Reshuffle marks turning point for May

As the next Cabinet reshuffle approaches, Theresa May will enjoy a rare boost in her political authority (any PM’s power is ultimately based on patronage). Changes could also be used to ‘blood’ prospective Conservative leaders who do not yet have ministerial experience – just as Michael Howard brought on David Cameron and George Osborne before he stood down – and, with a cynical eye, could be used to remove the more able backbenchers from scrutinising Select Committees.

But once the reshuffle has happened, resentment among overlooked MPs will rise and backbench management will become harder. Conservative MPs will also become more aligned with their activists in terms of being open to a ‘generational change’ when colleagues from their own intake fail to get the nod, which could create a lot of “old men in a hurry” in the Cabinet.

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