Tory chairman Brandon Lewis defends reshuffle" width="976" height="549">
Brandon Lewis (centre) was made the new chairman of the Conservative Party
The new Conservative Party chairman has defended Theresa May's reshuffle, saying it would be like a "breath of fresh air" by the time it is finished.Brandon Lewis said it was a shame that Justine Greening had quit as education secretary, having refused a move to the work and pensions department.Most big names stayed in post and more junior appointments are expected later.The reshuffle was called "embarrassing" and "shambolic" by some Tory MPs, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said.Labour called it a "pointless and lacklustre PR exercise".
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As well as Ms Greening's refusal to move, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is understood to have persuaded Mrs May to keep him in post with an expanded brief.In other appointments:
Ms Greening was replaced as education secretary by Damian Hinds
Esther McVey was promoted to work and pensions secretary
Justice Secretary David Lidington was moved to the Cabinet Office, and will deputise for Mrs May at Prime Minister's Questions
David Gauke replaces Mr Lidington as justice secretary
Matt Hancock is culture secretary and Karen Bradley is the new Northern Ireland secretary
Two departments were renamed - housing was added to the title of the communities department while the title of Mr Hunt's health brief now includes social care.Mr Lewis replaces Sir Patrick McLoughlin as Conservative Party chairman, with James Cleverly becoming his deputy.Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Lewis said "really good people move on" in any reshuffle. He would not get into "gossip" about how it had unfolded, but said it had heralded a "real influx of new talent"."It's not finished yet," he said, predicting a "breath of fresh air coming in" with the other ministerial announcements that are expected during the day.In her resignation statement, Ms Greening said: "Social mobility matters to me and our country more than a ministerial career."
Justine Greening resigned after being offered the job of work and pensions secretary
Veteran Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames did not seem impressed:
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Grant Shapps, Conservative party chairman between 2012 and 2015, said the reshuffle had not been "brilliantly executed" but praised plans for housing and health."There was some good stuff, strangely buried in a reshuffle that didn't quite go to plan," he told BBC Two's Newsnight.He said the addition of housing to the title of the communities department would give "a lot more focus" to government plans to build more homes - adding that plans to bring health and social care together were "quite smart".
Was May foiled in reshuffle aimsBut Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The government's big plan for the new year is to dodge the real issues and reshuffle the pack in a pointless and lacklustre PR exercise."It's simply not good enough. You can't make up for nearly eight years of failure by changing the name of a department."
Damian Hinds is new education secretary
Karen Bradley named new NI secretary
NI Secretary James Brokenshire resigns
David Lidington
Conservative Party
Theresa May
David Gauke
Brandon Lewis
Esther McVey
Justine Greening
Jeremy Hunt
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