John Randall and Chloe Smith resignation letters in full
Deputy Chief Whip John Randall and Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith have resigned from the government amid speculation of an imminent reshuffle.
The MPs have written to David Cameron and the prime minister has responded. Here are the letters in full.
John Randall's letter
You may recall a discussion that we had at the end of last year when I indicated to you that I wished to leave the government at the next reshuffle of your ministers.
I thought it appropriate to now put in writing the request to formally ask you to accept my resignation as Government Deputy Chief Whip.
I know that it is customary to write at these times that it has been a great privilege and honour to serve as a member of the government but it really has been that and a lot more.
I have served 13 years in the Whips' Office both in Opposition and more recently in government and I have served under and with some fantastic colleagues, notably Patrick and Sir George who have made the job extremely worthwhile and even fun.
However, I have also been very fortunate for the last eight years to have had you as my boss. I have nothing but the deepest admiration for you as a person, leader and prime minister.
I will never forget the kind note that you wrote to me when my mother died last year.
You can be assured that I will do whatever I can for you personally as well as for the party, the Government and of course the country.
David Cameron's response
Thank you very much for your letter today confirming your decision to stand down from the government, following the conversation we had last year.
It sounds dramatic, but I had rather hoped this day would never come.
I could not have wished for a more loyal, discreet, patient, trustworthy and committed colleague over the last eight years since I became leader of the party, but you have been all these and much more.
You have been a rock, not just in the Whips Office since 2000 where you have served with great distinction as Assistant and then Deputy Chief Whip, but for the whole Parliamentary party.
Your wit and humour are well known across the party, but so too is your compassion; your dedication to the party and to Parliament; and your steadfast reliability in good times and bad.
Most of all, I want to express my own profound gratitude for the support you have given me over the past eight years - first as leader of the opposition and, since 2010, as prime minister. You have been a joy to work alongside and I will miss you hugely in government.
I know that you have much more to give in terms of public service - not least in continuing to represent your constituents in Uxbridge and South Ruislip who you have served with such distinction over the past 16 years.
I am reassured that I will be able to continue to count on your support from the backbenches, and I hope you will always feel able to raise any issue with me at any time.
Thank you, once again, for your kind and generous letter. This comes, as always, with my thanks and very best wishes to you and Kate, and your family.
Chloe Smith's letter
I understand that you are considering changes to your administration and I write before then to request to stand down as a minister at your next reshuffle.
I have greatly valued the chance to serve in your government over three years as a Whip and as a Minister in the Treasury and the Cabinet Office.
Most recently I am proud to have helped Francis Maude achieve £10bn savings for the taxpayer from wasteful government spend.
I have been privileged to serve my country and my party under your leadership.
However, for the remainder of the Parliament I want to be able to spend more time serving my constituents. My constituents have always come first for me, and they know the high standards and hard work that I ask of myself as the Member of Parliament for Norwich North.
As you know, I was only 27 when I was lucky enough to be elected as an MP, and of my four years in Parliament so far, I have spent three as a minister.
I would welcome the opportunity to develop other ways of giving public service, both inside and outside Parliament, while continuing to work hard for my constituents.
In particular I look forward to furthering Norwich For Jobs, the community campaign I have launched to halve my city's youth unemployment.
I also look forward to working more to communicate with a new generation of younger voters.
We spoke this summer about the worrying trend identified by the Hansard Society in its 2013 Political Audit, where only 12% of 18-24 year-olds say they are absolutely certain to vote, a decline of 10 percentage points in a year, and a decline from the 30% who said the same two years ago.
You asked me to consider what can be done. I want to take up this challenge.
Whilst I have been able to contribute to important work stewarding electoral registration as a Minister, I also want to support our party in taking the Conservative message to a new generation.
As an elected Conservative member of Parliament you have my full support as you continue to fix the economy, reward hard work and do the right thing for Britain.
David Cameron's response
Thank you very much for your letter informing me of your request to leave the government at the next reshuffle to concentrate on your constituency and other forms of service within the Party.
I know that this will not have been an easy decision for you to make, and one you will have given a huge amount of thought to.
After serving the government so ably for over three years, you will certainly be missed, but I completely understand and respect your decision.
In your three years as a minister you have made a positive impact in the departments you have served: As a Government Whip; in the Treasury; and, most recently, in the Cabinet Office where you have helped achieve fundamental and lasting efficiencies for the government.
I am incredibly grateful for all you have done to support the government in these roles and, in particular, to support me personally.
I know I will be able to rely on your continued support in government between now and the next reshuffle and, indeed, after that. I will follow your work furthering the Norwich For Jobs campaign with great interest.
I also appreciate your continued commitment to looking at how we can better communicate with younger people.
As you know from our previous conversations, this is a topic I take seriously and believe that there is scope for action. I would welcome your help with this outside government and look forward to receiving any recommendations you can bring forward. In this respect, please do let me or the Party Chairman know if there is anything we can do to help.
Thank you, once again, for your thoughtful letter.
Do stay in touch with my team about how we can coordinate plans but, for now, this comes with my thanks and very best wishes.