Health secretary Andrew Lansley - the architect of the government’s Responsibility Deal - has emerged as a high-profile casualty of today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Lansley has been handed a new role as Leader of the House of Commons - representing a major demotion for the man regarded as the bête noir of the tobacco trade in the UK.

He is replaced by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who came under scrutiny for his role in the BSkyB bid.

“It’s a huge task,” Hunt told the BBC. “It’s the biggest privilege of my life. I’m incredibly honoured.”

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman was also moved aside in the reshuffle, with Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson taking over as Defra boss.