Tuesday, 07 April, 2020


United Kingdom finance minister Sajid Javid quits as PM Boris Johnson reshapes cabinet

United Kingdom finance minister Sajid Javid quits as PM Boris Johnson reshapes cabinet United Kingdom finance minister Sajid Javid quits as PM Boris Johnson reshapes cabinet
Bennie Garza | 14 February, 2020, 13:10

Boris Johnson ordered Mr Javid to fire his closest aides and replace them with advisers chosen by Number 10.

"This morning he told me that I need to make way for someone new".

Ex-Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay replaces Mr Sunak as Treasury chief secretary.

The pound briefly retreated on Javid's departure but soon recovered as analysts said the new chancellor could open the way for more public spending and growth.

Paul Dales, chief United Kingdom economist at Capital Economics, said Javid, a fiscal conservative, had appeared reluctant to increase public borrowing to fund higher spending. After pressure from the British and Irish governments, the main Irish nationalist and British unionist power-sharing parties returned to work last month.

After his election victory in December, Johnson fulfilled his pledge to get Britain out of the European Union on January 31 - but the country's future ties with the bloc remain uncertain.

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

Michael Gove will also keep his role as Cabinet Office Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Robert Buckland will continue as Justice Secretary.

The bombshell - less than a month before the budget is announced - follows tensions between the ex-chancellor and the PM's chief adviser, Dominic Cummings.

Javid refused to say whether the pressure came from Cummings.

This is now being replaced with an integrated Number 10-Treasury team of advisers at the top of that structure.

Besides Javid's exit, perhaps the greatest surprise in the Cabinet reshuffle is the firing of Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, who had success securing a deal to end a three-year suspension of the local government.

But allies of the axed minister said it was "absolute crap" to suggest Johnson and Number 10 had not been kept informed of the process and details of the deal.

Witham MP Priti Patel also remains as home secretary.

He tweeted: "Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege".

But The Times newspaper said Johnson felt "blindsided" by the deal because it includes an investigation into alleged crimes by British soldiers during decades of sectarian violence known as The Troubles.

Brandon Lewis was appointed as Northern Ireland Secretary.

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

Alok Sharma was promoted from global 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.

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