Prime Minister Johnson Purges Hardline Remainers from Cabinet, Prepares to Deliver Brexit in 99 Days’ Time

Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures after giving a speech outside 10 Downing Street in London on July 24, 2019 on the day he was formally appointed British prime minister. - Boris Johnson took over as Britain's new prime minister on Wednesday vowing to prove the "gloomsters" wrong and …
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Boris Johnson has cleared out the Cabinet of hardline remainers and his critics, rewarding allies and appointing a number of Brexiteers to his government.

Prime Minister Johnson has recruited Brexiteers to top roles in his government, signalling that with 99 days to go, he is committed to taking the UK out of the EU on October 31st.

The wholesale clear-out of 18 ministers occurred throughout the day, with fervent Remainers and Jeremy Hunt-supporters being fired or resigning. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg remarked that “This is officially the biggest clear out of Cabinet without a change of party in power — more than half of them gone — [this is] not a reshuffle it’s a new government.”

The new appointments at time of publishing are as follows:

Sajid Javid — Chancellor of the Exchequer
Dominic Raab — Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; First Secretary of State
Priti Patel — Secretary of State for the Home Department
Stephen Barclay — Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
Michael Gove — Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Esther McVey — Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Jacob Rees-Mogg — Lord President of the Council; Leader of the House of Commons
Ben Wallace — Secretary of State for Defence
Liz Truss — Secretary of State for International and President of the Board of Trade
Matt Hancock — Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Theresa Villiers — Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Andrea Leadsom — Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Gavin Williamson — Secretary of State for Education
Nicky Morgan — Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Robert Jenrick — Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Amber Rudd — Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Robert Buckland — Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
Grant Shapps — Secretary of State for Transport
Alok Sharma — Secretary of State for International Development
Alun Cairns — Secretary of State for Wales
Alister Jack — Secretary of State for Scotland
Julian Smith — Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Rishi Sunak — Chief Secretary to the Treasury
James Cleverly — Minister without Portfolio; Conservative Party Chairman

A number of top jobs have gone to Brexiteers, with Raab, Patel, Gove, Villiers, and Leadsom all being Vote Leave alumni. The presence of the establishment pro-Brexit campaign group in the Johnson government is not limited to the Cabinet, however, with Vote Leave’s campaign architect Dominic Cummings becoming Mr Johnson’s senior advisor.

Breitbart News’s James Delingpole said that the appointment of “sworn enemy of the Swamp” Cummings showed that Johnson was serious about clearing out the Deep State in Whitehall, writing: “…one of the great things about Cummings is that he is a ruthless operator. I’m sure we can rely on him to show these Swamp creatures the zero mercy they deserve.”

Not just establishment Brexiteers have found their way into the Cabinet, however, with former backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg appointed Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council and Esther McVey returned to the government as Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, while Raab and Patel themselves are also considered Brexit purists from the right of the Tory Party.

Mr Johnson had elevated a number of Remain voters to the Cabinet, though ostensibly only those that now back Leave and have expressed loyalty to Johnson’s vision of delivering Brexit on October 31st, with or without a deal, including “reluctant” Remainer Sajid Javid who will likely be expected to prepare a no-deal budget in his new role as chancellor.

Gavin Williamson, Amber Rudd, and Nicky Morgan are three other Remain voters: Williamson has said that he has come around to Brexit, whilst Rudd now accepts a no-deal exit, and Nicky Morgan has in the past worked with Leave colleagues on the Malthouse Compromise to take the UK out of the EU.

Mr Johnson is expected to hold his first Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
This liveblog is now closed. Please read below for real-time updates and the original reporting.

UPDATE 10:50pm — Jacob Rees-Mogg appointed Leader of the House of Commons, ‘Spartan’ Brexiteer Esther McVey housing minister

Prominent Brexiteer and Chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) Jacob Rees-Mogg has been appointed Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I am very honoured to be appointed to leader of the House and Lord President of the Council. I’m absolutely delighted and as I said earlier in the day before I was appointed to anything I’m a support supporter of Boris Johnson, I think he’s the right man for the job and I’ll do anything I can to back him.”

Ms McVey, considered more of a Brexit purist even than Dominic Raab, was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

UPDATE 9:35pm — ministers for Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland appointed

 

UPDATE 9:20pm — Alok Sharma, Robert Buckland, Grant Shapps handed government roles

Mr Sharma has been appointed Secretary of State for International Development while Mr Buckland has been appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. While both voted Remain, they are Boris backers and support the government getting on with taking the UK out of the EU.

UPDATE 9:00pm — Amber Rudd holds on to role at Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Ms Rudd has also been appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. The Remain-supporting minister expressed a change of heart over no-deal Brexit two weeks ago, saying: “Both candidates [Johnson and Hunt] have said that no deal is part of the armoury going forward, and I have accepted that.

“The situation is that we are leaving at the end of October but it would be so much better to get a deal. What we really need is for everybody’s effort to go into trying to get a deal.”

