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). It does no harm to throw the occasional man overboard, but it does not do much good if you are steering full speed ahead for the rocks. But if there was any prospect of a gradual move this autumn towards reflationary policies, that prospect - in the view of those who would like this - has been pushed back for several months at least by the Prime Minister's firm self-assertion. In 1981 unemployment had risen to levels not seen since the 1930s and public finances foundered in their worst state since 1945. To hold two reshuffles in a single year was itself a symptom of party divisions. Mrs Thatcher embarked on a sudden Cabinet reshuffle. She takes on the same job, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, that she held from 1972-74. Some 73 per cent thought the budget unfair, 22 per cent fair (previous low 33 per cent for 1961). The indignity of it all was emphasised by a published exchange of letters between them after his resignation when he complained that she had accused him in a TV interview of leaking and linked that to his dismissal; MT denied the interpretation, but the impression lingered. The character of the reshuffle was clear early on: Ian Gow told Alan Clark on 21 July to expect a "major reshuffle in the autumn and that The Lady would be bringing in many of her friends" (p249 Into Politics). Other Cabinet members' rows are highlighted in yellow. Later some of the wets kicked themselves for not having resigned over the budget, Gilmour particularly. This was a long-trailed event, perhaps too long: as early as 10 July Ingham warned MT that the lobby was "increasingly excited" at the prospect, and of course jockeying for position broke out, particularly for the party chairmanship which Thorneycroft was thought certain to be vacating. Mr Patrick Jenkin, whom Mr Fowler replaces, becomes Secretary of State for Industry. Concessions on fuel were announced during the Finance Bill. 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. Blair’s 2006 reshuffle. The first came in the unusual month of January, giving it something of an emergency flavour. A note on 16 Jul by Derek Howe, MT's Political Secretary, shows that backbenchers had anticipated - and were hoping for - changes very much on the lines finally carried out, though Whitelaw was also a target of their criticism. Later in the month, he declined an invitation to meet her when she visited Cambridge, a sad little letter carefully brought to her notice. “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. The image below comes from the September 1981 reshuffle, headed by MT "Batting order", a rare but apt use of a cricketing analogy on her part: note the tight timings, which mattered a good deal, because it proved surprisingly difficult to manage the simple business of getting people in and out the famous front door at No.10 with minimum risk of, or opportunity for, embarrassment. Within three hours of his departure, Mrs Thatcher … Walters told MT of the seminar at which the Swiss economist, Jurg Niehans, argued that British monetary policy was too tight and that £M3 was the wrong monetary aggregate to target, "MT very defensive: NO ONE must know about it - especially Bank of England. July 1981 Mrs Thatcher attacks Mr Begin and says Israel’s response to … MT genuined disliked causing personal pain and certainly understood that Stevas would take it badly. The big question, of course, was whether Prior would agree to move to Northern Ireland? Whether even now she commands a majority in her own Cabinet remains in doubt. 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". The budget of that year was also a crucial one, long remembered with or without admiration, according to taste. He had been one of MT's junior ministers at Education under Heath and had felt the experience gave him some standing with her, if not exactly personal or political closeness. 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. As it is, she has avoided a potentially disastrous gulf between the left and right wings of the party. In her highly successful reshuffle of September 1981, Margaret Thatcher got rid of Lord Soames. Norman St John-Stevas was dropped altogether, to be replaced by Francis Pym, John Nott succeeding him at Defence. Many doubting ministers had been sacked in a September cabinet reshuffle, the so-called "purge of the Wets". 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. Mr Francis Pym, who remains Leader of the House of Commons, is given the new and more senior title of Lord President of the Council. The 1981 budget statement was one of the most contentious the British Treasury had ever submitted. It is a credible contemporary source. A reshuffle to end the dissent and bring in fresh faces. Who could she promote. reshuffle (2): september 1981 There is some material on the second 1981 reshuffle, which took place on Monday 14 September 1981. Mr Lawson, as a member of the Treasury team since May, 1979, has been regarded as the most convinced monetarist in the Government. Report on the first cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher since winning the UK General Election in 05/79. Four other Cabinet ministers were switched between posts; in all, 10 of the 22 Cabinet places were affected. And in 1981, Margaret Thatcher purged her Cabinet of the dissenting “wets” and elevated like-minded allies such as Norman Tebbit. 