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PM insists she will see out her full term

Gove returns as May tries to unite Tories

Michael Gove leaves Downing Street after his reappointment

One of the architects of the Brexit campaign, Michael Gove, has returned to the government ranks as Theresa May continued to fend off calls for her to resign.

His appointment as Environment Secretary was part of what Mrs May said would be a “government that’s going to be governing for everyone”.

Amid continuing calls for her to step down and concern that her minority government could not survive, Mrs May continued to finalise her ministerial team. She insisted that she would see out her full term as Prime Minister.

Former Chancellor George Osborne, whom she sacked on taking office last year, today said she was “a dead woman walking”.

But Mrs May says the public wants to see the government get on with the job and she intends to bring stability.

Damian Green has been made First Secretary of State, making the former work and pensions secretary, her second in command. David Mundell returns as Scottish Secretary.

Previous environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, has been appointed as the leader of the House in the Commons.

Most other ministers have kept their roles – but Liz Truss is moved from justice to chief treasury secretary.

David Mundell
David Mundell: returns (photo by Terry Murden)

Commons leader David Liddington takes over as justice secretary and Lord Chancellor.

Chief Treasury Secretary David Gauke has been appointed work and pensions secretary.

Mrs May said her first reshuffle had “seen people from across the party accepting the invitation to be in my Cabinet.

“Crucially I’ve brought in talent from across the whole of the Conservative party. We want a country that works for everyone.”

She said she had appointed “a Cabinet that will get on with the job of government.

“That’s about delivering a successful Brexit negotiations. And those negotiations start in a week’s time.”

Gove’s appointment was a surprise. He was sacked as justice minister by May last year after his bid to become party leader forced now-foreign minister Boris Johnson from the race, amid accusations of treachery and political backstabbing.

Mrs May is now trying to unite her demoralised party and strike a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to help her stay in power.

“What I’m doing now is actually getting on with the immediate job. And I think that’s what’s important, I think that’s what the public would expect. They want to see government providing that certainty and stability,” she said.

“What I’ve done today is see people from across the party accepting the invitation to be in my cabinet, and crucially I’ve brought in talent from across the whole of the Conservative Party. I believe that’s important.”

She is seeking a so-called confidence and supply deal, which would involve the DUP supporting the Conservatives on key votes but not joining a formal coalition.

There was no deal or talks today as the DUP does not work or negotiate on Sundays for religious reasons. Officials from both sides are due to meet on Monday, and DUP leader Arlene Foster is expected to meet Mrs May on Tuesday.

The turmoil comes a week before Mrs May is due to start negotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Related topics

Deal or no deal? Confusion over DUP talks

Key unchanged Cabinet posts:

  • Chancellor of the Exchequer – Philip Hammond

  • Home Office – Amber Rudd

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Boris Johnson

  • Exiting the European Union – David Davis

  • Defence – Michael Fallon

  • Health  – Jeremy Hunt

  • Education – Justine Greening

  • Communities  – Sajid Javid

  • Culture – Karen Bradley

  • International development – Priti Patel

  • Transport – Chris Grayling

  • Business – Greg Clark

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