New Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has dismissed suggestions that he advised the Prime Minister to remove his predecessor Sir Michael Fallon so he could take the job.
Scarborough-born Mr Williamson was Theresa May's chief whip until his promotion following Sir Michael's resignation on November 1.
His former role as the PM's enforcer on disciplinary issues has prompted speculation about his part in events following the emergence of allegations that Sir Michael had behaved inappropriately towards women.
Asked whether he had advised the PM to sack Sir Michael, Mr Williamson said: "The Prime Minister makes her own decisions on actually who is serving in her Cabinet, and they are only the Prime Minister's decisions.
"She makes her own decisions and she always does make her own decisions."