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Greening resigns from government following chaotic reshuffle

Education secretary Justine Greening has resigned from her position following a major cabinet reshuffle.

The former transport secretary left her post after being reportedly offered the job of work and pensions secretary, a role which could be seen as a demotion.

In her place, Damian Hinds has become the education secretary, while Esther McVey has moved from deputy chief whip to become the new work and pensions secretary.

Hinds previously worked as an employment minister at the DWP after spending around a year as exchequer secretary to the Treasury under David Cameron’s government.

In a statement following her resignation, Greening said serving in the government was an “honour and a privilege” but went on to explain that her decision was based on issues of social mobility.

“Social mobility matters to me and our country more than my ministerial career,” she explained. “I'll continue to do everything I can to create a country that has equality of opportunity for young people & I’ll keep working hard as MP for Putney.”

Overall, the resignation was another blow in what was a difficult and confusing day for prime minister Theresa May.

Initially, the Conservative Party’s official twitter page was caught out, when it released a tweet congratulating transport secretary Chris Grayling on his move to party chairman, a position which was actually taken by Brandon Lewis.

Later in the day, it seemed that controversial health secretary Jeremy Hunt would be moving to a different role. However, after spending more than an hour with the prime minister and business secretary Greg Clark, Hunt came out with his role unchanged aside from the addition of social care to his title.

The situation prompted some political commentators to suggest that Hunt had refused to move from his role, which in turn changed other plans in surrounding departments.

In December last year, Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), wrote for PSE on the current situation in education with reference to Greening’s most recent £1.3bn two-year plan.

Top image: John Stillwell PA Wire

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