thatcher cabinet reshuffle 1981

He went in early, by a back door, and was urged by the Prime Minister, in 45 minutes of discussion, to accept the Northern Ireland post. It was wrong, said W.W." And the offer of Northern Ireland was a clever one. a Margaret Thatcher cabinet reshuffle in 1981. And in 1981, Margaret Thatcher purged her Cabinet of the dissenting “wets” and elevated like-minded allies such as Norman Tebbit. Blair’s 2006 reshuffle. Next page - Rebellion of the 'wets' & the SDP. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, making a comprehensive shuffle of her Cabinet, served notice today that she is not contemplating any significant … At this stage they contented themselves with briefing the press about cabinet divisions, a fact reported to MT by Bernard Ingham ("Some very clear briefing is being given"; six cabinet ministers said to be opposed, but only three actually spoke against in cabinet). Prior had allowed it to be publicly known that he didn't want the job, but it is striking that there is no sign of a Plan B in case he refused, such as leaving Atkins in Belfast. She seems to have at least considered the possibility of a conciliatory gesture: the Whitmore note suggests that she contemplated offering him the Arts portfolio - which he already held and much enjoyed - outside the Cabinet, but if the offer was made, it was rejected. The other two new members of the Cabinet, apart from Mr Tebbit, are Lady Young, who takes Lord Soames's place as Leader of the House of Lords and Minister in charge of the Civil Service, and Mr Nigel Lawson. The 1981 budget statement was one of the most contentious the British Treasury had ever submitted. But in November 1981 Mrs Thatcher faced a rebellion of backbench MPs too. . Heseltine and Tebbit were much talked of as possible replacements, so that Parkinson's appointment was a genuine surprise. At a stroke, this reshaped and reinvigorated her government, despatched deadbeats and disloyal colleagues while promoting talented supporters. The centrepiece was a purge of the wets, Gilmour, Soames and Carlisle leaving the government, Prior being shifted to Northern Ireland, Thorneycroft leaving the … Mr Lawson's resignation forced a cabinet reshuffle only four months after the Prime Minister had put a new team in place. Lady Young, who learnt her politics in local government in Oxford in the 1960s is a deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and a trusted associate of the Prime Minister. She persuaded him that the job was vitally important and that she wanted a new man there to take, in time, a new political initiative. By far the most unpopular feature was the increase in petrol duty, of which a cool 87 per cent disapproved (10 per cent in favour). Sack the lot of them !” This would be the episode whose climactic scene is . It was difficult to see the move as any other than a demotion for Pym, who stood well at that time in the Parliamentary Party. Lord Soames's brief letter hid his disappointment. The very first entry, describing his first meeting with MT in the job, begins: "What should she do about Geoffrey. Four other Cabinet ministers were switched between posts; in all, 10 of the 22 Cabinet places were affected. Among other changes, Mr David Howell is moved from Energy to be Secretary of State for Transport, a downward move although not so represented, and Mr Norman Fowler moves up from Transport to be Secretary of State for Health and Social Security. That neatly summed her view of the politics of it all. Mr Tebbit said on ITN's News at Ten last night that Mrs Thatcher had not given him a brief to "get tough with the unions", but perhaps a fresh approach was needed. Relations became very strained around the time of the 1981 budget leading to a reshuffle in which Thatcher brought in more of her natural supporters, such as Nigel Lawson, Norman Tebbit and Cecil Parkinson, dismissing or marginalising some of the wets. When he returned and told the Prime Minister that he would accept, it must have been a relief to them both. “You have to promote on merit,” Margaret Thatcher told the BBC’s Jenni Murray during an interview for Woman’s Hour in 1993, after she was challenged on the lack of women in her cabinet. Off she went after that, though not as fast as the Coalition in terms of radical evangelism. Mr Humphrey Atkins moves from the Northern Ireland Office to take Sir Ian Gilmour's post of Lord Privy Seal, the number two position at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Report on the first cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher since winning the UK General Election in 05/79. As it is, she has avoided a potentially disastrous gulf between the left and right wings of the party. Keith Joseph moved from Industry to Education. Later some of the wets kicked themselves for not having resigned over the budget, Gilmour particularly. There are signs that he read through the diary from time to time and made additions to existing entries, but there is no attempt at concealing that these are later thoughts - he uses different pens. A significant number of Cabinet ministers expressed their disagreement. Within three hours of his departure, Mrs Thatcher … Mrs Thatcher made the decision easier for him by offering him, from the outset, the retention of his seat on the Cabinet's main economic committee, the E Committee, something that Mr Atkins did not have. His papers are now at Churchill and are being released in tandem with the Thatcher papers. At some point later she wrote the following on the first page of the old draft: "Departed