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Welsh Secretary responds to rumours of reshuffle by posting ‘Yes Minister’ video

09 Sep 2021 3 minute read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Right, Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister. Picture by the BBC.

The Welsh Secretary has responded to rumours that he is about to be reshuffled out of the cabinet by posting a video from Yes Minister – in which the minister worries that he is about to be reshuffled out of the cabinet.

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Simon Hart was named by Sky News Chief Political Correspondent, Jon Craig, yesterday as one of the cabinet members rumoured to be facing the axe.

The Telegraph reported today that ministers were feeling “distinctly nervous” as Boris Johnson prepares for a “particularly brutal game of musical chairs”.

“They will spend longer than usual in their offices, staring at their phones, perhaps occasionally checking to make sure it’s working and hasn’t run out of power,” Tom Harris said.

In the Yes Minister clip posted by Simon Hart, the titular minister Jim Hacker is upset by rumours of a cabinet reshuffle and decides to take drastic action to keep his post, while his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, sows doubts about his chances of promotion.

Later in the episode, the Civil Servants mull that reshuffles are “wonderful things” because it stops ministers “getting a grip on things”. “And Prime Ministers like them too, it keeps things fresh – it’s only ministers that panic about them.”

‘Go long’

Others however have cast doubt on whether rumours of a Boris Johnson reshuffle were spread in order to keep MPs in line order to vote through National Insurance tax rises.

Political Editor of the Daily Mail Jason Groves said that it sounded “like chances of a snap reshuffle tomorrow are receding. Pre-conference shake up still possible, but more likely the PM will ‘go long’ and do it later in the autumn.”

However Johnson is still expected to “freshen up” his most senior ranks “in the not too distant future,” a former senior government official told Financial News.

Simon Hart has been in the Cabinet as Welsh Secretary since Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns stepped down before the December 2019 General Election.

The Conservatives increased their numbers of MPs in Wales by six at that same election, giving them more choice of candidates for the job.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is also rumoured to be for the chop, with questions over Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, and Liz Truss, the Secretary for State for International Trade, have been tipped for promotion.

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Grayham Jones
2 years ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 A Free Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

The mark of this cabinet is complete interchangeable ineptitude. Shuffle the cards as you may we will only end up with idiots swapping seats with idiots.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Let’s face it. What does this white elephant Welsh Secretary actually do post-devolution? Absolutely nothing but act like an England overseer to the Welsh. No surprise there seeing the act of Union Wales 1535 & 1542 states so..

I agree with others. Time for a new Wales free from Whitehall misrule . And if there’s any reshuffle in the English cabinet, what can be guaranteed is a Tory joker will be dealt to Wales, again.

Last edited 2 years ago by Y Cymro

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