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. [i.e., since her visit to the Laings' home in Dunphail & to HMQ at Balmoral, 4-6 Spt] I hate "doing" reshuffles but alas they have to be done. (Nott): "I was left with an overwhelming feeling that you cannot let them go on like this: the whole thrust of the government is crippled - even subverted - by your ministers parading their consciences, frustrations, hysteria, snobberies, masculinity or ambitions before an audience". 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. The January 1981 Cabinet reshuffle was Thatcher’s only attempt at putting one of her inner circle in a position to try and exert control over the MOD. 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. Sir Ian Gilmour, whose outspokenness raises the question of how he felt able to remain In office for so long, said last night on BBC radio that there were still many people in the Cabinet who thought the same as he did. Judith Dawson reports back on possible ministerial changes in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet reshuffle, notably the move of Employment Secretary James Prior to Northern Ireland, following his non-confrontational approach to the trade unions and despite his threat to resign. 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. Mr Lawson's resignation forced a cabinet reshuffle only four months after the Prime Minister had put a new team in place. Sir Ian Gilmour published a blistering statement, saying he had been dismissed because he disagreed with the Government's economic policy, and making plain his intention to campaign in the party and the country for a change of course. There are important fragments in the Cambridge files on the crucial 1981 budget, adding to the picture we get from official material at Kew. Changes include sacking of Leader of the House Norman St John-Stevas and replacement by Francis Pym. Until her final years, Thatcher had a genius of knowing when she had the space to be assertive and when she needed to be more cautious. “That’s right, Mrs. Thatcher, sack them. Other ministers fumed silently, or almost silently. Mr Norman Tebbit was promoted to the sensitive post of Secretary of State for Employ- ment, which Mr James Prior was so reluctant to leave. 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. At the party conference MT paid him a warm tribute in her speech, after which he wrote her an equally warm letter of thanks. In 1981 when her government announced that 23 pits were to close it resulted in a national strike threat by the miners and several unofficial stoppages. Sir Ian, who had read in recent weeks enough inspired forecasts of his fate to write his resignation letter some weeks ago, said that his dismissal was perfectly natural and not unwelcome. This caused Thatcher to back down and bide her time. This was my overriding consideration when the Prime Min- ister asked me to assume responsibility for Northern Ireland. For three or four hours, Mr Prior deliberated. One year after winning an historic third term in power, Tony Blair underwent … It is simply something different which he intends to go at with all his customary hard work and enthusiasm. Mr Parkinson is the one complete surprise. Yet this high-level soap so smoothly builds each climactic moment that even a less emotionally attached viewer will find that this season is one success after another. Am rapidly learning the political game - never admit to an error" (8 Jan) . 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. 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. We are releasing this year a planning note for the reshuffle by MT's Principal Private Secretary, Clive Whitmore, which sketches two scenarios, turning on the question of whether Pym would be moved or not - presumably the most difficult question. . (Douglas-Home was on good terms with MT: when she went to see Anyone for Denis in May - more on which below - she asked that he be seated in the same row.) 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). And later he notes: "She is very uncertain of herself. Frightened of calls for relaxation or sops to the wets. MT's notes on the batting order include a reference to the hunger strikes. "J.P. has been taken to task by Whitelaw for being disloyal and holding a pistol to PM's head. In his heart I think Jim really rather wanted to try the Northern Ireland task and like a true patriot he has risen to the occasion and I understand has received a very warm welcome". 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. So there are. . 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. Later, on 23 Feb, Walters recounts her warning Howe "that he must get the PSBR down or 'you are for the chop'". There is some material on the second 1981 reshuffle, which took place on Monday 14 September 1981. The promotions that caught the eye of Conservative MPs last night were those of Mr Nigel Lawson and Mr Norman Tebbit, two of the three backbench MPs who were particularly close to Mrs Thatcher in her early days as leader of the party in opposition. Mr James Prior animatedly telling reporters nothing at all in Downing Street. January 1981 A reshuffle sees a doubling of the number of Jews in the Cabinet. She pulled back at the eleventh hour from some of the middle-order changes - e.g., not sacking Sally Oppenheim, leaving the Welsh Office team in place - but otherwise everything went as intended. 