UK & World News
Lib Dem Scottish Secretary Axed In Reshuffle
Senior Lib Dems have been axed from the Government as all three main party leaders reshuffle their teams ahead of Parliament reconvening.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wielded the axe as David Cameron looked to promote more northern MPs and women to his top team.
Lib Dem Scotland Secretary Michael Moore was replaced by Alistair Carmichael to provide a tougher approach as the independence referendum looms.
And in one of the biggest shocks, Home Office minister Jeremy Browne - tipped as a possible future party leader - was also ousted.
He has been replaced with Norman Baker who moves from Transport, where he could prove a thorn in the side of Home Secretary Theresa May.
Don Foster, Lib Dem MP for Bath, replaces Mr Carmichael as his party's chief whip and Baroness Susan Kramer takes Mr Baker's old job.
Mr Moore said he was "disappointed" to be leaving office but "very pleased at what I have been able to achieve in the last couple of years".
In his letter to Mr Browne, the Lib Dem leader said it was "always very difficult to move colleagues out of Government".
But he added: "I have always been keen that we provide the opportunity for as many in our ranks as possible to contribute their skills to ministerial office."
The MP said he remained supportive of the Government but cautioned against "lapsing into transactional trade-offs and deferred decision making".
Mr Cameron has avoided changes to his Cabinet but handed promotions to women including Esther McVey and Nicky Morgan.
Ms McVey rises up the ranks at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to become employment minister and Ms Morgan goes from assistant whip to Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
Greg Clark has been moved from the Treasury to become a Cabinet Office Minister responsible for cities and constitutional reform.
And Andrew Robathan replaces Mike Penning as Northern Ireland minister, with Mr Penning becoming a Work and Pensions minister instead.
Helen Grant was another winner - moving from the Department of Justice to become sports and equalities minister, replacing Hugh Robertson who has been promoted to the Foreign Office.
Camborne MP George Eustice, a prominent EU rebel and Mr Cameron's former press secretary, has been appointed environment minister.
Greg Hands, a close ally of Chancellor George Osborne, is also climbing the ladder - going from assistant whip to deputy chief whip.
His predecessor John Randall as well as Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith and fisheries minister Richard Benyon are all returning to the backbenches.
Simon Burns has also already stood down as transport minister so that he can launch a bid to become a Commons Deputy Speaker.
There was further bad news for other long-serving Tories, with Mark Hoban, Mark Prisk, Alistair Burt and Richard Benyon all leaving the front bench.
Mr Prisk wrote on Twitter: "Asked to step aside from Housing for a younger generation. Disappointing but it's been a great eleven years on front bench."
Mr Benyon stuck a more upbeat tone, writing: "On back benches! 3 and half really fun years with much achieved. Really appreciate time working with outstanding Ministers and Officials."
Labour leader Ed Miliband also announced changes to his shadow cabinet, with Liam Byrne (work and pensions) and Stephen Twigg (education) both being axed.