Johnson to chair Cabinet after ministers leave in dramatic reshuffle

Government reshuffle: Sajid Javid resigns as Chancellor

Downing Street said there would now be a joint team of economic advisers for both the chancellor and prime minister.

In the wake of Brexit, Johnson has vowed to take a more interventionist economic approach than some of his Conservative predecessors in order t o boost poorer regions outside the economic hub of London and southeast England.

His sacking of Northern Ireland minister Julian Smith, who only a month ago had helped broker the restoration of a government in the British province, prompted criticism from politicians north and south of the border with Ireland.

Sajid Javid was regarded as a fiscal hawk.

The former chancellor chose to quit instead and was replaced by his former deputy at the Treasury Rishi Sunak.

Javid had been due to deliver his annual budget next month.

Meanwhile, Salma Shah, a former adviser to Mr Javid, said it would have been "incredibly detrimental" for the former chancellor to allow Number 10 to choose his closest aides.

The BBC's Business Editor Simon Jack said the prime minister suspected Javid might resign if pushed to get rid of his advisers and he described Sunak as an "oven-ready" Chancellor. Every minister will be thinking "if the PM can do that to a chancellor, he can definitely do it to me". That victory allowed Johnson to take Britain out of the European Union last month, delivering on his key election promise.

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But along with the ministerial exits, the reshuffle - which Downing Street insiders had predicted would be "conventional" before the row with Mr Javid - saw promotions for MPs who are highly rated by Number 10.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan joins the cabinet as worldwide development secretary, having previously been a defence minister. Agra-born Alok Sharma, previously secretary of state for global development, replaces former Conservative leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom, who was on Thursday sacked as business secretary.

George Eustice was promoted to environment secretary from his previous role in the same department.

In July 2019 Mr Sunak was made chief secretary to the Treasury, after being parliamentary under-secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019.

Former Brexit minister Suella Braverman returns to the government as attorney general.

Cabinet members remaining in place include Home Secretary Priti Patel; Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab; Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove; Health Secretary Matt Hancock; International Trade Secretary Liz Truss; Transport Secretary Grant Shapps; Defence Secretary Ben Wallace; Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg; and Chief Whip Mark Spencer.

Out of 26 ministers attending the meeting of the PM's top team, just seven are women - down from eight - and there are fewer women in the most senior roles.

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