British PM reshuffles his cabinet on Twitter

2014-07-15 22:15
UK Parliament TV shows British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the dispatch box delivering his statement to the Houses of Parliament. (File, AFP)

UK Parliament TV shows British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the dispatch box delivering his statement to the Houses of Parliament. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Getting the latest news on a British government reshuffle once meant waiting outside the prime minister's Downing Street office for ministers to emerge, and judging their fate by the look on their faces.

But in the age of social media, David Cameron unveiled a major shake-up of his cabinet on Tuesday through his two official Twitter accounts, which between them boast 3.4 million followers.

"I'll be reshuffling the Cabinet today. Watch this Twitter feed for the very latest. #Reshuffle," the premier announced overnight.

When his Conservative party was still in opposition in 2009, Cameron famously explained his reluctance to join Twitter, saying: "The instantness of it, I think - too many twits might make a twat."

But he is now firmly on board, and amid the swirling and often contradictory rumours in Westminster, @Number10gov and @David_Cameron became authoritative sources of information about who was in and who was out.

Government ministries routinely use Twitter and 461 of the 650 members of the House of Commons have accounts, with former foreign secretary William Hague one of the most enthusiastic users.

Hague would often tweet reaction to breaking news to his 240 000 followers well before an official statement arrived from the Foreign Office - to the occasional consternation of the staff in the press office.

Hague's replacement, former defence secretary Philip Hammond, has yet to set up an official account and a spokesperson said it was "too early" to say how he would use social media.

True to form, Hague announced his resignation via @WilliamJHague on Monday night just as Cameron tweeted a message of thanks for his four years in the job.

Since then, there have been 260 000 tweets about the reshuffle, and 100 000 mentions of the term, according to an analysis by Twitter.

It is not the first time the prime minister has used social media in this way, having unveiled a previous reshuffle in September 2012 through a string of tweets.

Twitter also allowed those who had been promoted to crow about their new job, and those who were passed over to have the final word.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox had been widely tipped to return to the cabinet, but as speculation grew about his failure to be promoted, he tweeted a statement pointing out that he had been offered a job - but had turned it down.

Former climate change minister Greg Barker, meanwhile, gave thanks for the online support after he was shown the door.

"As we all know Twitter can be a cruel mistress at times but have been really moved & surprised by so many lovely messages. #ThankYou," he tweeted.

Read more on:    uk  |  social networks

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!


For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Tax Consultant - Newly Qualified CA

Cape Town CBD
Network Finance Sunninghill
R380 000 - R420 000 Per Year

Financial Advisor / Sales Rep

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Persona Staff

Test Analyst

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may take extra pride in your work today. You have a need to shine and be respected so you may put the extra effort and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.