Her appointment points to Mr Johnson’s position that he would not just appoint dyed-in-the-wool Brexiteers and loyalists, but Leave converts and those otherwise willing to back a Johnson government taking the UK out of the EU with or without a deal.

UPDATE 8:42pm — Cabinet positions for Nicky Morgan, Gavin Williamson, Andrea Leadsom, Jenrick

Nicky Morgan has been appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport while Gavin Williamson has been appointed Secretary of State for Education.
While both Morgan and Williamson voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, their positions have softened with Mr Williamson backing the UK leaving the EU and Ms Morgan working on the Malthouse Compromise with his Leaver colleagues.

Mr Williamson, who was forced out of his former role as defence secretary after Theresa May accused him of leaking top-secret government discussions which revealed Chinese tech giant Huawei’s potential involvement in constructing the UK’s 5G network, is a Johnson ally who was said to be instrumental in whipping up support amongst MPs for support for Mr Johnson.

Andrea Leadsom, another Vote Leave alumna, has been appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy while Robert Jenrick has been appointed housing secretary.

UPDATE 8:15pm — Theresa Villiers becomes environment secretary, Matt Hancock Retains his role as health secretary

As the appointments continue, Ms Villiers has become the fourth Vote Leave campaigner and seventh Brexit supporter to be given a role in Mr Johnson’s government.

UPDATE 7:25pm — Ben Wallace has been appointed as defence secretary, Liz Truss international trade secretary

With a military background, the Johnson ally is taking over from Penny Mordaunt.

While Liz Truss has become international trade secretary.

UPDATE 7:20pm — Michael Gove has been appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 

Taking over from David Lidington, Mr Gove has become the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a senior Cabinet office role and effectively a minister without portfolio.

UPDATE 7:05pm — Stephen Barclay maintains job as Brexit secretary 

The third Brexit secretary appointed originally under Mrs May, Mr Barclay reportedly got into a heated conversation with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, telling the French bureaucrat five times that Mrs May’s soft Brexit withdrawal treaty was “dead”.

UPDATE 6:55pm — Dominic Raab appointed foreign secretary, first secretary of state

Taking over from Jeremy Hunt, this would be a return for Mr Raab to the Cabinet. Formerly the Brexit secretary, Mr Raab resigned from government over Mrs May’s handling of Brexit. Like Ms Patel, Mr Raab is considered one of the more right-wing candidates and also comes from the Vote Leave campaign.

Also appointed first secretary of state, Mr Raab is the de facto deputy prime minister.

UPDATE 6:45pm — Priti Patel appointed home secretary

Taking over from Mr Javid, recently appointed chancellor of the exchequer, it would see a return of Ms Patel to the government. The minister was fired in 2017 from her role as the international development secretary by Theresa May for meeting with Israeli officials whilst on holiday without informing the prime minister.

Ms Patel formerly campaigned with Boris Johnson with Vote Leave in 2016; it is expected that Mr Johnson will appoint a number of Vote Leave alumni to the Cabinet and other rolls.

Earlier, Breitbart London reported that Dominic Cummings, one of the architects of the Vote Leave campaign, became Mr Johnson’s senior advisor, while VL’s Robert Oxley and James Starkie have joined the Number 10 media team.

Liz Truss, who had been vying for the role of chancellor, was seen entering Number 10.

UPDATE 6:36pm — Sajid Javid appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer

It was confirmed that the first appointment is that of Sajid Javid, formerly the home secretary, who has been appointed chancellor of the exchequer, taking over from Philip Hammond, the Remain-supporter who resigned earlier today.

Mr Javid and Liz Truss were both said to be vying for the role. Mr Javid was the first minister to be seen going into Downing Street, signalling he was in line for a top role. The minister had “reluctantly” voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, and now says he fully backs the Tory government pledge to take the UK out of the EU.

Followed by Mr Javid into Number 10 was Priti Patel and Dominic Raab, both formerly from the government, suggesting that shortly, there will be announcements that they will have been returned to the frontbench, as well.

Others seen entering Number 10 are Michael Gove, Stephen Barclay, and Ben Wallace, a long-time ally of Johnson.

Original reporting continues below…

Ministers and candidates for Cabinet are set to walk through the door of 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister Boris Johnson appoints his government.

A dozen ministers have already been fired or resigned. As well as Remainers leaving government, some Brexiteers, a number of which who backed May’s deal or Johnson’s leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, have also exited the Cabinet on Wednesday, as Breitbart London has reported.

According to Sky News, there is not one minister left in Cabinet who was appointed by former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010, following today’s firings and resignations.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg remarked that “This is officially the biggest clear out of Cabinet without a change of party in power — more than half of them gone — [this is] not a reshuffle it’s a new government.”

Media has been speculating the composition of Boris’s top table of ministers, with it being expected to be comprised of between half to two-thirds of Brexiteers.

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