Cabinet reshuffle: David Lidington replaces Damian Green as Cabinet Office minister

Former justice secretary does not take ‘first secretary of state’ title while Esther McVey named new work and pensions secretary

David Lidington takes over from Damian Green as Cabinet Office minister. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA 

By Tamsin.Rutter

09 Jan 2018

Former justice secretary David Lidington has taken the role of Cabinet Office minister that was vacated by Damian Green in December after it was discovered that Green had made inaccurate and misleading statements about porn found on his office computer in 2008.

As part of Theresa May's government reshuffle, Lidington will chair the Brexit committees that were previously overseen by Green, but unlike Green he will not take on the title of first secretary of state, a position effectively seen as the prime minister’s deputy.

Lidington’s full title is now chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office. He is the fourth minister for the Cabinet Office since 2015, which is when Francis Maude stepped down after five years in the job. The role of first secretary of state, which is not always used in government, remains unfilled.


The Cabinet Office is set to get a completely fresh set of ministers as Theresa May gave new jobs to junior Cabinet Office ministers Chris Skidmore and Caroline Nokes. 

Skidmore, who was responsible for the constitution, has been given a job as vice chair for policy at CCHQ, while Nokes, formerly responsible for government resilience and efficiency with a brief encompassing digital and open government, replaces Brandon Lewis as immigration minister.

Commenting on his new role, Skidmore tweeted: “Enjoyed working at @cabinetofficeuk on our plans to improve Democratic Engagement- will miss weekend red box time but looking forward to a fantastic new role at @conservatives Vice-Chair for Policy.”

Nokes will be attending Cabinet, as one of 10 women now authorised to go to meetings.

Among other moves, Esther McVey, the former deputy chief whip, has been named secretary of state for work and pensions. McVey, who was employment minister in the department from 2013 until losing her seat in the 2015 election, will replace David Gauke, who has been moved to became lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice.

Other moves include former culture secretary Karen Bradley moving to become Northern Ireland secretary after her predecessor James Brokenshire stepped down for health reasons. Bradley has been replaced by Matt Hancock, who was minister for digital and culture in the department and has also served as a Cabinet Office minister.

Education secretary Justine Greening has left the government and been replaced by former employment minister Damian Hinds.

Brandon Lewis, who became minister without portfolio and Conservative Party chair, while there have been other changes for some MPs, including Claire Perry, minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who remains in post but is now authorised to attend Cabinet meetings. 

Greening is reported to have left government after refusing a role at the Department for Work and Pensions, while Amber Rudd remains secretary of state for the Home Office but is tipped to take on the job of women and equalities minister that was vacated by Greening.

Sajid Javid became secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, while Jeremy Hunt became secretary of state for health and social care, as the government renamed two departments but kept their top ministers in place.

More junior appointments are expected to be announced throughout today. So far, Alok Sharma has been confirmed at minister of state for employment (his was housing and planning minister); Dominic Raab as minister for housing (formerly minister of justice and courts); and Jo Johnson as minister at the Department for Transport and minister for London (previously universities and science minister). 

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