Lord Ullswater was expected to be appointed minister of state to succeed Sir George Young. Sir Paul Beresford, former privatising leader of Wandsworth LBC, was also expected to be appointed a junior minister.
They succeed Lord Arran and Tony Baldry. John Gummer stays as environment secretary. David Curry and Robert Atkins remain as ministers of state but the exact portfolios of the new DoE team was being decided on Wednesday night.
In February's The House Magazine, Mr Jones advised ministers to sack Sir John.
'I have not heard anything myself - maybe someone's pulling your leg,' Mr Jones said as he waited for a call. call from 10 Downing Street.