Written by Staff Writer
15 Jul, 2014 | 5:26 pm
British Prime Minister David Cameron has undertaken a sweeping reshuffle of cabinet-level posts ahead of next year’s general election.
In one of the most high-profile changes to his government, Cameron named current defense secretary Philip Hammond to the post of foreign secretary, replacing his longtime political ally and friend William Hague.
Under Britain’s parliamentary system the prime minister is permitted to periodically rotate key cabinet posts. Sometimes this is undertaken to reward or punish especially loyal or under-performing members of the cabinet. At other times it can signal a dramatic shift in strategy.
As part of the shakeup William Hague has been moved to the role of Leader of the Commons, a position that is lower in profile but that is charged broadly with organizing the business of government.
Michael Gove, a controversial education secretary, has been named Chief Whip, a political-policing-type role tasked with making sure party members stay on message and vote in line with the leadership.
Cameron said Tuesday that Gove would play a key role shaping his drive for re-election.
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