Warsi is stepping down as Conservative Party chairman, even though she had told the Daily Telegraph at the weekend she could win the Tories more seats in the north of England if she stayed on.

“I’m a woman, I’m not white, I’m from an urban area, I’m from the North, I’m working class – I kind of fit the bill. All the groups that we’re aiming for are groups that I’m familiar with,” she told the paper.

Nevertheless, she announced her departure last night via Twitter.

Meanwhile, Andrew Mitchell, international development secretary since 2010, has been appointed Chief Whip.

But perhaps most interesting is the fate of justice secretary Ken Clarke. The 72-year-old political veteran is unpopular with many Tories because of his liberal views and support for the EU.

The Daily Telegraph had speculated, however, that the prime minister would be wary of sending Clarke to the back benches for fear he will become a very vocal critic.

This morning, it emerged that Clarke will be stepping down as justice secretary. The BBC reported he would likely remain in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio, and suggested Clarke would be an advisor to Cameron on a range of subjects, including economic strategy.

The reshuffle is Cameron’s first major restructure since the Coalition government came to power in 2010.

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