Boris Johnson promoted a succession of pro-Brexit allies to his Cabinet, naming Dominic Raab Foreign Secretary and effective deputy prime minister, and appointing Sajid Javid as Britain’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The new prime minister is lining up a completely new team at the top of his government, with 19 ministers leaving the Cabinet. Johnson’s defeated rival for the top job, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is out.
Matt Hancock Is Named Health Secretary
Hancock stays on as Britain’s health secretary, 10 Downing Street said in a statement.
The 40-year-old, who ran for the Tory leadership but pulled out after slim support in the first round, first rose on the coat-tails of his old boss, former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
He supported Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Despite their differing approaches to Brexit, Hancock endorsed Johnson after quitting the leadership race, saying he was the best candidate to unite Britain.
Truss Gets International Trade Job
Liz Truss, who was chief secretary to the Treasury under Theresa May, has been appointed to Liam Fox’s old job as International Trade Secretary.
Tasked with readying the UK for new free-trade deals after Brexit, Truss is a Thatcherite who co-authored a 2012 book which claimed British workers are among the world’s most idle.
Some of her public appearances have attracted mockery, such as during a 2014 speech to the Conservative annual conference when she said: “We import two thirds of our cheese. That. Is. A. Disgrace.” Truss grew up in a left-wing household in Yorkshire, northern England, before rebelling and joining the Tories.
Johnson Appoints Ally-Turned-Rival Gove
Johnson appointed Michael Gove, the man who sabotaged his bid for the leadership in 2016, as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the job held by David Lidington under Theresa May.
The former journalist has a complicated relationship with Johnson. They worked together at the top of the Brexit referendum campaign, and Johnson appointed Gove to manage his first leadership bid. Gove then turned on Johnson and launched his own bid.
In this year’s contest, Gove supporters accused Johnson of getting his revenge by lending support to Jeremy Hunt to ensure that Gove was kept out of the final two. The 52-year-old has been Education Secretary, Justice Secretary, Chief Whip and Environment Secretary.
Stephen Barclay Stays as Brexit Secretary
In a piece of continuity with the old regime, Stephen Barclay will stay as Brexit Secretary, Downing Street said.
Barclay took up the position in November 2018, after his predecessors David Davis and Dominic Raab resigned over Theresa May’s Brexit approach.
Raab Is Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM
Johnson picked Dominic Raab — the former Brexit secretary and leadership candidate — to be Britain’s new foreign secretary and first secretary of state, making him Johnson’s effective deputy.
Knocked out in the second round of voting in the Conservative leadership election, Raab is a former Brexit secretary who resigned in protest at May’s draft deal to leave the EU. A prominent Brexit campaigner during the 2016 referendum, the 45-year-old is a karate black belt and trained as a lawyer.
Priti Patel Returns to Become Home Secretary
Johnson made his ally, the prominent Brexit backer Priti Patel Britain’s home secretary, in charge of policing and domestic security. It is a spectacular return to the front-line for Patel.
The 47-year-old had to resign as international development secretary in 2017 after it emerged that she’d held a series of off-the-record meetings with Israeli government officials during her summer vacation. Her role as home secretary will make her one of the most powerful Britons of Asian heritage.
Johnson Names Sajid Javid Chancellor
Johnson appointed the former home secretary Sajid Javid as his new Chancellor, succeeding Philip Hammond. A onetime managing director of Deutsche Bank AG, Javid will be tasked with managing the economy through Brexit.
The 49-year-old becomes the first ever ethnic minority minister to run the Treasury and the first since Norman Lamont in the early 1990s to have worked in the finance industry.
Ireland’s Varadkar Tells Johnson to Get Real
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar delivered a blunt message to Boris Johnson: Get real.
In an interview with broadcaster RTE, he said “any suggestion a whole new deal can be negotiated in weeks or months is not in the real world.” European leaders have no plans to meet before October, Varadkar added.
“Confidence and enthusiasm is not a substitute for a European policy,” Varadkar said.
He told the broadcaster that he’s confident the U.K. Parliament would block a no-deal Brexit — an indication that Ireland feels little pressure to water down the contentious border backstop.
Mundell Joins The Backbench Awkward Squad
Sacked Scotland Secretary David Mundell made clear that he’s not going to go quietly after he was sacked by Johnson and will “hold him to account” from the backbenches.