Cameron prepares list of new all-Conservative cabinet

Labour must embrace Blair’s success to create more appealing party, says former home secretary

David Cameron moved swiftly to put a stamp of continuity on his new administration by reappointing Chancellor George Osborne, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Theresa May and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to their old posts within hours of his reinstallation in 10 Downing Street.  Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

David Cameron moved swiftly to put a stamp of continuity on his new administration by reappointing Chancellor George Osborne, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Theresa May and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to their old posts within hours of his reinstallation in 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

 

David Cameron is spending the weekend drawing up a list of ministers for his first all-Conservative cabinet, after the shock UK general election result returned him to power at the head of a Conservative majority administration.

Mr Cameron moved swiftly to put a stamp of continuity on his new administration by reappointing Chancellor George Osborne, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Theresa May and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to their old posts within hours of his reinstallation in 10 Downing Street.

He is expected to wait until Monday to complete his cabinet and finalise more junior ministerial posts over the coming week.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to Mr Cameron on Saturday morning to congratulate him on his re-election.

A statement from the office of the Taoiseach said both leaders looked forward to “continuing their close working relationship for the mutual benefit of Ireland and the UK”, and that they had agreed to meet soon for bilateral talks.

Following Ed Miliband’s resignation, former home secretary Alan Johnson has said Labour’s next leader should should embrace Tony Blair’s success to make the party appeal to aspirational voters who no longer relate to it.

Mr Johnson, often touted as a potential Labour leader, again ruled out taking the top job and urged the party to have a “proper rethink” to resolve “deep problems” in what he described as a ten-year task.

He spoke after former cabinet minister Lord Hutton urged Labour to skip a generation of MPs in its search for a leader, and to pick a younger challenger who can make the opposition an electoral threat to the Tories.

In his resignation speech, Ed Miliband said he took absolute and total responsibility for a disastrous general election which saw Labour nearly wiped out in Scotland by the SNP surge and fail to advance in the rest of the UK, handing David Cameron a majority Government.

Mr Johnson said a major problem was that southern voters in marginal areas like Thanet and Hastings no longer saw Labour as the party of aspiration, a reputation that former prime minister Mr Blair managed to gain for the party.

Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is a kind of ten-year task as well, this is a job for the future.

“And whilst I didn’t hear all of John Hutton’s interview, where he was absolutely right is we need to have a proper rethink about where we’re going as a party, not just imagine that it was because Ed Miliband was leader or because the way he ate a bacon sandwich or whatever was the problem.

Mr Johnson criticised Labour’s strategy of talking down its 13 years in government under Mr Blair and then Gordon Brown, and suggested the party must now embrace those years.

Asked whether Labour still had a problem with so-called Blairites and Brownites arguing over the direction of the party, he said: “You might well be right.

“I mean it’s an incredible thing now that I was part of a successful government that did really good things, but you’d think that Tony Blair had lost us three elections, not won us three elections, it’s almost de rigeur now not to mention his name.

“That is a fundamental flaw as well because David Cameron had to prove that we would fail in government, if we’re helping him by suggesting that we failed in our 13 years in government it’s not going to do us much good.”