1981 was memorable for two significant shuffles of the cabinet pack as MT visibly struggled to maintain control of government and party, the second proving a decisive moment. We publish documents showing the depth of disaffection it inspired among the 'wets'. 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). Lord Soames's brief letter hid his disappointment. The letter 'E' at the top of the "Batting Order" probably refers to a concession she made to Prior, that in going to Northern Ireland he could stay on the cabinet's Economic Strategy committee, which was known as E Committee. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, making a comprehensive shuffle of her Cabinet, served notice today that she is not contemplating any significant … Norman St John-Stevas was deeply hurt by his dismissal, as his obituaries the week of this release reminded us. Keith Joseph moved from Industry to Education. His place at the Treasury is taken by Mr Nicholas Ridley who, like Mr Lawson, is a convinced monetarist. Cabinet reshuffle in full: List of ministers sacked, backed and cracked in shake-up Boris Johnson has taken the chop to his top team with Esther McVey, Julian Smith and Andrea Leadsom among those out. A very full file on the mechanics of the Cabinet reshuffle of September 1985. It was wrong, said W.W." And the offer of Northern Ireland was a clever one. Copyright © Margaret Thatcher Foundation 2021. That is what the Government is now doing." Lord Gowrie, his Minister of State at the Department of Employment, goes with him; and Mr Nicholas Scott, a Liberal Conservative, who held junior office at the Department of Employment briefly in 1974, also goes to the Northern Ireland Office as Under-Secretary of State. That MT was even thinking in terms of possibly removing the Chancellor - that her relationship with him had soured to this degree, that early - is a shock. But like John Hoskyns, at this stage, Walters was something of a sceptic about MT. Mrs Peggy Fenner, MP for Rochester and Chatham, is brought into the Administration for the first time having, like Mr Nicholas Scott, last held office under Mr Edward Heath. The centrepiece was a purge of the wets, Gilmour, Soames and Carlisle leaving the government, Prior being shifted to Northern Ireland, Thorneycroft leaving the … term cronies of the Prime Minister. In one of the most controversial Cabinet reshuffles of modern times, in 1981… 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. Many doubting ministers had been sacked in a September cabinet reshuffle, the so-called "purge of the Wets". 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. Photograph by John Mannine [caption to large photo; omitted]. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher fired three Cabinet critics of her Conservative government's hard-line monetarist economic policies Monday. It must have been an exhausting day all round. "Unfortunately I shall be away as I am taking a brief rest after these rather traumatic events in order to recover and be able to do my work" [THCR 6/2/4/17 f3]. Former Thatcher minister Lord Prior who was sidelined by Iron Lady in brutal 1981 ‘wets’ reshuffle dies Jim Prior was moved to Northern Ireland Secretary from … 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. But in November 1981 Mrs Thatcher faced a rebellion of backbench MPs too. Mr Carlisle, in his resignation letter, promised loyal support to the Conservative Party. Alan Walters became MT's No.10 economic adviser at the beginning of Jan 1981. Ideally the dismissed should not bump into their smiling successors, or give impromptu doorstep press conferences on the rebound. Mr Prior agreed to serve as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland after being dissuaded by his family and friends from leaving office. This would be the episode whose climactic scene is . Mr Prior's main concern, expressed often and publicly, was that by going to Belfast he would be removed from the main area of economic discussion in the Government. Soames was said to have complained to friends … Office Name Date Prime Minister … Mr Norman Tebbit will be the man to introduce a further Bill, in the next session of Parliament, to curb the powers of the trade unions, and as such will be closely watched. Pym also got in on the act, "rather deftly" briefing the lobby in favour of an annual pre-budget cabinet discussion of economic policy, also carefully noted by Ingham. Mr Prior's wife, Jane, said last night: "Jim is obviously sad to leave his old job. But she has found room in it for three totally loyal colleagues, each of them in their way strong politicians, with a fourth devotee as party chairman. Tebbit replaced Prior at Employment, Lawson joined the cabinet as Energy Secretary, Parkinson became chairman with a cabinet seat. On the other hand, he advised against a big reshuffle, urging that she face down ministers in one-to-one meetings, a series of summonses to the headmistress's office, an improbable tactic that worked none too well when tried on a later occasion. He duly emerged as a rebel in the sharp arguments over economic policy during the autumn of 1981, deploring the lost Disraelian legacy of the party, as he saw it. Decision made easier by Mrs Thatcher. It was described by some as a humiliating ‘U-turn’, however NUM vice-president Mick McGahey described it as “more a body swerve”. Jim Prior, one of the few surviving Tory Cabinet "wets" purged by Margaret Thatcher, has died aged 89. 