Chris Grayling reshuffle gaffe: Tories congratulate wrong man for new party chairman

Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle has suffered a communication breakdown with the Conservative party office wrongly unveiling Chris Grayling as the new party chairman - then sending out a typo when the real appointment was made.

The tweet with a prepared photograph announcing Mr Grayling was deleted before former Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis was announced as Mrs May's choice.

However, there was more shame for the Tory PR team with a spelling error in the image confirming the new appointment of Mr Lewis as a Minister without Porfolio (sic)".

A corrected tweet soon appeared as the original was deleted.

The errors began as press speculation mounted Mr Grayling was being lined up for the role to replace Sir Patrick McLoughlin, who learned of his sacking in Monday's reshuffle.

Brandon Lewis briefly became a Minister without Porfolio (sic). Credit: Conservatives

The Conservative Party account then confirmed the move, tweeting at 11:43am: "Congratulations to Chris Grayling following his appointment as Conservative Party Chairman."

CCHQ political director Iain Carter was responsible for the error, a Tory source told the Press Association.

The tweet was deleted within a minute - though not before Tory MPs Rebecca Pow and Sheryll Murray had widened the error by tweeting the false breaking news out.

Those tweets were also deleted within minutes just as Mr Lewis arrived at Number 10 to learn he was the prime minister's pick.

The announcement gaffes - which followed on from an error-strewn Tory conference - were jumped upon by Labour MPs as Westminster's blue camp were left red-faced.