100-day plan for key U.K. promises

British Prime Minister David Cameron poses for group photo with newly-elected Conservative MPs at the Houses of Parliament in central London on Monday.  

No longer hamstrung by the restraints and compromises that the last power-sharing arrangement with the Liberal Democrats forced upon him, Prime Minister David Cameron has swiftly made major appointments to his new Cabinet, while beginning the process of implementing some of his key promises.

Mr. Cameron has pledged a 100-day implementation period for his key policies. These include welfare cuts of £12 billion, a renegotiated deal on Europe, replacing the present Human Rights Act, and redrawing of constituency boundaries, which will make the electoral system more favourable to the Conservatives.

New Cabinet

Although several former Ministers have retained their earlier portfolios, there have been promotions and fresh appointments, among them of several women. George Osborne remains Chancellor of the Exchequer; Theresa May retains Home; Phillip Hammond Foreign Affairs; Mark Fallon Defence; and Ian Duncan Smith Work and Pensions. The controversial Michael Gove, who was removed as Education Secretary in the last government, has been made Justice Secretary, where he will oversee the dismantling of the Human Rights Act in its present form. Sajid Javid will take the position that the senior Lib Dem leader Vince Cable had in the last ministry as Business, Innovation and Skills secretary; and Amber Rudd will be the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Indian-origin Priti Patel, who Exchequer Secretary in the last Parliament, has been appointed Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions. Jeremy Hunt is likely to be appointed Secretary of Health.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London has no ministerial position although he has accepted an invitation from the Prime Minister to attend political Cabinet.

EU referendum

Mr. Cameron has a working majority of 15 in the present House of Commons. Acting on his commitments to reform Britain’s relationship with the European Union — and hold an in-out referendum on Europe before 2017 — he sent Mr. Osborne and Mr. Hammond to Berlin and Brussels to work out the framework for such a deal.

One of the first challenges he faces is the decision of the European Commission under President Jean-Claude Juncker to create a mandatory migrant quota system for all 28 EU member countries to taken in non-EU refugees who are crossing the Mediterranean in thousands from Africa to European shores. The Times reports that the number of refugees that Britain might have to give asylum to could double from the present 30,000 to 60,000. This would set the government totally off target on its promises to scale down migration figures.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 7:50:52 PM |

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