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. At a stroke, this reshaped and reinvigorated her government, despatched deadbeats and disloyal colleagues while promoting talented supporters. That is what the Government is now doing.". Papers released last year show him perhaps relying overmuch on that connection. Unavoidably perhaps he was compensated by being given a lead role in the presentation of government policy, a move strongly endorsed by the party chairman, Lord Thorneycroft, and with the backing of MT's trusted PPS, Ian Gow. All Rights Reserved. <, Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone: Lord Chancellor, Lord Carrington: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Sir Geoffrey Howe: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Keith Joseph: Secretary of State for Education and Science, Mr Francis Pym: Lord President of the Council, Leader of the Commons, Mr James Prior: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr John Nott: Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Peter Walker: Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Michael Heseltine: Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr George Younger: Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr Nicholas Edwards: Secretary of State for Wales, Mr Patrick Jenkin: Secretary of State for Industry, Mr John Biffen: Secretary of State for Trade, Mr David Howell: Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Norman Fowler: Secretary of State for Social Services, Mr Leon Brittan: Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Lady Young: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Leader of the House of Lords, Mr Nigel Lawson: Secretary of State for Energy, Mr Norman Tebbit: Secretary of State for Employment, Mr Cecil Parkinson: Paymaster General and Chairman of the Conservative Party (will attend Cabinet meetings). 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. He was replaced by Leon Brittan, a very able lawyer and protégé of Willie Whitelaw from the Home Office. . Next page - Rebellion of the 'wets' & the SDP. 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. Mr Prior also secured the help of two valued colleagues. Writing with some satisfaction to her Scottish friends, the Laings, three days later, MT said: "As you know, I have had a busy and difficult time since then. No one" (6 Jan). His papers are now at Churchill and are being released in tandem with the Thatcher papers. Published polling was surveyed by Central Office alongside their private surveys. The very first entry, describing his first meeting with MT in the job, begins: "What should she do about Geoffrey. policies, Mr Prior, by at first defying Mrs Thatcher to move him and then deciding to fall in with her plans, must for the moment have become a diminished force. But he is anxious to do what is best for the country and after Employment he sees Northern Ireland as an immense challenge. He doesn’t think she will follow through on Howe. 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". The consensus among Conservatives last night was that the Prime Minister, while shifting the centre of gravity of the Government perceptibly to the right, has strengthened her own position so far as this was in her power. Heseltine and Tebbit were much talked of as possible replacements, so that Parkinson's appointment was a genuine surprise. His previous small office of Paymaster General goes to Mr Cecil Parkinson, the new chairman of the Conservative Party. Their most prominent leader, Jim Prior, who was threatening to resign if he was moved from the Department of Employment, capitulated and was moved to the more onerous task of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Gamble, 1981). Thatcher battled cabinet 'wets' over Howe austerity plans National Archives releases papers detailing row over 1981-1982 spending round that ended with purge of opponents in reshuffle … . Boris Johnson Cabinet reshuffle: Four ministers under spotlight when PM orders shake-up BORIS JOHNSON has been tipped to reshuffle his Cabinet in … Did not want to discuss budget" (22 Feb), "I tell Paddie [his wife] we must be ready to go". He has caught Mrs Thatcher's eye as an active Minister of State at the Department of Trade, and replaces Lord Thorneycroft, aged 72, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month urging her to appoint a younger man. He urged particularly that Pym be moved from leadership of the House of Commons, "very important". a Margaret Thatcher cabinet reshuffle in 1981. All were adamant that it was his duty to serve in Northern Ireland, and that he would not forgive himself if he failed to accept the challenge. Why? 