Reshuffling the Pack: Boris' Gamble

The first reshuffling of the cabinet under the Johnson premiership has happened, and it's safe to say that it wasn't the most reserved event in the world.

The chancellor, gone. The chairman, moved. Others, sacked.

So much for the rumours of "not much to see here".

A reshuffle of such gravity just two months into a majority government is many things, and a gamble is certainly one of them. Even with an 80 strong majority, Johnson must be careful not to isolate both large sections of his party and the country in who stays and who goes.

One possible blooper in it all was the departure of the popular and effective Northern Ireland Secretary, Julian Smith, who has since been praised by former Taioseach Leo Varadkar and received plaudits from Northern Ireland since his sacking. Whether that was a blooper or not, though, remains to be seen - very much dependent on how his successor opts to proceed.

However, we saw ambition and promotion of new faces whilst stability reigned over the big offices of state. We now have a new 39 year-old chancellor, in the wake of holding firm on the Home, Foreign, Defence and International Trade offices, amongst others.

Perplexing was the departure of Villiers, Leadsom and McVey. Staunch, loyalist Brexiteers they may be, but with the wielding of the axe came an end to their positions in government.

Almost as perplexing as it will be for some Londoners to wake up with Rory Stewart on their sofa...almost...

With the most diverse cabinet in history, and 109 new MPs still settling in, not many will have many objections to an early reshuffle.

But the reshuffle isn't all that has been happening.

North of Hadrian's Wall, we have seen the election of a new face at the head of the Scottish Conservatives. Jackson Carlaw coming to the fray with over 75% of the members' vote.

He certainly has a challenge on his hands to stop the SNP gaining a fourth term in office north of the border, but he has shown in the Scottish Parliament that he can go head to head with Nicola Sturgeon. Despite losing seven of thirteen seats gained by his predecessor, Ruth Davidson, at the last election, the Scottish Conservatives can now rally behind their new leader and move forward to the next set of elections with hope.

Carlaw certainly looks like a steady pair of hands.

It has been a week of change and progress, but hopefully now we will see the settling in and success of our new senior parliamentary figures.

Jack Rydeheard, Editor at Conservative Progress