20 July 2016 15:19
18 July 2016 19:10
So it’s time to wrap up our reshuffle live-blog – we’ve summarised the key stories below. Thanks for following! Theresa May’s Cabinet dispensed with the services of eleven former attendees… …and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as part of the biggest change to the machinery of government since Gordon Brown’s premiership.
- BIS absorbed DECC to become the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and lost responsibility for further and higher education, skills and apprenticeships to DfE
- BIS lost trade to a new Department for International Trade
- A new Department for Exiting the European Union was created.
The lady was for churning, with only MoD keeping more than half of its existing ministers. With thanks to @alex_vanvliet for the pun, and apologies to everyone else. Despite briefing of many promotions for women… You could fit all the women ever to attend in Cabinet on one chart before the reshuffle started. …the percentage of ministers who are women has dropped slightly, though a higher percentage of full Cabinet members are women than before the reshuffle. The percentage of Cabinet and government ministers who supported Brexit has increased, though it still falls short of the percentage of Tory MPs who supported Leave.
18 July 2016 18:59
18 July 2016 18:43
We're going to be wrapping up with some summary posts shortly, but before we do... The new Cabinet will meet for the first time tomorrow. Here's some advice from George Young, from our Ministers Reflect archive:
The other thing at Cabinet, I am sure others have said this, the people that you listen to are people who speak without reading out their notes; the people you switch off to is when they have got a brief from their department on something and they sit down and they read it out. And if you have got a prepared note from your department, look at it, put it on one side and then speak to your colleagues in your own language looking around the table. Also quite interesting, some colleagues are really good on other people’s subjects and others are hopeless and some colleagues insisted on speaking on everything, without adding a lot of value. Whereas some colleagues wouldn’t speak a lot, other than on their own subject, [but] when they did, really interesting, spot on, very valuable. And so I think interventions in Cabinet, you do have to think quite carefully about what you want to say and of course you have got to look after your department, but don’t for god’s sake sit down and read out this turgid prose.
18 July 2016 18:28
A couple of weeks ago, our colleague Emma Norris wondered what would happen to government's existing policies and projects in the wake of Brexit. We've now updated the table that accompanied the post, and included what's happened to the ministers involved: In most cases, the relevant minister has (or ministers have) moved on. Of all the projects in the table, only Trident, Universal Credit and the Childhood Obesity Strategy have seen any ministerial continuity. (There's more in our 11.24 update, and here, about why ministers matter in implementing policies). In addition to the above, it's also worth remembering the government's portfolio of major projects, which we analysed last week. If the new department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy keeps all of BIS's projects as well as taking on all of DECC's it will have a larger portfolio in terms of number of projects (into double figures)... ...and in terms of cost.
18 July 2016 18:05
- Genuine ‘ministers sans frontières’ – as described in our 2010 report Shaping Up – with cross-cutting portfolios (e.g. Minister of State for Trade, split between FCO and BIS or predecessor departments)
- Ministers holding different briefs in different departments (e.g. David Laws was Minister of State for Schools at DfE while also holding a strategic cross-government policy role in the Cabinet Office)
- Some whips who also hold junior ministerial positions; the Public Administration Select Committee suggested these ‘nominal’ positions could be used to work around statutory limits on the number of whips.
Joint ministers were an innovation of the New Labour years, with the Coalition and Cameron government increasing their use further – but Theresa May’s government has only nine, the fewest since 2010: It may be that, as with previous governments, their use increases during the course of the administration. Some departments have traditionally made more use of them than others, particularly BIS (no longer in existence) in recent years : Its successor department, BEIS, has only one joint minister: The idea behind joint ministers is that they can enhance coordination between different departments. Insights from our Ministers Reflect interviews suggest this can happen:
Jo Swinson was more generally “quite a fan of having double-hatted ministers”, reflecting on her time at BIS, where nearly all of the team were shared with other departments. This, she argued, “worked quite well in preventing the silo mentality” and “different linkages being made” across government.
On the other hand:
Perhaps the trickiest part of being a joint minister that Damian Green [now the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions] highlighted was “trying to work to two bosses who may well have two different agendas”. He gave one stark example: “you would occasionally get flatly contradictory advice; the two departments would just be advising people in two different ways or there were moments – surreal moments – in August particularly when you’re a duty minister, there was one point where I was required to write to myself as one minister in a department to another, demanding that something happen, which I was tempted to do just to see how the system would cope with this!”.
You can read more here.
18 July 2016 17:37
Over the weekend, you may have read Gaby Hinsliff’s rather good piece on Theresa May’s new Cabinet bringing in age and experience. (You should take a look at her two profiles of our new Prime Minister, too.) Naturally, we decided to have a go at charting it. The Cabinet has definitely become older: the percentage of Cabinet ministers in their 40s has fallen from nearly 60% to nearly 40%, while the percentage of those in their fifties and sixties have both increased. There are different ways of measuring experience – we used the parliamentary intake when MPs were first elected as a proxy. The picture here is a bit more complex – the 2010 intake has done well both in Cabinet and across government, but the only other grouping to increase its representation in Cabinet is that elected during or before the 1992-7 parliament.
18 July 2016 17:05
With the new government bedding in, it’s easy to forget that the Official Opposition – the Labour Party – are also having a rather busy time of it. While the Conservative leadership contest came to a premature end – Cath Haddon has written about the history of Conservative contests here – the Labour one is just beginning. Nominations are open until this Thursday, with former shadow business secretary, Angela Eagle, and former shadow work and pensions secretary, Owen Smith, coming forward to challenge incumbent Jeremy Corbyn so far. Here’s a chart showing the results of previous Labour leadership elections: (Trivia: Labour leader George Lansbury, who was succeeded by Attlee following the 1935 contest, once resigned his own seat to force a byelection on a point of principle, just like new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. For Lansbury, it was women’s suffrage; for Davis, civil liberties. Davis won; Lansbury lost.) As with the Conservatives, there have been rule changes in recent years to involve members as well as the parliamentary party. The Constitution Unit’s Meg Russell wrote about the subject over the weekend, and we used data from the House of Commons Library. And as with the Conservatives, there have been changes to the frontbench in recent weeks, though in the case of the Labour Party, these were caused by resignations in protest against the leadership. Only Corbyn, deputy leader Tom Watson, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Andy Burnham remain in the same role. There were also a host of other resignations from the Labour frontbench, with many positions remaining unfilled. Additionally, the Labour’s leader and whip in the Lords are no longer attending Shadow Cabinet. Altogether, 53 Labour frontbenchers have resigned since the EU referendum. Added to the 28 people who have left the government frontbench in the last week, that means 81 people have left their government and opposition frontbench roles in the last few weeks.
18 July 2016 16:39
The other completely new department is the Department for International Trade, where Liam Fox is Secretary of State. That also has its own website, which also tells us that the new DfIT will take responsibility for some arm’s-length bodies. Across government, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the most ALBs – just over 200 of them. BEIS is now a clear second place, having inherited responsibility for DECC’s. We don’t yet know if some of those BEIS bodies will end up with DfE, which has been given responsibility for higher education, further education, apprenticeships and skills. But we can also see that DfIT has been given responsibility for a few bodies. The ministerial department, UK Export Finance, was the responsibility of BIS, while the non-ministerial department, UK Trade and Investment, was looked after by BIS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We assume that DfIT will also take over responsibility for the Export Guarantees Advisory Council, which fell under the auspices of UKEF. Jill Rutter has written about the peculiarities of non-ministerial departments. It’s important that the new department considers the best way to interact with its ALBs. The Institute has written plenty on the subject in the past:
- Statement in response to the Review of the Classification of Public Bodies (April 2016)
- Whitehall Monitor 2015 has some more charts and numbers on ALBs
- Out of the Ashes looks at priorities for reforming ALBs (2015)
- Read Before Burning on increasing the effectiveness and accountability of ALBs (2010).
18 July 2016 16:15
We’re starting to learn a little bit more about some of the new departments that have been created over the last few days (although we’re still waiting on a Written Ministerial Statement from the Prime Minister to tell us exactly what’s happening). David Davis – Secretary of State for the new Department for Exiting the European Union, which now has its own site as part of GOV.UK – has been speaking about how many civil servants his department will employ. Civil Service World reports the following:
Speaking over the weekend, David said his department was “at the moment” forty-strong. But he said: “It will grow to a couple of hundred people, that will be the size of the department in due course.” David told Sky News that he had already been inundated with offers from across the civil service to join the new department, which is expected to see staff from key EU-focused organisations including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Treasury, the Cabinet Office, and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs move over in time. “Interestingly, I am having the most brilliant people in Whitehall applying to work,” David said. “We’ve got ten people for every job. Clearly Fast Track civil servants see this as the place to be — so we’ll have good quality.”
