'Minister for no deal' expected as reshuffle begins with confusion

Theresa May faces a number of decisions on her Cabinet line-up

A spokesman for the party declined to confirm the reports that Grayling, the transport minister, was the new chairman.

Update: Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire has just resigned, citing ill-health, opening up another role for May to fill.

The two-day, drawn out affair that is a reshuffle of the British ministry, which involves those being promoted and often those being demoted arriving at 10 Downing Street before their next career move is announced, began with drama, when the Conservatives official twitter account wrongly announced the new party chairman.

Other announcements are set to follow but the four top jobs in the Cabinet - chancellor, home secretary, defence secretary and foreign secretary - will not be be changed as part of the shake-up.

New Conservative chairman Brandon Lewis said there would be a "really good breath of fresh air coming in" among the lower ministerial ranks.

Most senior ministers stayed in their posts on Monday, with some defying May's attempts to move them.

As hacks got to grips with the news that Grayling's tenure as party chairman had been terminated around 27 seconds after it was announced, tributes for the politician known as "Gray Thing" poured in on social media.

David Lidington was appointed as minister for the cabinet office, replacing May's closest friend in parliament, Damian Green, who was forced to resign past year over misleading statements over pornography found on his computer. The tweet was immediately deleted.

Sir Patrick was widely tipped to pay the price for the party's failure at last year's snap general election when the Tories saw their Commons majority wiped out.

He was also blamed for the disastrous party conference, where magnetic letters fell off during May's speech which was being televised live.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter, is expected to keep his job despite challenging May's strategy a year ago.

Ms Greening, who could now become a backbench Brexit thorn in the Prime Minister's side, was succeeded as Education Secretary by Damian Hinds. David Lidington leaves the justice portfolio to replace Green as Minister for the cabinet office.

James Cleverly has been named as Mr Lewis' deputy, with MPs from the 2015 and 2017 intakes also appointed to help rejuvenate the Conservative Party's grassroots operation.