from the text in as much as I said something to the following effect. Some 73 per cent thought the budget unfair, 22 per cent fair (previous low 33 per cent for 1961). Of the four new Ministers, two, Mr William Shelton, who becomes Under-Secretary at Education, and Mr Iain Sproat, Under-Secretary at Trade, were described yesterday as long. The big question, of course, was whether Prior would agree to move to Northern Ireland? MT genuined disliked causing personal pain and certainly understood that Stevas would take it badly. All Rights Reserved. Mr Patrick Jenkin, whom Mr Fowler replaces, becomes Secretary of State for Industry. It is simply something different which he intends to go at with all his customary hard work and enthusiasm. Mr Lawson, as a member of the Treasury team since May, 1979, has been regarded as the most convinced monetarist in the Government. And when the time came to pay the bill - they had scarpered (couldn't be found)". Mr Lawson, former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, becomes Secretary of State for Energy. Mr Prior also secured the help of two valued colleagues. Had he stayed at Defence, it is very unlikely Pym would have become Foreign Secretary during the Falklands War. They include a brief daily diary, in a week-to-a page A4 format volume, which appears to have been written reasonably close to events, sometimes daily, sometimes after a longer gap. Lord Soames, former Lord President of the Council, after an exceptionally long, varied, and distinguished political career, resigned at Mrs Margaret Thatcher's request, and so did Mr Mark Carlisle, Secretary of State for Education and Science, who goes to the back benches. Thorneycroft's admission that he was suffering from "rising damp" came shortly after that (11 Feb). term cronies of the Prime Minister. Prior was plainly treated with special care: she gave him time to consult colleagues and family before making a final decision; in all they met three times during the day, including an evening drink. The 'no hope' budget delivered by Chancellor Geoffrey Howe in March marked the beginning of a six-month period which witnessed pressures in Northern Ireland, hunger strikes, urban riots and unprecedented unrest within the Conservative Party. At the end of March Lord Carrington wrote her an angry letter - described by MT's Principal Private Secretary as 'really very silly' - complaining that he had been let down by an Ingham briefing, contrasting this shabby treatment with his own restraint in having gone out of his way "to avoid seeing the press or of giving any indication about differences on the budget or anything else". In 1981 Margaret Thatcher purged her cabinet of the so-called “wets” who objected to her plans to cut public spending. Alan Walters became MT's No.10 economic adviser at the beginning of Jan 1981. John Biffen was moved to Trade from the Chief Secretaryship (where his semi-public criticism of economic policy had cost him the confidence of the Chancellor, as shown by papers released here last year). . Although the latter had emerged as a critic of economic policy, it seems likely he was expecting to leave anyway - at 72, he had been chairman for six years, and any successor would need to be in place well before the next election, due in 1983/84. And later he notes: "She is very uncertain of herself. Mr Prior also secured the help of two valued colleagues. January 1981 A reshuffle sees a doubling of the number of Jews in the Cabinet. On 18 Aug MT received some striking advice on this question from Charles Douglas-Home (then foreign editor of The Times), reporting private chats with Whitelaw, Prior, Pym, "J.N." In a statement last night, Mr Prior said: "I have always regarded it as my first duty in Politics to serve my country. Released this year are the documents MT had in front of her when meeting ministers, the discreet "Batting order" on a slip of paper drawn up by Clive Whitmore (already referred to, image above) plus detailed notes of the changes on sheets of A4. But in November 1981 Mrs Thatcher faced a rebellion of backbench MPs too. This was my overriding consideration when the Prime Min- ister asked me to assume responsibility for Northern Ireland. Mrs Thatcher embarked on a sudden Cabinet reshuffle. Tebbit replaced Prior at Employment, Lawson joined the cabinet as Energy Secretary, Parkinson became chairman with a cabinet seat. Only 24 per cent thought Howe was going a good job, well below the previous low, achieved by Selwyn Lloyd in 1961, the year before his removal in the "Night of the Long Knives". She takes on the same job, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, that she held from 1972-74. The centrepiece was a purge of the wets, Gilmour, Soames and Carlisle leaving the government, Prior being shifted to Northern Ireland, Thorneycroft leaving the party chairmanship. At the party conference MT paid him a warm tribute in her speech, after which he wrote her an equally warm letter of thanks. For one thing, as the Walters diary records (14 Spt), Prior's public rejection of the move had cost him the support of Willie Whitelaw, a key adviser in Thatcher reshuffles. Of them! ” this would be the episode whose climactic scene is first entry describing! Particularly that Pym be moved from leadership of the few surviving Tory Cabinet `` wets '' purged Margaret. Whether even now she commands a majority in her highly successful reshuffle September... Admiration, according to taste MT defended the budget in an improvised speech the day after 11! 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