Davis set out some of his views on what a Brexit economic strategy could look like in a piece for ConservativeHome before his appointment. This was his view on negotiations about the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU:
This leaves the question of Single Market access. The ideal outcome, (and in my view the most likely, after a lot of wrangling) is continued tariff-free access. Once the European nations realise that we are not going to budge on control of our borders, they will want to talk, in their own interest. There may be some complexities about rules of origin and narrowly-based regulatory compliance for exports into the EU, but that is all manageable.
The Institute has done some work on what the options could be – the chart below is a simplified version, or you can read the more comprehensive table here.
18 July 2016 15:47
Some more ministerial reflections courtesy of our colleague Nicola Hughes, who leads the Institute’s political development work and our Ministers Reflect project: A number of the ministers newly appointed to Government have in fact been ministers before. As it happens we’ve interviewed five of them about their experience of being a minister, so have some clues as to what they might be like in their new roles. Liam Fox One of the top Brexit jobs on international trade, and a new Department, has gone to Liam Fox, who was Defence Secretary from 2010-11 and also a Foreign Office minister in the 90s (he lamented the “diminished standing of the Foreign Office” since then). With all the travel involved he can expect to be busy, as he was at Defence:
“The day was split into 15-minute segments because it was the only way we could do things… I had a very good piece of advice before we went which was that I didn’t take work home with me. In general I stayed until I finished the work.”
Damian Green Damian Green, a Home Office and Justice minister until 2014, is the new Work and Pensions Secretary. Working in a big, operational department is useful experience for the top DWP job and Green will probably look to improve existing systems and ensure smooth implementation of the Universal Credit rollout:
“…it sounds like organisational, banal things but actually one of the things you can do as a minister is transform the system if you can get… basic stuff right.”
Sir Oliver Heald Sir Oliver Heald becomes Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice. He was last seen on the Government benches as Solicitor General (2012-14) and also served in John Major’s Government. Heald was all too aware of how short term political jobs can be:
“…you do need to decide very early on what you want to achieve and push like hell and work on the basis that you’re not necessarily going to get all that long.”
David Jones David Jones also takes up a Brexit brief as Minister of State at the new Department for Exiting the European Union. Jones was formerly Secretary of State for Wales (“essentially… a constitutional exercise and a public relations exercise”), having been a junior minister there beforehand. He will appreciate Whitehall’s promise to send its brightest and best to the Brexit department:
“[civil servants] will be extremely loyal to you and they want to do everything they can to help you. Do regard them as the most important resource that you’ve got. As I said, I think we have a great national resource in the Civil Service in this country. Good officials are absolutely invaluable.”
Sir Alan Duncan Sir Alan Duncan moves to the Foreign Office. He will have had some practice at foreign affairs from his 2010-14 spell in International Development. Three of his first tasks will be establishing a good private office (“A minister can be deeply hamstrung by a formula rules-driven private secretary who has no imagination”), getting to know the officials at Foreign Office – often seen as one of the more traditional and hierarchical departments (“Officialdom has become far too haughty and self-important”) and building relations with his new boss Boris Johnson:
“…secretaries of state can get very bossy and say you can and cannot do certain things. ‘Yes, you can go on that trip’, ‘No, you can’t and that responsibility is mine’, ‘You are not allowed to talk to Number 10’, ‘I am going to see the Prime Minister’, all that kind of stuff. And a good secretary of state will bring out the best in their ministers and enjoy their success. A poor one will be a control freak who tries to hog everything for themself and in the end they are resented, of course.”
Their experience will be a help, not least at knowing how Whitehall works and getting quickly into the rhythm of being a minister. Those who come in from the backbenches, who have not been ministers, whips, advisers or PPSs, can take longer to settle in. Dominic Grieve found that in 2010:
“I had no idea as to how government functioned, because I had never worked in a government department before… it probably took about three months until the daunting aspects disappeared”.
18 July 2016 15:14
What will it be like for new ministers turning up at their new departments for the first time? Our Ministers Reflect site, which has interviews with former ministers, records some first-day experiences. This is the experience of Lord Howell, former Minister of State at the FCO:
They were very surprised to see me turn up at all, and I said well, ‘I’ve been appointed, I’m going to need an office here’. They said, ‘We’ll prepare an office for you but it will take three weeks and in the meantime you’ll have [a] temporary office’.
Things may have moved on a little from Ken Clarke’s first appointment to government:
When I was first appointed, my first parliamentary secretary job, there was no induction or anything. I was just told by the prime minister that she wanted me to go and be Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and discovered that the Secretary of State was an old mate of mine from Cambridge. And the two of us were the only ministers in the department. Apart from anything else, no one in Downing Street could tell me where the department was, let alone give me any other guidance as to what I was supposed to do. Having found it was in Marsham Street Towers I turned up, rather nervously, and said, ‘I have just been made a minister here’ and a guy came up and said he was my private secretary. And I had no idea what a private secretary was.
Although Bob Neill’s experience at DCLG suggests otherwise:
Greg [Clark] and I, we found that there was a bizarre scenario. We spoke to the Permanent Secretary who said, 'Well essentially, of course we know you're ministers but we've got to have the facts from the Cabinet Office to say that you are'. And that took us 24 hours before Greg and I could actually get into the building, which we all saw the funny side of, and sat there drinking endless cups of coffee until about 7 o'clock when we went and had a drink because we thought that was the easiest thing to do and turn up the next morning.
18 July 2016 14:49
How has the reshuffle changed the balance of those who voted to Leave the European Union, and those who voted Remain? This is what the balance looked like before Prime Minister May's appointments: The Cabinet, the government as a whole and Parliament as a whole were all more in favour of Remain than the body of Conservative MPs, around 42% of whom wanted to Leave. After the reshuffle, the percentage of leavers in Cabinet and percentage of leavers attending Cabinet has increased. There is also a slight increase across government as a whole. In three departments, half or more of ministers supported Leave: in Transport (headed by Leaver, Chris Grayling), in Defra (headed by leaver, Andrea Leadsom) and at the Department for Exiting the European Union (headed by leaver David Davis).
18 July 2016 14:22
Our colleague Jo Casebourne wrote about what Brexit meant for English devolution a few weeks ago, but what does the reshuffle mean for the agenda? Here's a quote from Jo Casebourne and Joe Randall:
One policy area that has seen significant ministerial change in this reshuffle is English devolution. As Chancellor, George Osborne had backed up his ambitious ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda with a strong, cross-departmental ministerial team, comprising Greg Clark as Secretary of State in DCLG, Jim O’Neill as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, and James Wharton as the ‘Minister for the Northern Powerhouse’ in DCLG. With George Osborne returned to the backbenches, Greg Clark moved to BEIS and James Wharton to DfID, this team is no longer in place. The new Chancellor Philip Hammond and the new Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will need to signal an early and clear commitment to English devolution and rebuild this strong ministerial team if the momentum on English devolution is to continue and to avoid the real progress that’s been made stalling.
You can see that ministerial churn in DCLG in the chart below: And the questions Jo raised in her earlier post remain valid - what role will there be for cities in Brexit negotiations? Most of the 'Core Cities' group voted to remain:
18 July 2016 13:57
Jill’s post (see our previous update) also touched on special advisers, or SpAds:
Theresa May will also have views, formed from her experience in government, on special advisers to her Cabinet colleagues. She was, after all, forced by No.10 to sacrifice Ms Hill (then Fiona Cunningham) as fall-out from her very public row over extremism with Michael Gove. All departmental special advisers (known as Spads) lose their jobs when their Secretary of State moves. Some, especially those with close relationships to individuals, move with them to a new department. Others, who are more subject specialists, may find themselves reappointed in the next few days by an incoming Secretary of State.
those in the role get rather unfairly caricatured. The popular image is of the media bruiser, the spinner – in short it’s Malcolm Tucker. In truth, and as former spads Nick Hillman and Giles Wilkes make clear in their respective assessments of doing the job (both published recently by the Institute for Government), there are a variety of roles spads can play. Spads do cover media work, rightly keeping party political communications out of the hands of permanent, neutral communications officials. But they also help to drive through policy, provide support to ministers and act as a vital cog in the machinery of government, helping to translate their minister’s priorities into action, provide a political perspective on official policy advice, and facilitate relationships across the coalition divide.
