Election 2015

Election results: Cameron re-appoints senior ministers

George Osborne Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Senior ministers visited Downing Street after the final results were announced

David Cameron has re-appointed four of his most senior ministers following the Conservatives' general election victory.

Chancellor George Osborne, Home Secretary Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stay in post.

Mr Osborne has also been given the title of first secretary of state, previously held by William Hague.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the appointments on Twitter.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said the appointments showed the PM valued "continuity".

"He does think there's merit in people understanding their briefs absolutely and completely," he added.

Mr Cameron will carry out a more comprehensive reshuffle to fill posts that were held by Liberal Democrats under the coalition government.

'Finally done it'

The Conservatives have won 331 seats - a result Mr Cameron called "the sweetest victory of all".

In a video, obtained by The Spectator magazine, he thanked aides and supporters at Conservative HQ.

He said the Tories "are going to get the opportunity to serve our country again" and he wanted to "offer real hope to people".

Employment minister Esther McVey was a prominent Tory loss overnight, but Conservative Andrea Jenkyns unseated Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls in the Morley and Outwood constituency by 422 votes.

And Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay ended Nigel Farage's bid to become MP for Thanet South - beating the UKIP leader by a majority of nearly 3,000.

Mr Cameron told supporters: "I remember 2010, achieving that dream of getting Labour out and getting the Tories back in and that was amazing. But I think this is the sweetest victory of all.

"So many things to be proud of in this result. The fact that we held on in Scotland, the fact that we extended our representation in Wales...

"The fact that at every election we always think we're going to displace those Lib Dems in the West Country. We've finally done it."

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Media captionDavid Cameron: "I think this is the sweetest victory of all"

Following a campaign in which many polls put Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck, he added: "The pundits got it wrong, the polls got it wrong, the commentators got it wrong."

The Conservatives took a number of seats from the Liberal Democrats in the south west of England and held on to their one Scottish seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told the BBC there would be difficulties for the Conservatives in governing with a small majority.

"Whatever else we now do we keep it simple, we keep it focused and we absolutely stick to our manifesto commitments," he said.

"The whole process is about understanding how to make legislation where you need to but not do legislation where you don't."

But he said a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union was a "red line" for the Tories.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Employment minister Esther McVey (left) says she wants to return to politics
Image copyright PA
Image caption Boris Johnson: 'A very, very clear victory for the Conservatives'

Ms McVey, who lost her Wirral West seat to Labour by 417 seats, went out fighting, saying: "I'm coming back - I want to be an MP."

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who won the Uxbridge and Ruislip South seat with a 10,000-vote majority, said: "We're very excited by some of the results that are coming through. Overall, I think it's been an amazing night for the Conservatives."

But he said all parties must take account of the rise of the SNP in Scotland.

"There has to be some sort of federal offer'' in light of the huge increase in SNP MPs, he said.

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