Published On: Thu, Feb 13th, 2020

Cabinet reshuffle LIVE: Boris Johnson to wield axe as ministers brace for ‘brutal’ day | Politics | News

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Mr Johnson is readying his cabinet for the long-term following the Tories’ crushing victory in December’s general election, and wants to give ministerial experience to several women who could be promoted to the Cabinet in future reshuffles. But Ben Wallace, Geoffrey Cox, Andrea Leadssom, Theresa Villiers are reported to be under threat. Female MPs in line for promotion include defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, former Brexit minister Suella Braverman and Gillian Keegan.

Alok Sharma is expected to be promoted from his current Cabinet post at International Development, while Paymaster General Oliver Dowden – who attends Cabinet – is also in line for a bigger job.

Senior ministers including Chancellor Sajid Javid, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab are expected to remain in place while Downing Street has confirmed that Grant Shapps will stay on as Transport Secretary.

Mr Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings has long-pushed for a wider cull cull of ministers and a shake-up of Whitehall departments.

But several Conservative officials have warned now was not the time to inflict huge changes to Government as it would be destructive at a time when the Prime Minister must stay on good terms with those voters who gave him such a significant majority.


7.50am update: Ben Wallace and Geoffrey Cox outline why they should remain in office

Defence Secretary Mr Wallace said: “I have been in this game long enough to know that British Cabinet reshuffles are brutal.

“It is at the decision of the Prime Minister who serves in his Cabinet.

“I have been there before, I have been in quite a long time, I’m keen to serve, I enjoy the job as Defence Secretary, I’m a veteran, I’m a northern MP, I was actually in the Army, so I think all of those hopefully qualify me, but who knows.”

Attorney General Mr Cox said: “Have I had enough of the job? Let me make plain: absolutely not. This has been one of the greatest, in fact the greatest honour of my professional life.

But he added: ”If you gave me the opportunity to continue I would embrace it eagerly but equally if it is not to be, well then there are other doorways that will open for me.”

7.40am update: Johnson to ‘set foundations for Government now and in future’

A Downing Street source said: “The prime minister wants this reshuffle to set the foundations for government now and in the future.

“He wants to promote a generation of talent that will be promoted further in the coming years.

“He will reward those MPs who have worked hard to deliver on this government’s priorities to level up the whole country and deliver the change people voted for last year.”

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