This was especially the case as numbers rose during the Coalition, contrary to an election pledge: (The Constitution Unit has numbers going back much further.) But:
the numbers game is a distraction. It’s true that the Conservatives had pledged not to increase numbers of special advisers before the 2010 election and in the Coalition’s Programme for Government. Once in government though, they realised that this was an impractical suggestion, primarily because working in coalition meant a different way of working. The Liberal Democrats had too few advisers and this hampered the flow of information and communication across government. So the pledge was reversed. Yet even now the UK government has few special advisers compared to some other countries including Australia and Canada
Ministers also find them useful. Here’s Vince Cable in his Ministers Reflect interview:
“I was a bit sceptical of special advisers. I think having been in government they are absolutely essential, acting as a kind of interface with the political parties and with other government departments and your political opposite numbers.”
18 July 2016 13:31
A couple of longer posts from us that you may have missed on Friday. First, Jill Rutter looked at what the new Prime Minister’s Downing Street operation might look like:
It appears that Theresa May has made a clean sweep of advisers in Number 10. Her long-time aides, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, are now joint Chiefs-of-Staff, a role first created by Tony Blair for Jonathan Powell and carried on by David Cameron for Ed Llewellyn. The advantage is that not only do the appointees know their boss well, but they can meld the Prime Minister’s political role with their government one… There are different approaches to staffing the Policy Unit. If the Prime Minister wants to use it to promote specific policy priorities, she may want to appoint some big hitters who can go head-to-head with secretaries of state in possibly recalcitrant departments.
Here are a few other articles about Theresa May’s new Chiefs of Staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill:
- Trusted advisers offer a sneak preview of new regime (The Times)
- Beware the aides of May! The people who'll really run the new government (The Spectator)
- ‘The claws are never far away’: inside the court of Theresa May (The Spectator)
- Nick Timothy: Theresa May’s political ‘brain’ (FT)
- Profile: Nick Timothy, May’s thinker-in-chief and co-Chief of Staff (ConservativeHome)
Since Friday, it’s been announced that George Freeman MP – formerly Minister for Life Sciences at BIS and the Department of Health – has left government to chair the Prime Minister’s Policy Board, and that Katie Perrior will become head of communications at Number 10. Second, Nicola Hughes mined our Ministers Reflect archive for some ministerial reflections on the private office, ‘an important, if largely unseen, part of the Whitehall machine’. Here’s a taster:
In the interviews we have conducted, private secretaries are mentioned far more than permanent secretaries or other senior officials. As Vince Cable explains, “I was very heavily reliant … on the private office and the Principal Private Secretary in particular, who was by far the most important civil servant I had to deal with.” This is particularly true of ministers with little previous experience of Whitehall, who need their private offices to help them navigate the system and get off to a good start. “One of the things the Principal Private Secretary had to do in the early days and weeks was actually explain what we had to do, because no-one had explained that to us”, said Caroline Spelman.
18 July 2016 12:58
Here’s a bit of light relief over lunch. Someone who hasn’t been reshuffled out is the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, Larry. You can read more on Wikipedia or in the wonderfully named blogpost by the National Archives, ‘The bureaucats at the heart of government’. And the newest feline addition to Whitehall is Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat, who you can follow on Twitter. It’s not clear what ministerial rank he holds – Minister of State (MoS), or, one hopes, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (PUSS).
18 July 2016 12:26
Before the reshuffle started, there was a lot of discussion about giving more key roles to women. Amber Rudd became only the UK’s third female Home Secretary, and Liz Truss the first female Lord Chancellor. But what about the rest of government? The balance hasn’t shifted that much – a slightly higher percentage of full Cabinet members and all of those attending Cabinet are female, while a slightly lower percentage of ministers across the whole of government are female. It’s still higher than the percentage of Conservative MPs who are women. Looking at individual departments, we can see that five – the new Department for International Trade and Department for Exiting the European Union, as well as Cabinet Office, Transport and Communities and Local Government – now have no female ministers. More than half of ministers at the Home Office are women, while it's a 50/50 split at Defra and DCMS. All three have a female Secretary of State.
18 July 2016 12:05
One thing we don’t know yet is which Cabinet Committees the new ministers will be sitting on. Why should we care about Cabinet Committees? Jill Rutter and Dan Devine wrote about (and charted them) back in June 2015:
Cabinet itself – now with 30 attendees – long ago ceased to be the place where the real business of government is done. Much of that migrated to Cabinet Committees, but as our report Centre Forward has made clear, they can be efficient or dignified parts of the British constitution depending on prime ministerial taste. Tony Blair created large numbers of them, but routinely by-passed them by preferring more informal ad hoc meetings in Number 10. Gordon Brown reinvented the Cabinet Committee with his National Economic Council, which was used to steer the response to the economic crisis. David Cameron signalled his intent on national security by setting up a National Security Council which he chaired, with his most senior ministers represented and which he planned would meet weekly.
David Cameron also introduced a number of implementation taskforces to focus on government priorities. Under Cameron, Oliver Letwin – who has now left government – sat on all but two of the Committees. May sat on more than anyone else apart from Letwin, with Greg Clark – the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – close behind. As we noted last time round:
After deciding what committees to create, the Prime Minister has to decide who chairs and who is on the committee. That gives us some insight into who are the big players in the new government and what issues are considered most important.
We’ll keep an eye out.
18 July 2016 11:37
A quick word on what we mean by ministers staying in post… According to our methodology, David Lidington was the last member of the government to be in exactly the same post he was appointed to in May 2010. (He has now moved from Europe Minister at FCO to Leader of the House of Commons.) Other ministers have been suggested. Ed Vaizey, for instance, has been responsible for arts and culture policy since May 2010 (until he left government last week). But he has changed rank (from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to Minister of State), his brief has chopped and changed a bit, and his post has moved between being solely at DCMS and being shared between DCMS and BIS. Lord Freud has been responsible for welfare reform since May 2010 (and had previously advised Gordon Brown’s Labour government on the subject). Again, though, he has moved from being Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to Minister of State in that time. That might not sound like much of a change of job, but according to George Young, interviewed as part of our Ministers Reflect series, it actually is:
I think that actually the big jump for me was going from PUSS [Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State] to Minister of State under Heseltine, partly because there was a lot delegation to ministers of state. that was quite a big jump from doing the adjournment debates, getting the bills through, signing the letters to actually driving policy; that was quite a bit step, perhaps almost a bigger step than back-bencher to PUSS.
An honourable mention, too, for Nick Gibb. He was Minister of State for Schools from 2010 until leaving the government in 2012. He then returned as Minister of State for School Reform in 2015.
18 July 2016 11:24
Away from Cabinet, there have been lots of moves in the junior ministerial ranks. You can see the full list of weekend moves below, but first, a chart: This shows the level of ministerial churn in each department. In all but three of the main ministerial departments, more than half the ministers are new to their post. The exceptions are Education, Defence and the Foreign Office. Obviously there are three departments - the new ones for International Trade (DfIT), Exiting the European Union (Brex) and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - where all the ministers are new to their posts. This slightly more detailed version shows that even in these departments, more than half of ministers in the department have entered since May 2015. Why does this matter? As our colleague Emma Norris has previously written, although there is much attention on Secretaries of State:
Junior ministers do the bulk of the heavy lifting in Parliament, with secretaries of state making cameo appearances at the start and the end of a bill… [on policy implementation] the grind of driving the policy forward, chasing progress and making change happen fell largely to their junior ministers… 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.
