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Published on Jul 21, 2015


British Prime Minister John Major, with the leadership victory under his belt set about restructuring his cabinet today (Wednesday).

The new Foreign Secretary is former Defence Minister Malcolm Rifkind, his old job has gone to a leading right-winger Michael Portillo - a man frequently tipped as a future Conservative leader.

Mr Major has also abolished the Employment Department and has appointed Michael Heseltine- the man who was expected to jump into the leadership race if it went to a second round as his Deputy Prime Minister.

The traditional Downing Street procession of winners and losers began early Wednesday morning.

Michael Heseltine was the first ministerial to arrive, and was given the post of Deputy Prime Minister, he will also remain as President of the Board of Trade.

But the greatest prize on offer in the reshuffle was the post made available by this man, Douglas Hurd, who retired from his post as Foreign Secretary last week.

Hurd, seen here at his last Question Time as Foreign Minister in the House of Commons today, resigned the day after the leadership gauntlet was laid down.

Malcolm Rifkind, former defence secretary was rewarded for his loyalty to the Prime Minister and will move to the Foreign Office.

The defence secretary has impressed cabinet colleagues and service chiefs alike with his adroit handling of the most fundamental shake-up of the military in decades.

His position on Bosnia has always been to support the U.N., NATO and the British forces on the ground.

A so called Euro-realist, he has expressed deep scepticism about a single currency and has called for an 'Atlantic community' to boost closer ties between Europe and the United States.

His promotion is seen by political analysts as a safe move by the Prime Minister:

Well I think they will be pleased that it is not some of the alternatives mentioned they certainly wouldn't have wanted Michael Portillo. But Malcolm Rifkind has been on the record as stating his objection to a single currency - so I wouldn't have thought they'll derive a huge amount of pleasure from this appointment.

SUPER CAPTION: Robert Shrimsley, Political Analyst, Daily Telegraph

Michael Portillo, who was seen as a possible contender for the leadership if it had gone to a second round has been promoted to secretary of defence.

Major has ignored the calls from the right to offer an olive branch to the losing contender, John Redwood - he has been left out in the cold with no cabinet position.

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