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UK government reshuffle expected

January 7, 2018

Prime Minister May is set to make alterations to her Cabinet in an effort to reassert her authority, according to reports. The move follows several major resignations in May's government over separate scandals.

Theresa May in Brussels
Image: Reuters/Y. Herman

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to undergo a reshuffle on Monday after a series of high-profile departures.

According to government sources, several high-profile ministers should expect to be axed.

While May did not comment on the reshuffle directly, she told the BBC on Sunday that "some changes do have to be made," and a Labour Party MP, citing information from colleagues in May's Conservative Party, told French news agency AFP that she would make the changes Monday.

Ministers resign amid numerous scandals

The news comes after May's confidante and Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green was forced to resign last month over a pornography scandal. Shortly before, Defense Minister Michael Fallon and International Development Minister Priti Patel stepped down in separate controversies.

Fallon resigned in November amid wider sexual harassment allegations in Westminster, while Patel was forced to quit due to unauthorized meetings in Israel.

Key figures like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis are expected to keep their jobs, but Education Secretary Justine Greening and Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin looked likely to be fired in the reshuffle.

According to the right-wing Daily Mail newspaper, May was expected to clear out the "pale, male and stale" from her ranks, and hopes to promote more women and lawmakers from diverse backgrounds in order to build a government that was "more in the image of the country."

Although May was severely weakened in June when snap elections failed to deliver the Conservative victory she expected, the prime minister has managed to hold on to power throughout the first major round of Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

"I'm not a quitter. I'm in this for the long term," May told the BBC, adding: "Obviously, I serve as long as the people want me to serve."

es/rc (AFP, dpa)

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