Here’s the full list of junior ministerial changes. Left government
- Baroness (Ros) Altmann
- Ed Vaizey
- Dominic Raab
- Rt Hon Mark Francois MP
- George Freeman MP (to become Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board)
- Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne TD MP
- Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP
- Julian Brazier MP
- James Duddridge MP
- Charlie Elphicke MP
- John Penrose MP
- Andrew Selous MP
- Justin Tomlinson MP
- Baroness Verma
In addition to:
- Nick Boles MP
- Claire Perry MP
- Alistair Burt MP
Appointed to government (some of these will have remained in post)
- Penny Mordaunt MP as Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions
- Rt Hon Mike Penning MP as Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence
- Brandon Lewis MP as Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service at the Home Office
- Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP as Minister of State responsible for digital policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Jane Ellison MP as Financial Secretary to the Treasury
- Jo Johnson MP as joint Minister of State at the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, leading on universities and science
- Rt Hon John Hayes as Minister of State at the Department for Transport
- Damian Hinds MP as Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions
- Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as Minister of State in the Department for International Trade
- Robert Goodwill MP as Minister of State for immigration in the Home Office
- Lord Price appointed as Minister of State at the Department for International Trade
- Philip Dunne as Minister of State at the Department of Health
- Sir Oliver Heald as Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice
- Nick Hurd as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
- Ben Wallace MP as Minister of State for Security at the Home Office
- Baroness Williams of Trafford as Minister of State at the Home Office
- Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development
- Rt Hon Earl Howe as Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords-
- Nick Gibb MP as Minister of State at the Department for Education
- Edward Timpson MP as Minister of State at the Department for Education
- Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP as Minister of State at the Department for Education
- Rt Hon David Jones MP as Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union
- Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Lord Freud as Minister of State for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions
- Gavin Barwell MP as Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Minister for London at the Department for Communities and Local Government
- George Eustice MP as Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Rory Stewart OBE MP as Minister of State at the Department for International Development
- Simon Kirby MP as Economic Secretary at HM Treasury
- Lord O’Neill of Gatley as Commercial Secretary at HM Treasury
- Sarah Newton MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office
- Baroness Shields OBE as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Tobias Ellwood MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Alok Sharma MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Mark Lancaster TD MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence
- Harriett Baldwin MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence
- Sam Gyimah MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice
- Phillip Lee MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice
- Lord Nash as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education
- Caroline Dinenage MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education
- Lord Bridges of Headley MBE as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union
- Robin Walker MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union
- Mark Garnier MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade
- Margot James MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Nicola Blackwood MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health
- David Mowat MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health
- Lord Prior of Brampton as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health
- Caroline Nokes MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions
- Richard Harrington MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions
- Paul Maynard MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
- Andrew Jones MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
- Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport
- Andrew Percy MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Marcus Jones MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Wales Office
- Michael Ellis MP as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (and Assistant Whip)
- Lord Dunlop as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office and the Northern Ireland Office
- Guto Bebb MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Wales Office (and Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury))
- Kris Hopkins MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office
- Thérèse Coffey MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Lord Gardiner of Kimble as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- James Wharton MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development
- Chris Skidmore MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office
- Tracey Crouch MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Rob Wilson MP as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Lord Ashton of Hyde as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (and a Lord in Waiting)
- Robert Buckland QC MP – Solicitor General
- Lord Keen of Elie QC – Advocate General for Scotland
- Rt Hon Anne Milton MP – Deputy Chief Whip (Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip)
- Mel Stride MP – Government Whip (Comptroller of HM Household)
- Julian Smith MP – Government Whip (Vice Chamberlain of HM Household)
- Rt Hon David Evennett MP – Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)
- Stephen Barclay MP – Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)
- Guy Opperman MP – Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)
- Robert Syms MP – Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)
- Andrew Griffiths MP – Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury)
- Jackie Doyle-Price MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Graham Stuart MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Heather Wheeler MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Chris Heaton-Harris MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Mark Spencer MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Christopher Pincher MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Steve Brine MP – Assistant Government Whip
- Rt Hon Lord Taylor of Holbeach CBE – Lords Chief Whip (Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms)
- Earl of Courtown – Deputy Chief Whip (Captain of The Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard )
- Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen – Baroness in Waiting
- Baroness Goldie – Baroness in Waiting
- Baroness Mobarik CBE – Baroness in Waiting
- Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen as spokesperson on Cabinet Office business in the House of Lords
- George Hollingbery MP as the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary
- George Freeman MP – appointed as Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board
- Rt Hon Mark Francois MP – appointed by the Prime Minister to conduct a review into the use of reserves in the Army.
18 July 2016 10:54
- The Department of Energy and Climate change’s responsibilities were folded into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills…
- …which became the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Responsibility for further education, higher education, skills and apprenticeships moved from BIS to the Department for Education
- A new Department for International Trade has been established
- A new Department for Exiting the European Union has been established.
There’s some more detail in our 18.42 update from Thursday, and in this piece from Civil Service World (who have published an article today on ‘What's it really like for civil servants when departments are broken up’). There are still a few questions about exactly what has shifted between some of these new departments (for example, whether an iron-law of recent British politics has been broken and Greg Clark is no longer responsible for cities). But there are also questions about what other responsibilities have been transferred. Over the weekend, outgoing culture minister Ed Vaizey tweeted that Rob Wilson – formerly Minister for Civil Society at the Cabinet Office – might be taking his brief with him to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Civil Society Media’s Kirsty Weakley rang Number 10 to check, only to be told ‘as far as I'm aware that hasn't been established’. The order of business in the House of Commons today includes a written ministerial statement from the Prime Minister on machinery of government changes, so hopefully we’ll find out more later.
18 July 2016 10:25
MONDAY 18 JULY Good morning, and welcome back to the Institute for Government’s live blog of Prime Minister May’s government reshuffle. It looks like the reshuffle may well have finished yesterday, so this morning we’ll bring you some summaries of what’s happened. Let’s start with the Cabinet. Only a few people remained in the same job after the reshuffle:
- Michael Fallon (Defence)
- Jeremy Hunt (Health)
- Alun Cairns (Wales)
- David Mundell (Scotland)
- Jeremy Wright (Attorney General)
Eleven people who had previously attended Cabinet are now out of the government altogether:
- David Cameron (PM)
- George Osborne (Chancellor)
- Michael Gove (Justice)
- Stephen Crabb (Work and Pensions)
- Nicky Morgan (Education)
- Theresa Villiers (Northern Ireland)
- John Whittingdale (DCMS)
- Mark Harper (Chief Whip)
- Baroness Stowell (Leader of the Lords)
- Oliver Letwin (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster)
- Anna Soubry (Minister of State at BIS).
As picked up by others, including The Times’ Sam Coates, a number of ministers who previously attended Cabinet have accepted government jobs outsider the Cabinet:
- Matt Hancock (from Minister for the Cabinet Office to Minister of State for Digital & Culture at DCMS)
- Greg Hands (from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Minister of State at the new Department for International Trade)
- Baroness Anelay (who moves from Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to Minister of State at the FCO and DfID, but we don’t think now attends Cabinet, despite GOV.UK’s ministers page not having changed)
- Robert Halfon (who moves from Minister without Portfolio to Minister of State at the Department for Education).
Jeremy Hunt is now the longest-serving Secretary of State in post, having been appointed in September 2012. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is on its fifth Secretary of State (Karen Bradley) since 2010. And here’s that same chart showing the gender of Secretaries of State. Amber Rudd is the third female Home Secretary in British political history, while Liz Truss is the first female Minister of Justice and Lord Chancellor.
14 July 2016 19:06
We're going to call it a night, for tonight. Main stories today: Of those in charge of departments, only Michael Fallon (Defence) and Jeremy Hunt (Health) remain in the same job as before the reshuffle. Harold Macmillan dismissed seven ministers in the so-called Night of the Long Knives in 1962. Osborne, Gove, Morgan, Crabb, Villiers, Whittingdale, Harper and Letwin have all left government. It's not yet clear where Matt Hancock or Baroness Stowell will end up, but neither will be in the same role as before (Minister for the Cabinet Office and Leader of the Lords respectively). David Lidington's appointment as Leader of the Commons means no minister is still in post from the start of the Coalition in May 2010. Lidington had been Europe Minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. And obviously anybody appointed to the three new departments will be new to their roles... There are three new departments - for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for International Trade and for Exiting the European Union. DECC's functions have folded into BIS to become BEIS. BIS lost skills, apprentices, further education and higher education to DfE, and trade to the new Department for International Trade. We survived the Institute for Government being without any internet until lunchtime... ...and were somehow able to bring you today's analysis using a mobile hotspot. Thanks again for following and reading, and we'll be back when the reshuffling moves further down the ministerial ranks. Ministerial changes. We'll catch 'em all.
14 July 2016 18:42
- DECC has been folded into BIS, 'a move that sees DECC effectively cease to exist'
- BIS’s higher and further education and apprenticeships responsibilities move to DfE
- BIS loses its responsibility for trade and investment policy to the new Department for International Trade
- DECC’s current Whitehall Place headquarters could house the new Department for Exiting the European Union.
Our deputy director, Julian McCrae, said the following about the changes:
“The PM has clearly indicated how her Government will proceed and given it the political leadership to move its agenda forward. However, she has created a series of distractions with other departmental changes, which only add to the burden on Whitehall. It remains to be seen whether these changes are more successful than previous attempts at shuffling around of departmental boundaries.”
