THERESA May has attempted to take back control of her government after a chaotic week.

Reports yesterday suggested European leaders are expecting her to have been kicked out of office by Christmas, and were planning accordingly.

The Prime Minister, effectively forced into her second reshuffle in a week, appointed Penny Mordaunt to replace Priti Patel as minister for International Development.

Patel, a prominent Brexiteer, was forced out late on Wednesday night after embarking on a bizarre rogue foreign policy trip to Israel, where she met with leading politicians and breached diplomatic protocol by visiting the occupied territories as a guest of the government in Jerusalem.

Mordaunt’s appointment was welcomed by Iain Duncan Smith who said that it would have been wrong for May to change the “balance of the Cabinet” on Brexit.

Mordaunt, who was the Minister for Disabled People in the Department for Work and Pensions, will be replaced by Sarah Newton.

As David Cameron’s former speechwriter, Ian Birrell pointed out on social media, it means there have now been seven ministers in the position in the last seven years.

“This underscores the political disinterest in the post, let alone actually helping people with disabilities achieve anything close to equality,” Birrell said.

Newton, who was in the Home Office will be replaced by Victoria Atkins, the first member of government from the 2015 intake of MPs.

For May the next big challenge will be her Foreign Secretary, whose gaffe in front of a Commons committee last week may result in a British mother in Iran being jailed for five years.

Johnson had said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “simply teaching people journalism” in Iran.

This wasn’t true.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been visiting family in Iran when she was arrested and charged with attempting to overthrow the government – a charge she and her employers reject.

She now faces new accusations of spreading propaganda.

A news report on Iran’s state TV, likely sanctioned by the regime, said: “Boris Johnson’s unintended confession confirming training some Iranian journalists by Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was a goof that the British government could not cover up.

“Some even are asking the foreign minister to resign.”

It added: “Boris Johnson’s remarks voided all efforts by the British government and media over the past one and half years who said Zaghari had been in Iran for humanitarian work.”

Both Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband and her employers, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, deny the charity worker was teaching journalists in Iran, insisting she was on holiday with her baby daughter before being detained while attempting to fly home to London in April 2016.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s local MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, added to her criticism of Johnson.

“It seems Boris’ ‘assurances’ to Iran about Nazanin have been ignored.

“His errors aren’t funny – for my constituent this is life and death. Please @theresa_may – act now to help #FreeNazanin.”

On Tuesday, Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons there was “no doubt that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday in Iran ... and that was the sole purpose of her visit”.

He apologised if his comments had been “taken out of context”.

The Foreign Secretary, in the US this week, dodged questions about the claims made on Iranian TV.

When a journalist from Sky doorstepped the Tory and asked him if he was concerned that his comments were being quoted by Iranian TV, he replied: “Well, you know, we have some difficult consular cases in Iran and we are working on all of them.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s was with her infant daughter Gabriella, when Iranian police picked her up at Tehran airport in April 2016.

Gabriella, now three, remains in Iran with Nazanin’s parents, while her mother is in a high-security prison and her father Richard is in London.

Johnson later appeared on Fox News lavishing generous praise on Donald Trump, describing the president as “one of the great huge global brands”.

“The American president is one of the great huge global brands and is penetrating corners of the global consciousness that I think few other presidents have ever done,” he told the Fox and Friends cable show.

He also defended Trump’s “rambunctious” use of Twitter. “Yes a lot of people don’t like it and a lot of people relate to it,” he said. “In an age when people have been turned off politics it’s more direct and it’s more communicative than a lot of previous presidents have managed.”

His fondness is not matched by the newest member of government, Atkins has previously described the president as a “wazzock”.