Summary: A shake up of the Ministry of Defence has been announced as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle this morning (15 July).
Michael Fallon, formerly Minister of State for Business and Minister of State for Energy, has been moved to the position of Secretary of Defence. He succeeds Philip Hammond in the role, who replaces William Hague as Foreign Secretary.
The Secretary of State for Defence has overall responsibility for the MOD’s strategic direction on policy, operations, acquisition and personnel matters, including:
- operational strategy, including as a member of the National Security Council
- defence planning, programme and resource allocation
- international relations
- defence exports policy
- nuclear programme
Mr Fallon was previously influential in the privatisation of the Royal Mail, which has been controversial in being seen as being sold for £1bn under value.
The replacement of William Hague as Foreign Secretary will be seen by many as further evidence of the Conservative move towards increased euroscepticism. Mr Hague, a consistent promoter of the UK’s place ‘in Europe, not run by Europe’, will be replaced by Philip Hammond, a man known for his openness to discuss the prospect of UK leaving the European Union.
With an In/Out referendum on the UK’s place in the EU planned for 2017, it seems ever likely that the current Government will aggressively pursue the UK’s removal from Europe if elected in 2015.
Other changes announced include the removal of Michael Gove from Education. He will now become Chief Whip, while two women have been promoted in an attempt to shed the Conservative image of being male-led, as Nicky Morgan becomes Education Secretary and Liz Truss becomes Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
More information on the changes can be found via out Twitter feed throughout the day – @DCItenders