Cameron’s reshuffle: The reaction
Sadiq Khan, who battled ken Clarke as shadow justice secretary: "I wish Ken Clarke well in his new role. While we differed enormously on policy, he always showed me a professional courtesy."
Nadine Dorries, right-wing backbencher prone to attacks on the party leadership: "I'm liking this re-shuffle. Grant to chairman, Jeremy to health, Chris to justice, Maria to DCMS, Theresa Villiers to NI. All good moves."
Michael Dugher, Labour's shadow Cabinet office minister: "This is the no-change reshuffle. No move for a failing chancellor in charge of a failing economic plan that has delivered a double-dip recession, who gave a tax cut for millionaires and who refuses to tax bank bonuses. And there are no moves across almost all of the most senior cabinet jobs. On Sunday David Cameron promised to 'cut through the dither', but today he was too weak to move Iain Duncan Smith from the Department of Work and Pensions and was forced to back down. Jeremy Hunt, the man who broke the ministerial code and failed to stand up to News Corporation, is now in charge of the NHS, our most cherished national institution. This won't change David Cameron's policy of continuing with a massive top-down NHS reorganisation."
Andy Burnham, health secretary, on his new opposite number, Jeremy Hunt: "The NHS was supposed to be the prime minister's number one priority. Swapping one failed minister with poor judgment for another is a strange way to show that. Right now, the NHS needs somebody who believes in its values and is ready to stand up for it. Instead, the Prime Minister has given it the man who reportedly tried to remove the NHS tribute from the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. I welcome the new secretary of state to his role but I serve notice to him today that, unless he removes the threat to the NHS from his government's policies, he will face the same opposition as his predecessor."
Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, comments on the lack of women at Cabinet: "Prior to the 2010 general election, David Cameron pledged to make a third of ministers in his first government women but in one fell swoop he has cut the number of women at the top table of politics by some 20%. We now have a Cabinet where men outnumber women five to one making some of the biggest budgetary decisions of this era. Despite near universal acceptance that we need more – not less – involvement of women in building our economy, the prime minister has chosen to further marginalise women’s influence on politics."
Green party leader Natalie Bennett, who took over yesterday: "There's much excitement in the media now about the reshuffle, but the fact is that nothing significant is changing. George Osborne, the man who is clinging to the utterly discredited 'Plan A' of ideologically driven spending cuts, which are damaging the British economy and causing suffering and disruption in communities across the UK, is still in place. And with Iain Duncan Smith remaining as work and pensions secretary, there's no sign of any response to the strong, angry protests against the inhumanity of the benefit cuts, which threaten to make huge numbers homeless, drive families far from the support of friends, relatives and familiar schools, and which are causing great fear and ditressed among people with disabilities. The movement of Jeremy Hunt into health is also cause for concern – both in its indication of the continuing influence of the Murdoch empire on the coalition, and also for the fact that he's a man who has a record of being anti-abortion."
Andy Atkins, executive director of Friend of the Earth: "Justine Greening is a victim of intense aviation lobbying over airport expansion – and an economic argument that simply doesn't add up. She's been shunted out of her transport job because of her opposition to a third runway at Heathrow."
Clare Algar , executive director of human rights group Reprieve, which has been at war with ken Clarke over his plans for 'secret courts': "This is a chance for the Ministry of Justice to drop its dangerous plans for secret courts. The justice and security bill would allow the government to cover up its own involvement in serious crimes such as torture, while destroying centuries-old British legal freedoms. Ministers should not be given the power to kick the other side out of court simply in order to avoid embarrassment – but this is precisely what this bill would allow. A new justice secretary gives the government the chance to think again, before tearing up the fundamental British principle of equality before the law."
Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, who welcomed the coalition's early focus on rehabilitation and reducing prison sentences: "Kenneth Clarke was a breath of fresh air as justice secretary. Rather than grabbing cheap headlines, he focused on cutting reoffending and saving taxpayers’ money. He fought to get prisoners doing an honest day’s work rather than lying around in bed. He has started to shift the balance towards community sentences that change lives and reduce crime and away from the old cliché of ‘prison works’. These policies will save money and save lives."