British PM completes cabinet reshuffle amid criticism
(5 months ago)
London, Jan 10 : British Prime Minister Theresa May issued her first statement on Tuesday night after completing a shake-up of her team of government ministers.
Speaking at 10 Downing Street, May commented on the new diversity of her government team, Xinhua reported.
May said: "This Government is about building a country fit for the future -- one that truly works for everyone with a stronger economy and a fairer society.
"This reshuffle helps us do just that by bringing fresh talent into Government, boosting delivery in key policy areas like housing, health and social care, and ensuring the Government looks more like the country it serves.
"It also allows a new generation of gifted Ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole UK."
May faced criticism on the first day of her reshuffle which critics, including some of her own Conservative politicians described as lack-lustre.
Just one big change to her front-row team saw former Education Secretary Justine Greening resigning from the cabinet.
On day two, May first assembled her new line up of ministers at Downing Street, before hiring and firing a number of second-tier ministers.
May even posted a photo on her social media site showing her alongside a line-up of all-female MPs appointed to roles in the party whip's office. Their task is to liaise with MPs in the House of Commons.
May fired four ministers on day-two of her reshuffle as she made way for newcomer to her team.
Among those leaving were education minister Robert Goodwill and Mark Garnier, the international trade minister. John Hayes, the transport minister and health minister Philip Dunne both resigned from the government.
Backbench Conservative MP Philip Davies complained that May's reshuffle has created a "legitimate concern" that white, male ministers have been "hoofed out" to make way for women or minority ethnic MPs "because they are a white male".
Davies said: "Time will tell as to whether these people have got their jobs on merit or whether they have got them on tokenism. It certainly does not do anyone any favours to promote people who are not ready for promotion just because of their gender or race.
"Time will tell whether these jobs were given on merit or not. But obviously any self-respecting Conservative would say that all jobs should be given on merit and we should be blind to people's gender, race or religion."
May finally completed her reshuffle on Tuesday night, moving eight existing members of her government team to new posts. Home Secretary Amber Rudd was also appointed by May as Minister of Women and Equalities.