Wednesday, 20 January, 2021

Boris Johnson assembles new look Cabinet at Downing Street

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid arriving in Downing Street London as Prime Minister Boris Johnson reshuffles his Cabinet Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid arriving in Downing Street London as Prime Minister Boris Johnson reshuffles his
Ginger Lawrence | 14 February, 2020, 15:25

Several high-profile women in Johnson's government, including Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Housing Minister Esther McVey, were fired.

The chancellor of the Exchequer said he had "no option but to resign" after Johnson offered to keep him on but only if he got rid of all his political advisers.

He was viewed as a traditional Conservative chancellor, focused more on balancing the books than on delivering some of the bold changes envisioned by Cummings and the Prime Minister.

Alok Sharma was promoted from worldwide development to become the new business secretary, and he will also be minister for the COP26 United Nations climate summit, due to take place in Glasgow in November.

There are two other cabinet ministers of Indian extraction in the Johnson government - Home Secretary Priti Patel and International Development Secretary Alok Sharma.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson began reshaping his government on Thursday, in hopes of tightening his grip on power.

Javid refused to say whether the pressure came from Cummings.

One of the most surprising resignations among senior officials was Treasury Chief Sajid Javid, who said he would not listen to orders to fire his team of aides.

Asked whether the planned Budget statement would still take place on March 11, he said only: "Extensive preparations have already been carried out for the Budget and they will continue at pace".

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Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Mr Javid's resignation had left the Government in crisis.

"It's clear Dominic Cummings has won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury and has installed his stooge as the Chancellor".

'They are the only people in a Government department that are the minister's responsibility and chosen by them'.

Newcomers at the cabinet meeting on Friday will include Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who replaces Alok Sharma as worldwide development secretary; Amanda Milling, who is minister without portfolio and chairwoman of the Conservative Party; and Suella Braverman, who takes on the role of attorney general after the prime minister asked Mr Cox to step down.

Arlene Foster, who as DUP leader was restored as the first minister of Northern Ireland under the deal, also hailed his "dedication to the role".

Johnson also sacked Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith - another surprise move.

After years of political turmoil over Brexit, Johnson wants to focus this year on domestic issues, including investments in police, healthcare and infrastructure.

Ultra-loyal Alok Sharma, a former minister for global development, was appointed as the new minister for business and also the head of the COP26 climate change summit, when world leaders will travel to Scotland in November.

Claire O'Neill, the former president of the so-called COP 26 summit, was sacked last month.