Some of the departments involved in today's changes hold some cautionary tales of machinery changes (from our 2010 report, Making and Breaking Whitehall Departments). While 'success is possible when changes are well planned and properly implemented, where a strong rationale for the changes can be made, and where staff can be positively engaged in making them happen', there can also be significant problems. Take the creation of DECC in 2008:
Unfortunately for the Secretary of State and senior civil servants who were to create DECC and bring its functions together into one department, the earlier discussions did not translate into any planning phase with time for preparation. The new teams at BIS, Defraand DECC-to-be were briefed just one day before the announcement of the new department and given just one night of preparatory time to get the DECC publicly ready for business. One closely-affected senior civil servant was out of the country at the time and discussed the implications of the changing configuration by phone... Interviews with people close to the transition have suggested that the department’s first six to nine months were dominated by set-up concerns, finding pathways and time to function operationally and get everyone under one roof.
One interviewee said:
“You have the worst possible world when there’s no receiving department. In the case of DECC there was nothing, no building, no one in place, not even a name plate to put on the door. It hasn’t gotten over this even now.”
One of the drawbacks to the creation of DIUS - the short-lived Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills - in June 2007 was that 'It was not until April 2008 that staff from the various source departments were brought under one roof, almost 10 months after the announcement of DIUS’s creation.'
14 July 2016 18:14
It looks like Ben Gummer's appointment as the new Minister for the Cabinet Office - an appointment of particular interest to those of us here at the IfG - will be the last of the day. It brings Matt Hancock's tenure to an end, and emphasises just how unusual Francis Maude's long stay in the post was.
14 July 2016 17:51
14 July 2016 17:35
One of the things we said we'd keep an eye on during the reshuffle was the Brexit balance, and whether more Leavers have come into government. This is what the balance looked like at different levels of government (and parliament) before the reshuffle. This is how the balance of some of those groups has changed - a noticeable shift towards Leave in the Cabinet.
14 July 2016 17:20
It's now being reported that David Mundell remains Scottish Secretary, that David Gauke (who has been in the Treasury, first as Exchequer Secretary and then as Financial Secretary) replaces Greg Hands as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and that David Lidington replaces Chris Grayling (now at DfT) as Leader of the House. Lidington was the only person in government to have served in exactly the same job since the start of the Coalition in May 2010. He was Europe Minister.
14 July 2016 16:40
Some updates on the machinery of government changes. Here's a press statement from the Institute for Government:
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has undertaken an extensive reshuffle today, reconfiguring three departments and creating a new one entirely. Given the challenge of Brexit, some changes were inevitable. But the rationale for other changes is not yet clear – such costly upheavals rarely achieve their initial objectives.
- In David Davis, a former Europe Minister, the PM has appointed a senior colleague to do much of the heavy lifting for them around Brexit. A dedicated Brexit Cabinet Minister was the right option.
- The appointment of a new Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, shows that the Government hopes to rapidly negotiate a series of non-EU trade agreements. This will be a key early test of the Government’s Brexit strategy.
- The further changes to BIS, DECC and DfE were unexpected, and will inevitably come at a cost. In 2007, when Gordon Brown created the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, the initial start-up costs were around £15m.
- Beyond these costs, departmental changes cause a massive distraction, with the initial transition taking months, and full integration taking years.
Julian McCrae, Deputy Director of the Institute for Government said: “The PM has clearly indicated how her Government will proceed and given it the political leadership to move its agenda forward. However, she has created a series of distractions with other departmental changes, which only add to the burden on Whitehall. It remains to be seen whether these changes are more successful than previous attempts at shuffling around of departmental boundaries.”
And here's some further detail, confirming what we thought, from Civil Service World:
'Civil Service World has seen a letter sent by DECC’s permanent secretary Alex Chisholm to staff in his department, confirming that all of the energy and climate change ministry's responsibilties have been rolled into BIS with “immediate effect”, creating the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 'Chisholm goes on to reiterate what Number 10 confirmed earlier — that Higher and Further Education policy and the apprenticeships programme are being transferred from the the former BIS department to the DfE. 'Meanwhile, he confirms that BIS is losing its responsibility for trade and investment policy, which is now going to Liam Fox’s new Department for International Trade.'
14 July 2016 16:32
Earlier we noted that Alun Cairns has remained as Secretary of State for Wales. We're still waiting to hear whether David Mundell will remain as Scottish Secretary. We've got a Ministers Reflect interview with a former Welsh Secretary and a former Scottish Secretary. David Jones, former Welsh Secretary, said this about being a minister, and then Secretary of State:
As a Wales Office minister, you’re essentially involved in a constitutional exercise and a public relations exercise. Obviously, there are very few administrative powers in the Wales Office but there is a lot of constitutional stuff. And, interestingly also, you have to be across the work of other departments too because other Whitehall departments obviously impinge upon Wales so you frequently found yourself acting as a buffer in both directions between other government departments and – I hate using the word but I will – ‘stakeholders’ in Wales... The work of a Secretary of State, quite apart from the constitutional aspect of the work, there is a great deal of PR. You’re dealing with civil society in Wales. There is still huge confusion in Wales as to who does what, notwithstanding devolution having been in place since 1999. A lot of people don’t understand who does what.
Here's Lib Dem Michael Moore on the challenges of being Scottish Secretary:
The Scotland Office, because it was so light on people and political clout within Whitehall, set an interesting challenge. It didn’t matter that we had got manifesto commitments. I mean, had Philip Hammond [then Transport Secretary] really understood what was going on with, you know, the proposal to allow speed limits to be devolved to Scotland? Clearly he hadn’t, because the first conversation we had with the Department for Transport was that this was the most preposterous, ridiculous idea that he had ever heard in his life. He was the outlier refusenik, right to the end when we came up with a precedent from Ireland that allowed us to do it. So even though this was, again, that kind of moment when naivety crunches up against political reality; it may be we are all superficially signed up to this, but you are going to have to win every single battle for every bit of the bill all the way along, from a weak position. Because you don’t have the network or the authority within Whitehall until you have created it for yourself and that took a bit of time.
14 July 2016 16:18
You may have seen our historical Machinery of Government change chart earlier: A lot of those changes have been around education, skills, energy and business. And a lot of the speculation about machinery of government changes today has been around the same issues. Our colleague Emily Andrews has produced the chart below which highlights those areas and shows what we think has just happened. Twitter is already trying to work out how to abbreviate the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - the hivemind seems to be fond of pronouncing it 'BEES' - but it's not the first department to cause naming issues. Plans to rebrand the old Department of Trade and Industry as the Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry were abandoned when some noted it could be pronounced 'dippy', and others noted what Productivity, Energy and Industry Secretary could be abbreviated to.
14 July 2016 16:00
Priti Patel is the new Secretary of State for International Development, Karen Bradley is the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Alun Cairns remains Welsh Secretary. But the big change is Greg Clark moving from DCLG to head a new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
14 July 2016 15:40
James Brokenshire was previously a minister in Theresa May's Home Office. He's now the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Akash Paun looked at the Northern Ireland political context before the Stormont elections in May, while George Miller asked if the first official opposition emerging after those elections was the start of a 'new normal'. Here's a GIF of Northern Ireland Assembly elections over time from 1998 from George's post.
14 July 2016 15:24
Sajid Javid moves from being Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Where does that leave plans for English Devolution and the Northern Powerhouse? Jo Casebourne wrote about the subject a few weeks ago, and noted the importance strong political leadership:
The current devolution deals process in England had clear political leadership from the Chancellor George Osborne, backed by a strong team of ministers – Greg Clark as Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Jim O’Neill as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, and James Wharton as Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse. This has given the devolution deals process political momentum, and the ongoing involvement of HM Treasury has been crucial to getting deals done and getting departments to play ball. It’s been the best chance to date of real progress in decentralising power within England and has led to more power being devolved to city-regions than we’ve seen before. It’s critical that the future Chancellor is bought in to this agenda so that this momentum continues and devolution in England doesn’t stall.
Javid is seen as a close ally of former Chancellor, George Osborne. Jo also noted how most of England's 'Core Cities' voted to Remain in the European Union - will they get a seat at the negotiating table?
