David Cameron's extraordinarily brutal cabinet reshuffle has claimed another senior head with Michael Gove sacked as education secretary to be replaced by one of the female faces, Nicky Morgan.

But once again welfare reforms minister Iain Duncan Smith has been left in situ, despite widespread claims his controversial universal credit scheme is in crisis.

He previously refused a move and it is not known whether Cameron even attempted to shuffle him this time around.

Downing Street insisted they believed Gove had completed his schools reforms, and would have a senior job as chief whip - and what is widely known as "minister for the Today programme", as the go-to minister for broadcasters.

It was insisted Gove had worked through the change with the prime minister on Monday night, suggesting he was content with the move.

But few doubted the change was designed to heal rifts between the government and the teaching profession, with Morgan expected to smooth relations in an attempt to win over sceptical parents, and mothers in particular, before next year's election.

Gove appeared constantly at war with teachers and parents over some of his more radical reforms and the unions will be delighted he has been removed, believing they have taken his scalp.

He is one of the most outspoken ministers and was recently involved in a very public and damaging public row with home secretary Theresa May over the alleged "Trojan Horse" extremist Muslim plot to take over Birmingham schools.

He was also in trouble after criticising Cameron's cabinet for being "ridiculously" full of old Etonians.

However he is personally an effective and charming minister who Cameron would not have wanted to lose and will make an effective voice for the party through the media, if he can avoid some of his more colourful outbursts.

Meanwhile it was confirmed that right-wing Eurosceptic Philip Hammond had been appointed foreign secretary with his defence portfolio going to the highly-regarded minister Michael Fallon, another right-winger.

Liz Truss has been given the environment job, taking over from Owen Paterson who the Eurosceptic right were disappointed to lose. But he was considered to have been lacklustre in the post, particularly over the recent floods crisis.