What the editorials said
In the end, said The Guardian, Cabinet reshuffles are all about power. They’re an opportunity for PMS to exercise their “powers of patronage and show who is boss”. Yet May’s reshuffle has merely advertised her weakness and ineptitude. She couldn’t budge some ministers, and didn’t even dare try to move big beasts such as Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond for fear of upsetting the Cabinet’s fragile Brexit balance. You have to hand it to May, said the London Evening Standard. With this week’s “farce”, she has now achieved the “hat-trick of the worst reshuffle, the worst party conference speech and the worst manifesto in modern history”. If Labour weren’t in such a mess, the Tories would be “finished”.
There were some good elements to the reshuffle, said The Independent. The “modest though clever” Lidington, for instance, is an excellent choice to replace Green. It also made sense to add responsibility for social care to Hunt’s brief, given the pressures on the NHS caused by the ageing population, said The Daily Telegraph. Overall, though, this week’s reshuffle “felt less like a relaunch than a missed opportunity”.