William Hague surprised Westminster late Monday evening announcing he is quitting as foreign secretary, as David Cameron sets in train a massive cull of ministers of all ranks as part of a wide-ranging reshuffle 'to promote fresh faces ahead of the election.'
Hague will briefly replace Andrew Lansley as leader of the House of Commons until 2015 - when Mr Hague will step down from parliament.
The prime minister said Hague would continue to play a key role in the Conservative Party's election campaign as his "de facto political deputy".
Former defence secretary Liam Fox, could make a comeback to the political front line nearly three years after quitting in a row over his special adviser.
Veteran cabinet minister Ken Clarke has stepped down as expected.
Other big names either given the chop, or who have resigned, include:
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson,
Attorney General Dominic Grieve,
Chief Whip Sir George Young.
Development Minister Alan Duncan,
Universities Minister David Willetts,
Energy Minister Greg Barker
Police Minister Damian Green
All the above have been either axed or resigned....
The prime minister is expected to promote several female MPs into his top team in order to combat accusations that he ignores women.....
Those tipped for advancement include:
employment minister Esther McVey
education minister Liz Truss
ministerial aide Penny Mordaunt.
Other MPs include
and Harriett Baldwin.
When he called Ukip 'clowns'
When he fell asleep during the Budget
When he fell asleep at the cricketHe, rightly, insisted: "Nobody’s going to stop me chillaxing on a hot afternoon."
When he was the first cabinet minister to tell Thatcher to resignThatcher is said to have blamed Clarke for "leading the rout from the Cabinet Room" that ended her time as prime minister.
When fur flew between him and Theresa MayTheresa May had claimed someone was granted asylum because they had a pet cat. Clarke hit back within minutes: "I'll have a small bet with her that nobody has ever been refused deportation on the grounds of the ownership as a cat."
When he always wore these shoes
When he said only 'frenzied eurosceptics' wanted a referendum
When he denied Bilderberg is plotting to form a world government
When he backed Junker for EU president despite Cameron's oppositionDavid Cameron tried to stop Jean-Claude Junker from becoming the president of the European Commision. But failed. Clarke however said he was 'perfectly happy' with the appointment. Which was a bit off message.
When he voted against the Iraq War
When he won England the World Cup"I was at the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley and I was quite near the linesman," Clarke recalled. "And with several other thousands of people I was shouting at him, saying it was a goal, but having seen the footage, it's quite clear it didn't go over."
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