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

Cheryl Sanders
February 15, 2020

Javid had been widely expected to keep his job in the Cabinet shakeup.

Javid's resignation was a surprise moment during Thursday's reshuffle and came after he refused to cave to demands from Downing Street to sack his entire team of aides.

Javid has been in post since the summer and has repeatedly clashed with Johnson's senior adviser, Dominic Cummings.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne attend a joint press conference in Canberra

The decision comes less than a month before Javid was due to hand down the budget.

His resignation comes against the backdrop of Brexit, as the government faces challenges of negotiating a new relationship with the 27-nation 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.

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.


"They are going to create one special advisor unit that is going to span Number 10 and Number 11 which will be controlled by Cummings and that Number 10 team", Lambert.

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. He was joined by business minister Andrea Leadsom and environment minister Theresa Villiers.

Other key ministers held onto their jobs, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove and Home Secretary Priti Patel.


Smith had been widely praised for helping to end political deadlock that left Northern Ireland without a regional government and assembly for three years.

Ultra-loyal Alok Sharma, a former minister for global development, was appointed as the new minister for business and also the head of the COP26 climate change summit, when world leaders will travel to Scotland in November.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan was promoted to minister for global development, while other big departments - such as foreign, home affairs, trade and health - kept their ministers.


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