Johnson chairs his first reshuffled cabinet after Chancellor's resignation

Elias Hubbard
February 15, 2020

Javid had been due to deliver his annual budget next month.

A journalist who has written an extensive profile on Dominic Cummings, has told LBC said the prime minister's senior adviser attempts to increase Number 10's influence over the Treasury was a key reason behind Sajid Javid's decision to resign. His resignation shakes the government as it faces the challenge of negotiating a new relationship with the 27-nation European Union by the end of this year. When it doesn't, the government can look dysfunctional.

Javid's resignation followed reports he had clashed with Johnson's powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings, a self-styled political disruptor who is mistrusted by many lawmakers and officials.

But the finance minister's resignation - which some commentators said might have been sought by Johnson's team - because of a dispute over Javid's advisers added to the picture that the prime minister will not tolerate dissent in his government.

The resignation was a curveball in a Cabinet shake-up that was meant to tighten Johnson's grip on government after winning a big parliamentary majority in December's election.

But it was clear that loyalty mattered to Johnson to be able to deliver his agenda and meet the promises he made in the run-up to the December 12 election, in which he won a large majority.

Another elevation is that of International Development Secretary Alok Sharma, who will be the new Business Secretary; home secretary Priti Patel has been re-appointed in the Cabinet reshuffle.

Several other frontbench ministers have been given the boot, including Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Housing Secretary Esther McVey, and Andrea Leadsom, the business secretary.

Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland secretary, is another shock sacking after overseeing the restoration of the power-sharing government in Stormont last month - a notable achievement considering a resolution could not be found in the three years prior.

Planning has got off to a rocky start, with Johnson last week firing Claire O'Neill, a former British government minister appointed a year ago to head up the event.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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