British PM Theresa May continues shake up of ministerial team

BRITAIN-EU-BREXIT-POLITICS

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It also comes as the prime minister tries to reset her leadership in the face of a resurgent opposition Labour party, which exceeded expectations in the snap election May called - and almost lost - last summer.

An interim deal on Brexit in December however gave May new impetus, and a long-anticipated reshuffle was arranged.

But Davis' concerns over the European Union preparations for a possible no-deal was described by the cabinet member as "damaging to United Kingdom interests".

One of the more eye-catching appointments was Suella Fernandes - leader of the influential pro-Brexit European Research Group - to the department responsible for the UK's departure from the EU.

Theresa May's new ministerial team is more diverse and will "better reflect the country which it serves", Downing Street said.

May confirmed on Sunday (7) that she would be making ministerial changes, but refused to disclose details.

Ostensibly, she maintains that a reshuffle was made necessary by the spate of resignations late a year ago of three ministers following separate scandals, including close ally and deputy Prime Minister Damian Green, who was forced to quit over misleading statements he made regarding pornography found on his office computer.

Most of May's senior ministers kept their jobs in Monday's reshuffle, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit minister David Davis and finance minister Philip Hammond.

Last year's flurry of high-profile resignations triggered repeated calls for a reshuffle, which until now went unheeded.

Monday's reshuffle was blown off course when Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt convinced May at a lengthy meeting not to move him to a different job.

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But the Times also cited serious political analysts and politicians who are having second thoughts about the whole idea. Graham apparently has been encouraging his high-profile partner for years and is certain she'd be a great candidate.

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth was scornful of the prospect of Hunt as deputy prime minister.

Former Oakwood Comprehensive student Justine Greening, who was appointed education secretary in 2016, was one of the casualties as Prime Minister Theresa May shook up her top team.

Lidington was also named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, replacing Patrick McLoughlin, who was sacked as Conservative chairman following criticism of his role in the party's poor performance in last year's snap election.

Meanwhile Dominic Raab, justice minister and an ardent Brexit supporter, is tipped to be in line for a top job.

While Brexit divisions have restricted May's room for maneuvering, she is looking to make her Conservative government more representative of Britain by promoting more women, people from ethnic minorities, and recently elected lawmakers to leadership posts.

Lewis had until today been the Minister of State for Immigration and was the first minister to have been summoned to No.10 to meet with the Prime Minister this morning.

The Conservative leader indicated that she wanted to lead her party into the next general election in 2022 despite her disastrous decision to call a vote past year, in which she lost her vital majority.

"I'm not a quitter".

Mrs May told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that she had received a "clear message" on the issue and said there would not be a vote during this Parliament. "I'm not someone who quits, I'm here for long term", he said at BBC.

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