May 18, 2013
Cameron keeps Osborne in shuffle of ministers
David Cameron kept his unpopular Chancellor George Osborne in a reshuffle of his cabinet that he hopes will revive the Conservative-led government's fortunes in the middle of a term dominated by recession.
Cameron's office has billed the rejig as a game changer but heavyweights such as Foreign Secretary William Hague are seen staying put and few changes are expected in policy.
The prime minister's scope for a sweeping overhaul is limited by the constraints of life in coalition with the left-leaning Lib Dems and the danger of creating powerful enemies in his Conservatives at a delicate time for the party.
Osborne, a close Cameron ally, was booed by crowds before he presented medals to Paralympics winners on Monday night, highlighting discontent with budget cuts that have repeatedly missed the government's targets and the general economic gloom.
"He's definitely staying put," a source familiar with the reshuffle discussions told Reuters.
Polls show many Britons think Osborne should be sacked but replacing too many senior ministers could be interpreted as an admission of policy failure, particularly on the economy.
Cameron is expected instead to beef up his economic team by giving Justice Secretary Ken Clarke - a former chancellor - a new role with an economics brief. Lib Dem David Laws, another respected economic brain, was also likely to be given a ministerial role.