Reshuffles always leave a pile of bruised, vulnerable ex-ministers waiting for someone to come along, pick them up and make them feel loved again. This year, that person is Boris Johnson, who can make good use of those leaving the government as allies within Parliament.
This is why he popped up so quickly today to attack the decision to move Justine Greening. He said:
‘There can be only one reason to move her – and that is to expand Heathrow Airport. It is simply mad to build a new runway in the middle of west London. Nearly a third of the victims of aircraft noise in the whole of Europe live in the vicinity of Heathrow.
‘Now it is clear that the Government wants to ditch its promises and send yet more planes over central London. The third runway would mean more traffic, more noise, more pollution – and a serious reduction in the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people. We will fight this all the way.’
It isn’t just Greening that Boris can make overtures to, though. There are a number of MPs who, given what has happened to them in the past 24 hours, are well disposed to working with Boris as part of his attack plan to undermine Cameron’s leadership.Tags: Autumn reshuffle 2012, Boris Johnson, UK politics