Theresa May's new cabinet starters have work to do

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But May has said that she still hoped to lead her Tory party into the next election, which must be called by 2022.

Monday's cabinet reshuffle tore back the curtains, revealing the prime minister's diminished authority in the cold, unforgiving light of a January morning.

But alongside Leadsom, Education Secretary Justine Greening, Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin and Business Secretary Greg Clark are vulnerable. The reshuffle began when the Conservative Party's social media team tweeted congratulations to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on his appointment as the new Conservative Party chairman.

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"So we take these words by the prime minister very seriously, and it is therefore only natural that in this house we also prepare for every eventuality".

"No wonder Theresa May's struggling to negotiate Brexit - she can't even organise a reshuffle", opposition Labour MP Stephen Kinnock swiftly tweeted. It is not envisaged to be satisfied with replacing resigned, as it did in cases of Fallon and Patel, but it is not likely that changes will affect main figures of government, such as Philip Hammond, Chancellor of Exchequer; Boris Johnson, head of Foreign Office; Amber Rudd, Interior proprietor, or David Davis, Minister of Brexit.

Ms. May moved to make changes to her team of top Ministers after ending a year ago with a deal to shift talks with the European Union (EU) to a second phase.

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BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says whilst prime ministers do not have as much power to shape their fortunes as the position suggests, Mrs May can at least choose the timing of this "big set piece moment in politics". Britain is due to leave the bloc in March 2019, and although it has reached agreement on the key separation issues, the toughest talks on the future relationship have yet to begin. 61-year-old pro-Remain Damian Green, the former first secretary of state whose resignation prompted the reshuffle, was replaced by 61-year-old pro-Remain former Europe Minister David Lidington. "And the second thing was to try to put in the domestic departments - the departments that are not dealing directly with the withdrawal from the European Union - put in people that would drive forward her domestic agenda", he said.

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.

The reshuffle also saw the unexpected departure of Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire, who quit the Government on grounds of ill-health weeks ahead of major surgery for a small lesion to his right lung.

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