14 July 2016 15:15
Following on from that, our colleague Nicola Hughes found this gem in our interview with Damian Green - it'll be interesting to see what happens when he takes charge of Universal Credit at DWP:
My overriding conclusion is that the sort of image of the British Civil Service as being ‘a Rolls-Royce’ in the old cliché does apply in terms of policy, and the people who are at the top-end or going up to the top-end giving policy advice. Absolutely, they are world-class. [In terms of] running things, the British government is quite poor; large organisations that do repetitive things all the time and therefore employ people at relatively low wages, who are doing important things and who are not managed very effectively – I’ve never worked at DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] but I suspect that’s part of the problem with the benefits system, it was certainly the problem with the immigration system. It’s a huge transactional organisation the UKBA [UK Border Agency], as it was, until we broke it up, was about the size of Sainsburys in terms of the number of transactions it has to transact. And you ask them to do an impossible job because what you’re saying is ‘We want you to provide customer service in a friendly way to about 99.5% of your customers, and we want you just to say “no” and if necessary arrest the other 0.5% of your customers’. And you’ve got to know, often as they walk towards somebody at a gate, at an airport, whether they’re one or the other, and we’ll try and provide systems to support that. So it’s a really difficult job, but the mechanics of getting it done prove incredibly difficult and I’ve written this before somewhere, that this was summed up in a tremendous aperçu by a high-flying civil servant in my private office who is going on to great things, he just looked at me and said, ‘Nobody ever got to be a permanent secretary by being able to run a benefits office efficiently.’ That may be true, and even if it’s not true it’s certainly the attitude.
14 July 2016 15:11
Our colleague Emma Norris wonders where Stephen Crabb's departure from DWP leaves Universal Credit. Although a lot of government focus and energy has been (and will be) on Brexit, there are lots of other policies and reforms that still need political drive and attention. Emma looked at a number of them in a recent blogpost. Universal Credit is one of 143 major projects across government that fall under the remit of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (we analysed the latest numbers earlier this week). A number of those projects are in need of some attention, their confidence delivery assessment being given as red or amber red.
14 July 2016 15:03
Damian Green has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. As we saw earlier (13:56), it's a big job, in many respects. And Andrea Leadsom is the new Secretary of State at Defra, where there's lots going on (as we saw at 11:57). Here's a quote from a Ministers Reflect interview we did with Damian Green:
PR: What did you find most frustrating about being minister? DG: Not getting your own way all the time! And you know, that I’m sure applies all the way up to Prime Ministers who get frustrated that they say things that should happen that don’t; and also in some areas how long it takes, and I suspect that depends on what background you come from. But the amount of time it took from even everyone agreeing with a decision to actually seeing anything change on the ground is a number of years. And inherent in the ways of politics are that you’re very unlikely to see your successes through, and therefore I think that’s a good thing that we’ve had both the Chancellor and the Home Secretary who are now in their sixth year, so not only can they be judged on their record but from their personal point of view they can say ‘Oh good, we did that and that’s now happening’ or ‘Gosh we did that and I wish we hadn’t!’
14 July 2016 14:46
14 July 2016 14:24
You are asked, you are appointed, somebody suggests they are going to send a car down to pick you up. I said I would walk up to the office. And slightly to my surprise, I walked into a room to find the entire staff assembled, waiting to hear from me what my policies were going to be in respect to the running of the office. And I think I probably sketched out what I thought were the priorities for the law officers and for myself as Attorney in about two minutes, having thought about it for about 35 seconds before I turned up.
Lib Dem Baroness Kramer was surprised…
On the day of the re-shuffle, I suppose people who thought they might be asked were sitting by their telephones; I was showing some friends around the Palace of Westminster. I kept seeing these annoying messages coming up on my phone, which I ignored for a long period. And when I finally looked properly, there was an ‘Urgent. Get over to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office.’ So I shot over there. I thought if anything, perhaps I would be invited to be on some kind of advisory group within the banking sector. It never occurred to me that I’d be offered a ministry and then to be offered a Minister of State within the Department for Transport. I mean, it was a delight, but also a shock. And I think I burst into tears, quite frankly, it was such a surprise.
…though perhaps not as much as another former Lib Dem minister, Lord McNally:
I didn’t get the walk up Downing Street, I got a phone call about ten minutes after it had been announced on Sky News!
14 July 2016 14:12
Our deputy director, Julian McCrae, was on the BBC Daily Politics earlier with Lord (Francis) Maude, the longest-serving Minister for the Cabinet Office. You can watch them discuss the reshuffle, and possible changes to government, from 43.20.
14 July 2016 13:56
Stephen Crabb has resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary. Whoever succeeds him will have a big job - DWP is a big department. It has more staff than anyone else... ...it has more of the government estate than anybody else... ...and it has a larger budget than any other department (although most of that is Annually Managed Expenditure, which is driven by demand for e.g. benefits).
14 July 2016 13:35
A few months ago, the Institute's Jill Rutter took part in a series for the BBC's Daily Politics about what it's like to do the jobs of various Secretaries of State. You can watch them at the links below:
- Home Secretary
- Foreign Secretary
- Health Secretary
- Defence Secretary
- Energy and Climate Change Secretary
- Education Secretary
14 July 2016 13:30
So, quick lunchtime summary: There have been a lot changes to the Cabinet. After last night's appointments to the great offices of state, the confirmation of Michael Fallon at Defence and the appointments of Fox (International Trade) and Davis (Exiting the European Union), we've seen:
- Liz Truss move from Defra to become the first female Justice Secretary
- Justine Greening move from DfID to Education
- Jeremy Hunt remain at Health (probably, we think, almost certainly, perhaps)
- Gavin Williamson appointed Chief Whip
- Baroness Evans become Leader of the House of Lords.
We might have some new departments. We might not. There's been lots of speculation - particularly around BIS, DECC and DfT. We had two Secretaries of State appointed last night to posts which don't currently have dedicated departments. But - with the exception of skills and higher education apparently going from BIS to DfE - we don't yet know what the map of Whitehall will look like at the end of the reshuffle.
14 July 2016 12:57
Baroness Evans is the new Leader of the Lords and Gavin Williamson is the new Chief Whip, while Schroedinger's Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, remains in post. [Copies directly from earlier post] Hunt spoke at an event the Institute held last year with the Health Foundation, who were launching their report, Glaziers and Window Breakers, which interviewed a number of former Health Secretaries. Our colleague Sophie Wilson reported on the event and pulled out a number of key quotes from the former Health Secretaries speaking at the event about ‘the toughest job in government’:
- “You should be learning every single day” – Alan Milburn
- “There is nothing new under the sun” – Stephen Dorrell
- “There are very few problems that someone hasn’t come across before” – Jeremy Hunt
- “Stuff happens” – Patricia Hewitt
- “Changes come from politics. . . not from bureaucracy” – Alan Milburn
- “Most of those delivering care decided to do this from their early teens” – Stephen Dorrell
- “There is nothing more important to anyone” – Patricia Hewitt
[Direct copying from earlier post ends]
14 July 2016 12:38
There are lots of reports that we could be looking at various new, merged, broken-up and abolished government departments today - BIS, DECC, DfT, Industry, Infrastructure... We haven't had a big change since 2009:
Major organisational change has considerable costs in terms of management time and staff distraction. There is initial disruption, for example, as new or reformed departments wrangle over the allocation of budgets. Then, there is longer-term disruption as staff lose focus on their day jobs during periods of internal change that might affect their roles, pay or conditions. And there is practical disruption resulting from operational problems during transition.
Our 2010 report, Making and Breaking Whitehall Departments, actually looked at the creation of DECC in 2008. It incurred costs of at least £15m in its first year just to cover the extra staff and building costs needed to support a new team of ministers. One person involved in setting up the department said that at the start:
there was nothing, no building, no one in place, not even a name plate to put on the door.
14 July 2016 12:19
There are reports that Justine Greening will have an expanded brief at Education, taking on skills and higher education. We've been here before, as we noted in our report Reshaping Government:
By putting different functions together, prime ministers often hope to improve co-ordination. But moving a function to a different department can easily create new tensions or disconnects. This is perhaps best shown in relation to skills where prime ministers have perennially vacillated on whether they should place government’s skills portfolio within the education-focused, employment-focused, or business-focused departments. This case is a clear example of the need for trade-offs – and also suggests that whatever the machinery of government, robust mechanisms to resolve cross-departmental disputes and encourage collaboration are a pre-requisite of effective government.
It's still not clear what this - and the appointments of David Davis or Liam Fox yesterday, or rumours about what could happen to BIS and DECC - actually means for the machinery of government and what departments we'll end up with at the end of the reshuffle.
