Johnson conducts cabinet reshuffle as chancellor resigns

Published by Scott Challinor on February 13th 2020, 8:08am

Prime minister Boris Johnson has conducted his first cabinet reshuffle since the Conservatives' re-election in December, with chancellor Sajid Javid among the most notable departures.

Having held back on shuffling his pack immediately after the general election victory, Johnson has now moved to make changes after the UK's exit from the European Union was confirmed on January 31.

Among the highest profile departures were chancellor Sajid Javid and attorney general Geoffrey Cox, who both tendered their resignations.

Javid's resignation comes just weeks prior to the Budget, scheduled for March 11. He had refused to dispense with his advisers in order to retain his position and in doing so, relinquished his role. As of Thursday evening, it is unclear as to whether the Budget will proceed as planned.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak, has been appointed chancellor in Javid's place, while Suella Braverman replaces Cox as attorney general.

Stephen Barclay, whose previous role as Brexit secretary ended by default after the UK left the EU, has taken on Sunak's former role.

Home secretary Priti Patel, foreign secretary Dominic Raab, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, health secretary Matt Hancock and international trade secretary Liz Truss will all remain in post.

Other cabinet members keeping their jobs include education secretary Gavin Williamson, housing secretary Robert Jenrick, justice secretary Robert Buckland, transport secretary Grant Shapps, and work & pensions secretary Therese Coffey.

Ben Wallace will also stay on as defence secretary, despite speculation of the contrary prior to Thursday.

Alister Jack and Simon Hart will remain secretaries of state for Scotland and Wales respectively, while Jacob Rees-Mogg has retained his role as Leader of the Commons, and Baroness Evans her post as Leader of the House of Lords.

Mark Spencer will stay on as chief Conservative whip and Amanda Milling has been appointed the new chair of the Conservative party, a role which had been left vacant by James Cleverly moving into a ministerial role for both the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development.

Former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has returned to a government position after being sacked last July, having now been handed the role of paymaster general in the Cabinet Office.

The first cabinet minister confirmed to be leaving his role was Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith, with former home office minister Brandon Lewis taking over.

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom and education secretary Theresa Villiers have both been sacked and replaced by Alok Sharma and George Eustice respectively.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will step into Sharma's old role as secretary for international development, while Nicky Morgan will be replaced as culture secretary by Oliver Dowden after accepting a peerage.

Foreign minister Heather Wheeler, education minister Chris Skidmore, housing minister Esther McVey, Middle East & North Africa minister Andrew Murrison, and transport ministers Nusrat Ghani and George Freeman have all been relieved of their duties.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
February 13th 2020, 8:08am

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