LONDON: Britain’s newspapers on Friday said new Prime Minister Theresa May had shown steel in her ruthless axing of the Cabinet’s “old guard.”
Some dailies focused on her promotion of state-educated MPs and reflected on outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron’s new life outside office.
“May’s radical reshuffle stuns the old guard”, said The Guardian’s front page, with headshots of the six women she has appointed to Cabinet posts.
“Theresa May drew a decisive line under the Cameron era yesterday, with a sweeping reshuffle in which several of his key ministers were sacked and her handpicked team was rewarded with cabinet posts,” it said.
In its editorial, the liberal daily said May had shown steel, but asked, “for what purpose?”
“This highly symbolic show of strength will have many unintended consequences,” it said.
Ruthlessness and surprise are useful qualities for a prime minister, but they “count for little without clarity” about their purpose.
“May axes Cameron allies in ruthless cabinet cull,” said The Times’ front-page headline.
Its editorial, titled “May contain nuts,” said the new Premier faced a difficult task in negotiating Brexit, but “instability at the heart of her Cabinet” caused by bringing in “several explosive egos… will make it harder still.”
Her reshuffle fell between continuity and a break, it said. “Mrs. May had the daunting task of putting a party back together while simultaneously indicating a vision for doing the same to the country. She did not quite manage it.”
“Cabinet’s Brexit bloodbath” said the newspaper, with pictures of six sacked ministers. “Ruthless May carries out most brutal reshuffle for half a century,” it said.
Some newspapers concentrated on Cameron moving into the reportedly £17 million ($28 million, 20 million euro) house of a close friend after moving out of Downing Street.
The Daily Express front page had a picture of “homeless Cameron” moving into the “mansion.”
Some had pictures of Cameron consoling himself in a coffee shop with his closest ally, former finance minister George Osborne—dumped by May.
The Metro commuters’ free newspaper had a picture of the casually dressed pair sat in a cafe with their children, the day after they left the splendor of Downing Street.
“Wake up and smell the coffee,” said the headline.
The Daily Mail’s front page said: “March of the Meritocrats.”
“Theresa May was hailed last night after appointing a cabinet containing more state-educated ministers than at any time in Tory Party history,” it said.
The Daily Telegraph echoed the sentiment: “May’s state school Cabinet,” said the conservative broadsheet’s headline.
The Financial Times business daily focused on the new Finance Minister Philip Hammond and the Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney, after the central bank decided not to take interest rates to a new historic low.
“Hammond and Carney plot way to save economy from recession,” read its headline. AFP