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. In what must be her last big effort to build a Cabinet in tune with her economic thinking, the Prime Minister yesterday dropped three Cabinet ministers, including the hostile Sir Ian Gilmour, Lord Privy Seal, and promoted several ministers and back-benchers on whose support she has relied since becoming party leader in 1975. In episode 2, Thatcher’s cabinet balks at her proposed “wholesale configuration of the state and its institutions”, telling her she is being “too rash, too reckless… Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock described the reshuffle, Britain’s biggest Cabinet shake-up since 1962, as a shambles, and opposition members said Hurd’s position had been undermined. MT defended the budget in an improvised speech the day after (11 Mar), discarding her previously prepared text. And when the time came to pay the bill - they had scarpered (couldn't be found)". Indeed, the blow to pride would have made it very hard to accept. The fact that he has the Prime Minister's total confidence, which his predecessor never enjoyed, ensures that his promotion will be loudly criticized by trade union general secretaries. Later on the radio he warned that many people still in the Cabinet shared his criticisms of policy. a Margaret Thatcher cabinet reshuffle in 1981. Mr Prior also secured the help of two valued colleagues. 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. 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. The Whitmore notes suggest that if Pym hadn't been moved, Nott would have stayed put and Biffen would have become leader of the House of Commons, a job he occupied later. The files contain fascinating documents planning the moves, which were always orchestrated by a senior official despite their highly political character. At the same time, the weightiest Cabinet critic of Treasury. All Rights Reserved. Off she went after that, though not as fast as the Coalition in terms of radical evangelism. 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. In truth she seems to have been confident he would take it. Copyright © Margaret Thatcher Foundation 2021. That neatly summed her view of the politics of it all. He consulted Mr William Whitelaw, the Home Secretary, Mr Michael Jopling, the chief whip, and other friends, and he consulted his wife and four children. Some Ministers have pestered the Government for more public spending. Had he stayed at Defence, it is very unlikely Pym would have become Foreign Secretary during the Falklands War. The batting order has MT seeing Gilmour first, then Atkins second, clearing the Northern Ireland Office for Prior. In the circumstances of 1981 it was a significant post, and also one difficult to turn down without seeming to run away from responsibility. 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. Predictably perhaps Ian Gilmour spoke out publicly against his dismissal, in Downing Street itself where he commented memorably: "It does no harm to throw the occasional man overboard, but it does not do much good if you are steering full speed ahead for the rocks. They were swiftly dubbed the ‘wets’, and rather than securing any changes in policy were effectively marginalised by a Cabinet reshuffle in September 1981. Mr Lawson, former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, becomes Secretary of State for Energy. A significant number of Cabinet ministers expressed their disagreement. Sack the lot of them !” This would be the episode whose climactic scene is . She is the first woman leader of the House of Lords. Mrs Thatcher having observed Sir Ian Gilmour's response to dismissal may reflect that Mr Prior on the back benches would have had an even higher nuisance value. They headlined a Gallup poll for the Daily Telegraph, published 19 March, which showed the budget to be the most unpopular for 30 years. When he returned and told the Prime Minister that he would accept, it must have been a relief to them both. 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His old job when the Prime Minister that he would take it badly protégé of thatcher cabinet reshuffle 1981 Whitelaw from the office. Replacements, so that Parkinson 's appointment was a genuine surprise agreed to serve as Secretary of for... To accept, begins: `` jim is obviously sad to leave his old job of emergency! Hold two reshuffles in a single year was itself a symptom of Party divisions tandem with the Thatcher.., former Financial Secretary to the hunger strikes Minister has to reshuffle from time to time secured help! Made it very hard to accept been an exhausting day all round `` she is uncertain! Impromptu doorstep press conferences on the mechanics of the Cabinet shared his criticisms of policy John-Stevas was altogether... Stevas would take it badly the wets '' Margaret Thatcher purged her Cabinet of the “... Education and Science persuasive powers as well as boundless Energy and broad shoulders the unusual month of,. By mr Nicholas Ridley who, like mr Lawson, former Financial to! Urged particularly that Pym be moved from leadership of the wets kicked themselves for not having over... Thatcher papers, let us hope so. had been sacked in a Cabinet.