Boris Johnson continues government reshuffle

Boris Johnson is continuing to appoint more new ministers during his second full day as prime minister.

He completed a radical overhaul of his cabinet after entering Downing Street on Wednesday, making more changes in lower-ranked jobs on Thursday.

Among the latter, long-time ally Kit Malthouse takes over policing at the Home Office, while George Eustice returns to an environment brief.

In his first Commons speech as PM, Mr Johnson promised a new “golden age”.

He promised to get Brexit done by the current deadline of 31 October.

After appointing a new cabinet, with Sajid Javid as chancellor, Dominic Raab as foreign secretary and Priti Patel as home secretary, Mr Johnson began the complex job of reshuffling the rest of his government team.

New appointments so far include:

  • Thérèse Coffey – promoted within Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Conor Burns – international trade minister
  • Chris Pincher and Andrew Stephenson – foreign ministers
  • Chris Skidmore – health minister
  • Chris Heaton Harris – transport minister

Ministers remaining in their posts include:

  • Jesse Norman – financial secretary to the Treasury
  • Nick Gibb – schools minister
  • Mark Lancaster – defence minister
  • Andrew Murrison – foreign and international development minister
  • Justin Tomlinson – work and pensions minister
  • Caroline Dinenage – care minister

And those who have lost their jobs include:

  • Stephen Hammond – health minister
  • George Hollingbery – international trade minister
  • Harriett Baldwin – foreign and international development minister

Choosing a ministerial team is a hard job for prime ministers, with the possibility that those sacked – and those overlooked for a role – will become embittered.

On Thursday, former Brexit minister Steve Baker turned down a return to a junior role within the Department for Exiting the European Union.

The pro-Leave MP said he could not “repeat [his] experience of powerlessness” in the role.

While Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay will nominally lead any future negotiations with the EU, most of the key work is expected to be done by No 10 and the Cabinet Office.

Michael Gove has been put in charge of overall planning for a no-deal Brexit, including its potential implications for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a senior ministerial role without a specific portfolio, he will chair a number of key committees and taskforces.

Leaving his house for work on Friday, Mr Gove said Mr Johnson had “got a united cabinet and a united Conservative Party”, adding: “The prime minister has got off to a fantastic start.”

Under UK law, a government is allowed a maximum of 109 paid ministers, of which up to 23 can be full cabinet ministers – including the PM.

The Conservative Party currently has 311 MPs.


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