UK's Northern Ireland minister quits as May shuffles Cabinet

Theresa May must sell a compromise on the Brexit settlement to her own party

Image Beyond Westminster the UK is no longer gripped by Brexit

Her most senior ministers, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Finance Minister Philipp Hammond, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Home Secretary Amber Rudd are all safe - no surprise there really, as May can't afford to upset the pro- and anti-EU balance of her cabinet. Meanwhile, Karen Bradley became Northern Ireland secretary, while Matt Hancock took the post as the new Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister.

Camera IconTheresa May was left red-faced after the wrong person was announced as her Cabinet's Party Chairman on Twitter, before it was quickly deleted.

A national newspaper reported that May will name a "cabinet minister for no deal" to be based alongside Davis in the department for exiting the EU.

The Times' front page called the reshuffle "shambolic" while The Daily Telegraph declared it the "night of the blunt stiletto".

Theresa May has reshuffled some of her Cabinet after the sacking of key ally Damian Green - but political opponents said the limited changes exposed the prime minister's weakness.

The reshuffle "allows a new generation of gifted ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole UK", May said in a statement.

In the interview, Mrs May also defended her Government's handling of the NHS winter crisis south of the border, saying "nothing's perfect" in the health service, and confirmed a review decision-making at the Parole Board after the release of "black cab" rapist John Worboys. Lewis was pictured entering May's office in Downing Street.




Mr Lidington served previously as Europe Minister and is known for his fine grasp of European Union bureaucratic detail; he is also an ardent pro-European, so his appointment is meant to signal Mrs May's preference for a separation deal with the European Union which maintains as many of Britain's links with Europe as possible.

It is understood that May does not intend to appoint a first secretary of state in what has been billed as her biggest reshuffle since taking office in 2016.

After starting the two-year Brexit process in March last year, Britain struck a deal in December on the financial settlement with Brussels, as well as expatriate rights and the Irish border.

Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, kept his job at the foreign office, despite challenging May's strategy in 2017, as did fellow eurosceptic Liam Fox, the global trade minister. But the former justice secretary has not been given the title of first secretary of state, which marked Green out as Theresa May's effective deputy.

Brexit secretary David Davis wrote to Theresa May last month claiming that the EU's plans could jeopardise contracts and force firms to relocate to the continent, according to the FT.

Sir Patrick looks set to pay the price for the party's failure at last year's snap general election when the Tories saw their Commons majority wiped out.

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