The battle of Downing Street: Can Rishi Sunak challenge Boris Johnson?

Nellie Chapman
February 14, 2020

But Mr Javid's resignation as Chancellor due to his reluctance to sack his political advisers has raised the question - has Number 10 now got too much power?

Downing Street refused to guarantee that next month's budget would go ahead as scheduled, with a spokesman saying only that "extensive preparations have already been carried out for the budget and they will continue at pace".

The City reacted with cautious optimism to the promotion of Rishi Sunak to the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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

Javid, who has served as chancellor since July when Johnson was first appointed prime minister, was set to deliver the government's first budget within the month.

Johnson is now appointing several new ministers to his cabinet in hopes of making a deal with the European Union by the end of this year. That involves ambitious infrastructure plans, including a 100 billion-pound ($130 billion) high-speed railway connecting London to central and northern England. It looked like he had lost that war and Whitehall sources were briefing overnight that Mr Javid would keep his job. Some key ministers escaped the chop, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel and the leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Those without a government role after the reshuffle include former Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, former Housing Minister Esther McVey, former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

15th coronavirus patient was on plane with Ashland evacuees
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading to the patient's inadvertent release back to the base. All those under quarantine are being closely monitored to contain the spread of the virus, the CDC said.

Gavin Williamson remains in his post as Education Secretary.

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

"The move seems created to allow the government to push through even bigger increases in public investment and perhaps resuscitate tax cuts that previously looked dead in the water", he said.

Brandon Lewis was appointed as Northern Ireland Secretary.

As well as reworking his Cabinet, Johnson appointed a new leader for the United Nations climate change conference that Britain is due to host later this year.

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.

Today's findings underline how unevenly spread the opportunities are to enter the elites, and this is something Boris Johnson must address.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article