HEALTH secretary Hunt was yesterday promoted by PM May with social care being added to his portfolio. The decision will infuriate health workers and the trade unions who have seen Hunt attack junior doctors and begin a campaign to link lifting the pay cap to putting an end to Agenda for Change conditions for workers.
Many trade union leaders had been demanding that May sack Hunt and start properly financing the NHS. May has now treated their demands with contempt.
Other cabinet shuffle changes saw Brandon Lewis being made the new chairman of the Conservative Party. Lewis, the Great Yarmouth MP and immigration minister, replaces Sir Patrick McLoughlin. His deputy is to be James Cleverly.
There is to be a new Northern Ireland secretary to replace James Brokenshire, who has quit for health reasons. Justice Secretary David Lidington has been moved to the Cabinet Office, creating another vacancy. Home Secretary Amber Rudd is staying in her post, along with other key figures Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson and David Davis.
Ministers reported to be vulnerable include Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom and Business Secretary Greg Clark.
• The RMT has called for an urgent meeting with the new transport secretary as strike action over safety continues. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘The change of Transport Secretary opens up an opportunity for a new approach to the disputes that RMT members are engaged in across the country today over rail safety and the guarantee of a guard on our trains. Whoever fills this post needs to respond urgently to RMT’s request for a summit meeting involving the Department for Transport and the train companies.’