14 July 2016 12:10
14 July 2016 11:57
Liz Truss is the new Justice Secretary and the first female Lord Chancellor. She moves from being Secretary of State of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Truss spoke at the Institute earlier this year about her plans for the department, including integrating the department with its various arm’s-length bodies that are responsible for delivering a lot of the department’s services. This is from our report on the event:
Government had gone with the ‘fashion’ too much in the past, shifting from arm’s-length to in-house rather than getting the best of both worlds; and in reality, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of government can be difficult to disentangle. A more sensible approach would maintain independence where needed – such as where bodies performed regulatory functions – but allow operational functions to be shared. Defra still has 34 arm’s-length bodies, which can give the department a view of what is happening on the ground and perform some separate functions. But Truss’s vision of greater integration and structuring the Defra group’s work around people and landscape means that: ‘For the first time, we will have a plan and budget for each area rather than 34 organisations operating with different plans.’
A key part of her plans revolved around data, and #opendefra – a plan to open up 8,000 datasets to get ALBs working together and with the department. They recently announced they’d exceeded that target. Ellen Broad from the Open Data Institute, part of Truss’s Extended Ministerial Office, has written about her experience:
Talking just about the number of datasets Defra’s released over the last 12 months doesn’t really tell you much about how the department has changed... If Defra was actually going to publish 8,000 datasets as open data in 12 months in a meaningful way, it had to quickly learn lots of things about itself — how data is collected across its 34 historically siloed organisations, what data each organisation holds, which teams and people have responsibility for data, who has access to it, and the kinds of problems preventing teams from doing data differently. It had to provide guidance for publishing, institute new governance structures and revise others, and come up with ways of mitigating ethics and personal data and third party IP issues.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to #opendefra under a new Secretary of State – particularly as Defra is regarded as one of the departments with the most to do around Brexit.
14 July 2016 11:49
While we wait for confirmation of further moves, let’s take a look at one of those from yesterday: Philip Hammond leaving the Foreign Office to become the new Chancellor. Hammond succeeded George Osborne, the third-longest-serving post-war Chancellor after Gordon Brown and Nigel Lawson. One of his predecessors, Ken Clarke, told us in his Ministers Reflect interview that:
the Treasury was the best department I ever worked in because the intellectual quality of the people was undoubtedly higher, almost universally across all the officials, than any other I was in. I could run it like a debating society, because the then permanent secretary encouraged it, Terry Burns, who hadn’t started as a civil servant either. But what I liked about it was you could get a group of officials around the table and they would all join in and the most junior guy at the table, just out of school I used to say, no doubt just come out of university with a reasonably good degree, he or she would argue with the permanent secretary, or me, with the same vigour as anybody else. And we would all clarify where we would go. And it was a very stimulating atmosphere, which I used to, compare with something like a high table at an Oxbridge College. The mood, I picked up from it, was similar. I used to say they were just like an Oxbridge College – frightfully bright and not one of them capable of running anything. Not actually running anything, but they had policies and ideas – they were brilliant.
Jill Rutter has been through the rest of the archive to find some more ministerial reflections on the Treasury.
14 July 2016 11:21
Laura Kuenssberg is reporting that Jeremy Hunt (Health) will move jobs, while Oliver Letwin (Cabinet Office) has joined those leaving Cabinet this morning. Hunt spoke at an event the Institute held last year with the Health Foundation, who were launching their report, Glaziers and Window Breakers, which interviewed a number of former Health Secretaries. Our colleague Sophie Wilson reported on the event and pulled out a number of key quotes from the former Health Secretaries speaking at the event about ‘the toughest job in government’:
- “You should be learning every single day” – Alan Milburn
- “There is nothing new under the sun” – Stephen Dorrell
- “There are very few problems that someone hasn’t come across before” – Jeremy Hunt
- “Stuff happens” – Patricia Hewitt
- “Changes come from politics. . . not from bureaucracy” – Alan Milburn
- “Most of those delivering care decided to do this from their early teens” – Stephen Dorrell
- “There is nothing more important to anyone” – Patricia Hewitt
14 July 2016 10:47
One thing we’ll be keeping an eye on as appointments are made is the gender balance of the government. This is what it looked like at different levels before the reshuffle started: Amber Rudd is now our third female Home Secretary. That makes it the leader among the great offices of state, since we’ve had only one female foreign secretary (Margaret Beckett)… …and no female Chancellors of the Exchequer. Here’s a chart of all the women ever to be full members of, or attend, Cabinet before this reshuffle started (based on an idea from the data journalism site, Ampp3d).
14 July 2016 10:42
14 July 2016 10:33
Michael Gove has apparently been sacked from his role as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Whoever succeeds Gove will have a challenge in keeping to spending targets. As our colleague Oliver Ilott wrote in April:
At Justice, the Chancellor’s budget numbers show he is expecting spending to come in at £0.5bn (8%) above his June plans. Detailed figures for the first three quarters show that spending pressures appear to be largely driven by the increasing cost of running prisons compared to the same period last year. This is a reversal of previous trends. Significant reductions have been made in prison budgets in the last five years, with the cost per prisoner falling by 15%. But indicators such as the rising incidence of serious assaults against prison staff suggest the Prison service is under pressure.
14 July 2016 10:21
Theresa May – our second female Prime Minister – begins her first full day in the job today. What’s likely to be on her to-do list? Our very own Catherine Haddon was answering this question on the Today programme this morning (at around 52:52). Cath’s also written a blogpost on the likely top 5:
- Meeting the Cabinet Secretary
- Being briefed on defence and security – including appointing nuclear deputies and writing the ‘letters of last resort’ to Trident commanders
- Being briefed on ‘business requiring immediate attention’
- Forming her new Cabinet
- Putting her stamp on Downing Street.
Cath also suggested she may want a briefing on Pokémon Go, though it seems she may have got the hang of it: (Thanks to our colleague Joe Randall for that.)
14 July 2016 10:03
THURSDAY 14 JULY Good morning everyone, and welcome back to our reshuffle live-blog. We're particularly delighted to be with you since the Institute for Government has lost all internet connectivity morning, so we're bringing this to you from a mobile hotspot. Bear with us... Yesterday evening, Theresa May began her premiership with a speech in Downing Street, followed by the first appointments to her Cabinet:
- Philip Hammond was appointed Chancellor
- Boris Johnson replaced him as Foreign Secretary
- Amber Rudd replaced May as Home Secretary
- Michael Fallon remained Defence Secretary
- David Davis was appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
- Liam Fox was appointed Secretary of State for International Trade.
It’s not yet entirely clear whether we will have new departments for Exiting the European Union (Davis) and for International Trade (Fox), and what that means for existing departments (especially the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). We could end up having the most dramatic changes to the machinery of government since Gordon Brown’s premiership. We’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest moves throughout – plus lots of insight and analysis from the rest of the Institute for Government.
13 July 2016 21:54
A final post from us tonight, but we'll be back tomorrow: Theresa May has appointed a new Chancellor, a new Foreign Secretary and a new Home Secretary. Philip Hammond moves from the Foreign Office to the Treasury, Amber Rudd from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the Home Office, and Boris Johnson enters government, replacing Hammond as Foreign Secretary. George Osborne leaves the government, and Michael Fallon remains Secretary of State for Defence. Amber Rudd is the third female Home Secretary... ...but there have still been no female Chancellors. The appointment of Liam Fox (as Secretary of State for International Trade) and David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) brings more Leavers into the Cabinet... ...and could mean the biggest changes to the machinery of government since 2009. On the other hand, it might not - it's not yet entirely clear if these will be two new departments. With May's move and Osborne's departure, only David Lidington - Europe Minister - remains in the same post as in May 2010. We'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for reading, and good night.
13 July 2016 21:34
There's obviously a long way to go yet, but this is how the reshuffle has changed the leave/remain balance in government, so far: The appointments of Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox have increased the percentage of Cabinet ministers that supported the Leave campaign. Though there's still some way to go before it fully reflects the sentiment of Tory MPs as a whole.
13 July 2016 21:13
If news reports that both David Davis and Liam Fox will be heading up new departments are true, then the chart below shows us ministerial moves so far: The chart shows when ministers came into their post. Understandably, Davis and Fox are both new to their departments as of this reshuffle. We've also seen changes to all three great offices of state - Hammond to the Treasury, Rudd to the Home Office, Johnson to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. No doubt we'll see more changes tomorrow. Note that only one person in government holds the exact same post they were appointed to in May 2010. It's the dark block at the foot of the FCO column. The person? David Lidington. The post? Minister for Europe.
