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

Clay Curtis
February 14, 2020

Harry Lambert, a special correspondent with the New Statesman wrote an extensive profile of the Prime Minister's closest adviser Dominic Cummings, has told James O'Brien the decision was underscored by efforts by Cummings to reduce the independence of the Treasury.

The UK cabinet culling prompted accusations online that Johnson had "lost control", with Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in Westminster, suggesting the PM had become "embroiled in an ego battle between his de-facto deputy Dominic Cummings" and Tory MPs like Javid.

"The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of the Exchequer", Downing Street said in an official press release.

The prime minister had offered to reappoint Mr Javid on the condition he fire his team of aides - a demand rejected by Mr Javid on Thursday.

Boris Johnson has been sacking ministers and appointing new ones in the first major government reshuffle since the Conservatives won the general election at the end of past year.

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. Johnson also has ambitious infrastructure plans including a 100 billion-pound ($130 billion) high-speed railway.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove and justice secretary Robert Buckland were all confirmed in their existing roles.

Witham MP Priti Patel also remains as home secretary.

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Andrea Leadsom has lost her position as Business Secretary, to be replaced by Alok Sharma while Geoffrey Cox has been sacked as Attorney General. Others were promoted, including Suella Braverman to the position of attorney general and Anne-Marie Trevelyan to the post of worldwide development secretary.

When it works, they look powerful.

Johnson appointed Brandon Lewis as Smith's replacement.

Until Javid's exit, the most surprising move by the prime minister had been the sacking of Smith just weeks after brokering the deal that restored the power-sharing administration in Northern Ireland.

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.

The government said Thursday that Alok Sharma, previously in charge of global development, would become business secretary and also take charge of COP26.

Interestingly, as recently as the HS2 announcement in the Commons on Tuesday, Boris Johnson mentioned how the Treasury was forever against the best and most worthwhile projects when they were in their early phases.

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