be bringing you context and consequences through figures, graphs and charts – and some greatest hits from previous IfG reports.

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