Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

David Cameron's cabinet begins to take shape

William Hague, the Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary, addresses media outside the Houses of Parliament on May 10, 2010
Conservative Chancellor George Osborne
Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010 in London, England

William Hague was this evening confirmed as Foreign Secretary and George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government.

Senior Conservative sources confirmed the two men retain the roles they held in the Tory shadow cabinet, scotching widespread speculation that the Chancellor's job might go to Kenneth Clarke or even Lib Dem Vince Cable.

Downing Street this evening said no ministerial posts would be officially confirmed tonight, but reports suggested the deal struck between David Cameron and Nick Clegg's parties includes a promise of six seats around the Cabinet table for Liberal Democrats.

Mr Clegg himself may be rewarded for leading his party to a share of power with the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

And it is expected that Mr Cable will be appointed Mr Osborne's number two as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Reports suggested Liberal Democrat David Laws will be made Schools Secretary and Tory Andrew Lansley Health Secretary - both also keeping their briefs from opposition. Tory Liam Fox was also reportedly given the post of Defence Secretary, again retaining his role held in the shadow cabinet.

The need to give jobs to Liberal Democrats means some members of Mr Cameron's shadow cabinet are likely to be awarded less senior jobs than they had been expecting in the run-up to the General Election, providing the first big test of his man-management abilities as PM.

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