Cameron continues with reshuffle
4:17am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in © Press Association 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron is due to continue the coalition's first major reshuffle after appointing Andrew Mitchell as his new chief whip late on Monday night.
Mr Mitchell leaves his post as Secretary of State for International Development to replace Patrick McLoughlin, who is expected to be given a new job, in the key enforcer role for a Tory Party that has become increasingly rebellious.
Mr Cameron used his more discreet Commons office rather than No 10 to begin talking to the Government's most senior members on Monday night. Tuesday morning's planned Cabinet meeting has been cancelled but could take place later in the day once the new top team has been finalised.
One minister who appeared to be among the casualties was Cheryl Gillan, who, according to her Twitter followers, removed references to her role as Welsh Secretary from her biographical details on the micro-blogging site.
Baroness Warsi appeared to confirm that she had been removed as Conservative Party co-chairman this morning, posting this message via her official Twitter account: "It's been a privilege and an honour to serve my party as co-chairman, signing off @ToryChairman, signing on @sayeedawarsi."
Speculation was also rife over the future of Tory veteran Ken Clarke with suggestions he may turn down alternatives to his Justice Secretary role.
The reshuffle is expected to see ministerial jobs given to a raft of new faces from the 2010 intake as Mr Cameron attempts to build the team he wants around him in the run-up to the next general election.
Former Liberal Democrat Treasury minister David Laws is predicted to make a return to the front benches, while key figures such as Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague are widely expected to remain in place.
Mr Cameron praised his new chief whip as "invaluable" to the next phase of the coalition, saying: "As chief whip, Andrew will ensure strong support for our radical legislative programme, by working hard to win the argument in the Commons as well as playing a big role in the No 10 team. He will be invaluable as the Government embarks on the next, vital phase of its mission to restore our economy to growth and reform our public services."
The new chief whip faces the tricky task of corralling the Conservative Party's backbenchers, many of whom have found coalition politics increasingly unpalatable. Traditionally freshly elected MPs toe the party line, fearful of upsetting the leadership and ruining their future chances of promotion but the 2010 Tory intake have been notoriously outspoken and rebellious.