Published: Sat, February 15, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Johnson asserts control over govt, finance minister quits

Johnson asserts control over govt, finance minister quits

Johnson, who had wanted to minimize any disruption from the cabinet reshuffle, quickly appointed Javid's deputy Rishi Sunak, a loyal supporter of the prime minister who has often been put in front of the cameras to sell government policy.

Johnson's aides had previously played down suggestions, based on Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings's well-publicized desire to see a radical reorganization of government, that there would be major changes.

But there was no disputing the message from the Prime Minister at the first cabinet meeting since Sajid Javid's surprise resignation yesterday about who was in charge.

It's understood that Javid - who has served as Britain's finance minister since July 2019 - chose to quit his role after refusing No 10's request to sack his advisers, according to several media reports. "A government in chaos within weeks of an election", said John McDonnell, finance spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party.

The prime minister's office could not confirm Thursday whether the budget would take place as scheduled on March 11.

Now his Conservative administration faces the even bigger challenge of negotiating a new trading relationship with the European Union while also seeking trade deals with the United States and other countries.

So far, the two sides are far apart in their demands.

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Shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reshuffled the British Cabinet, three Parliamentarians of Indian-origin, including new Home Secretary Priti Patel secured cabinet seats for themselves in the Parliament.

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.

Also sacked Thursday were Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and and Housing Minister Esther McVey.

Alok Sharma, 51, will also be president of the COP26, the big-ticket climate summit of the United Nations, which is due to be held in Glasgow in November this year.

Brandon Lewis, a former security minister, was named to replace him.

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

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