13 July 2016 20:49
David Davis, former Shadow Home Secretary and former Conservative leadership contender (who lost to David Cameron in 2005), is the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. This is what we said about ministerial oversight of Brexit in a report yesterday:
Ultimately deals will be done between heads of government. This is the reason why many Prime Ministers find, on taking office, that foreign affairs eat into more of their time than they had expected. Negotiating Brexit will require a huge amount of Prime Ministerial time and effort. The next PM will therefore need to decide whether they need a senior colleague to do much of the heavy lifting for them, as well as absorbing some of the responsibilities of reporting to Parliament. Given the nature of the tasks ahead, it seems essential that this happens. This senior colleague must be someone who can work closely with the PM – any major disagreements between them in the negotiation phase would be fatal – and command the support of Parliament, which for this purpose essentially means the Conservative backbenches.
The choice was between a dedicated Cabinet Minister based in the Cabinet Office, or a Secretary of State of a new department:
There are two main considerations in deciding between these two options. The first is whether the ‘Minister for Brexit’ is a part-time or a full-time role. This consideration points strongly in one direction – that this must be a full-time role. It is difficult to see how delivering Brexit could be combined with the handling of an economic crisis or dealing with a serious international incident. The second consideration is whether there would be synergies (or conflicts) between the Minister’s Brexit responsibilities and any wider role. If the role is seen primarily as conducting international negotiations then there might appear to be synergies, with the Minister also being the Foreign Secretary. However, as the outcome of these negotiations will have huge domestic implications, in reality the actual synergies are fewer than they first appear. The FCO is not the natural place for coordination of a cross-Whitehall domestic policy response and has few established links to the devolved administrations. The Treasury is by far the most powerful domestic department. Combining the Brexit role with that of Chancellor would certainly create a dominant political player. But that would raise a number of potential problems. The Treasury will have big departmental interests in the post-Brexit discussions and may not be seen as an honest broker. And this arrangement could only work if the relationship between the new Prime Minister and Chancellor was as close as it has been between David Cameron and George Osborne – otherwise it would risk conflict between No.10 and No.11. Overall, the arguments strongly point to the PM appointing a dedicated Brexit Cabinet Minister.
You can read more here.
13 July 2016 20:29
A bit more on making (and indeed, breaking) Whitehall departments from a report we published in 2010...
In deciding whether to keep things as they are or on the need to make a change, and in choosing which particular change or combination of changes to make at any one time, the Prime Minister has to balance three main influences: external pressures, administrative challenges and political and cabinet-making considerations…
This looks like it belongs in the 'external pressures' category:
External change One fairly constant motor of changes at the departmental level (and in terms of the substructure of agencies and executive bodies) is the alteration of the external context, the growth of new demands and priorities for the UK state to grapple with. Some of these changes can be coped with in other ways than to expensively reorganise departments, especially by creating cabinet committees, pooling budget-lines or forming cross-cutting task forces or working groups across the existing departments. But where this first recourse has not fully worked, or the new priority or issue has begun to look more permanent or more serious, then the issue will arise of vesting it directly with a secretary of state and a department who can bring both the political priority and the administrative focus needed.
13 July 2016 20:22
David Davis is the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. There's also speculation that Liam Fox may be heading a new department for international trade. If Davis is heading a new department, and/or Fox's position is confirmed, it would be the first major change to the departmental landscape and machinery of government since the creation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2009. As we said in our most recent work on restructuring Whitehall:
restructuring can be helpful, provided it has a clear operational purpose and time is taken to assess costs, benefits and risks.
Overall, however, we find that successful departmental restructuring is rare. Changes are too often conceived and implemented in alarming haste, leading those involved to underestimate the cost of change.
13 July 2016 20:11
13 July 2016 20:04
13 July 2016 19:52
13 July 2016 19:44
What's it like to suddenly be appointed to a new ministerial post? Here's what Hammond - Stephen Hammond, former Transport Minister, that is - told us in a Ministers Reflect interview:
I think for people it’s quite a bewildering [experience] – you go and see the Prime Minister and as you’re walking back down Whitehall [the department contacts you]. I mean I got a mobile phone call from someone called Charlotte who told me she was in my office. And I didn’t know… I tried to work out, I’ve got a Sally and a Paul and then I realised it was my new departmental office! ‘We’ve got a box of work for you and the Secretary of State wants a meeting in an hour and half’s time.’ I think people need to be prepared [to go] from the nothing to the total. There is no gradualism in this. You can’t halfway jump into the swimming pool. I think that’s a big shock for people.
13 July 2016 19:27
13 July 2016 19:21
13 July 2016 19:10
So what was Theresa May like to work with as Home Secretary? Our colleague Nicola Hughes has some reflections from former ministerial colleagues, from our Ministers Reflect series, including this from Damian Green:
“Theresa is hard-working, a bit of a control freak… none of which could be regarded as a criticism. So you knew that it was not clever to try and go behind her back or just go against her”. …“It’s one of the things I admire the Home Secretary for, that she is not driven by a media agenda. That is not a universal truth amongst senior politicians.”
And this from former Lib Dem minister Jo Swinson:
“I remember quite early on I had a telephone call on a particular issue with Theresa May and just coming off the phone and thinking, ‘Whoa, wow’. Obviously I disagree with her politics on a range of issues but on issues like equality we actually got on very well because she is a passionate advocate of those issues within government long after she stopped having formal responsibility for that. But she is formidable. So I wouldn’t say I absolutely see her as my role model but there are certainly elements of that that I recognised as a very effective way of working.”
You can read more reflections here.
13 July 2016 18:58
The new Prime Minister brings a fair amount of parliamentary experience with her into 10 Downing Street. Before entering government in 2010, she served in a number of opposition frontbench roles including Shadow Secretary of State for Education, for Transport and for Work and Pensions. But she is probably best known for being the second longest-serving Home Secretary in modern times. (Actually, she’s probably best-known for being the longest-serving, but she falls short of James Chuter Ede – Home Secretary under Attlee – by just a few weeks).
13 July 2016 18:29
Theresa May becomes the second female Prime Minister in British history, after her Tory predecessor Margaret Thatcher. There’s been a lot of speculation in the press today that May will promote a lot of women. This is the current gender balance of the government and parliament – note there’s a higher percentage of women in government than there is in the Conservative Party in the Commons. But the record is worse at the highest levels of government. Of the great offices of state, there have been two female Home Secretaries (May herself and Labour’s Jacqui Smith)… …one female Foreign Secretary (Labour’s Margaret Beckett)… …and no female Chancellors of the Exchequer. Could that change tonight or tomorrow?
13 July 2016 18:10
May has just addressed the nation as Prime Minister for the first time - The Guardian live blog has some extracts. The change of Prime Minister follows the result of the referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union, which adds an extra dimension to the reshuffle. As things stand, support for the Leave campaign is much higher among Tory MPs than at every level of government. The new Prime Minister has said that:
Brexit means Brexit. And we’re going to make a success of it.
Will that mean more Leavers coming into government to work on the negotiations? At present, some departments (notably the Department for Transport, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) are dominated by ministers who backed Remain, while others (notably MoJ and DWP) have rather more Leavers. What will the balance look like by the end of the reshuffle? Prime Minister May has suggested there could be a new Ministry to handle the negotiations. The Institute published a report this week looking at the options – our own Jill Rutter wrote about it for ConservativeHome saying ‘We need a Minister for Brexit – but not a Ministry for Brexit’.
13 July 2016 17:54
May succeeds David Cameron rather earlier than anticipated. Had he been Prime Minister until 2020, Cameron would have joined Thatcher and Blair in the post-1945 top three of days served. As it is, he departs office having served fewer days than Churchill, Wilson, Macmillan, Major and Attlee. Of the fourteen changes of Prime Minister since the Second World War, this is now the seventh without an election, as our colleague Cath Haddon noted in a blogpost a few weeks ago.
13 July 2016 17:40
WEDNESDAY 13 JULY Theresa May is the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That means she will be reshuffling the government, and that means we’re firing up our live-blog. Over the next few hours and days, we’ll be bringing you the latest news live through the medium of charts, as well as comment and expertise from across the Institute. In particular:
- Negotiating Brexit will take focus, but there are lots of other projects and policies across government that will need experienced ministerial attention and continuity – at the same time, we have a new Prime Minister wanting to put her own stamp on government. We’ll keep an eye on the balance between continuity and change…
- …and we’ll be tracking whether newly-promoted ministers shift the balance towards leavers or remainers. Will the new PM – who supported Remain – feel the need to appoint Brexiteers to key posts?
- The news today has been full of stories that Prime Minister May will promote more women – we’ll be charting the gender balance too.