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Boris Johnson is set to appoint Rishi Sunak as his new Chancellor in brutal Cabinet reshuffle

Boris Johnson has appointed Rishi Sunak as his new Chancellor following the bombshell resignation of Sajid Javid. 

Mr Javid quit the government after a sensational row with Mr Johnson in Number 10 this morning as the Treasury chief refused to bow to plans put forward by Dominic Cummings to change the way government special advisers operate. 

Mr Sunak, who as Chief Secretary to the Treasury was Mr Javid's deputy, was swiftly elevated to the second most powerful job in the government. The 39-year-old becomes one of the UK's youngest ever chancellors.

The extraordinary development came after the PM wielded the knife on a host of veteran Cabinet ministers as he sacked three Brexiteer women from his top team.

Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Theresa Villiers were all removed from the Cabinet as the PM conducted face-to-face meetings with them in his parliamentary office this morning.

He also got rid of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith as he made space to promote a new generation of Tory MPs. 

Mr Smith, sacked just weeks after successfully restoring powersharing arrangements in Stormont, confirmed his departure on Twitter saying serving in the job had been the 'biggest privilege'. His fate is believed to be linked to his chilling warnings about the consequences of No Deal Brexit last Autumn.

Mrs Leadsom, who insiders claim irritated No10 aides by arguing at Cabinet, said she was proud to have been in government for six years, and would now 'focus on my constituents'.  Ms McVey said she was 'very sorry' to have been relieved of her duties as housing minister. 

Ms Villiers made light of her fate on Facebook, joking that 'what the PM giveth the PM taketh away'. Meanwhile, Mr Cox delivered a thinly-veiled rebuke, pointing out that he had introduced Mr Johnson at his Tory leadership launch and been a loyal Brexiteer. 

The cull - which includes a swathe of lower-level ministers - was not initially as bloody as had been suggested as Defence Secretary Ben Wallace appeared to have saved his skin despite speculation he could be departing. 

But Mr Javid's resignation stunned Westminster. He had earlier been photographed grinning and seemingly in good spirits before walking through the famous black door of Number 10.

But he has now left the government after just 204 days as Chancellor with Mr Sunak immediately installed as hios successor.

No10 hopes the new Cabinet line-up will be largely complete by this afternoon. Mr Johnson is expected to hand promotions to women to maintain the gender balance. 

Apart from Mr Javid, the most senior members of the government were reappointed to their respective roles. 

Downing Street has confirmed that Priti Patel will stay on as Home Secretary, Dominic Raab remains Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, and Michael Gove has kept his role as the Minister for the Cabinet Office.  

Rishi Sunak, pictured arriving in Downing Street this morning, has been made Chancellor after the stunning resignation of Sajid Javid

Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid was pictured grinning on his arrival in Downing Street this morning but he later resigned from the government

Boris Johnson returned to Downing Street today after handing bad news to axed ministers in his Commons office

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has also been axed - with solicitor general Michael Ellis filling his duties taking questions in the House this morning - and Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers was ousted

A cheerful Julian Smith confirmed his departure - just weeks after a breakthrough that saw powersharing restored in the province - on Twitter saying serving in the job had been the 'biggest privilege'

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who had earlier ignored questions from waiting reporters this morning (right), has also been sacked 

Esther McVey (left) and Theresa Villiers (right) were both sacked in the reshuffle today

Mrs Leadsom said she was proud to have been in government for six years, and would now 'focus on my constituents'

Esther McVey said she was 'very sorry' to have been relieved of her duties as housing minister

Julian Smith confirmed his departure from Cabinet today - just weeks after a breakthrough that saw powersharing restored in the province - saying serving as Northern ireland Secretary had been the 'biggest privilege'

Geoffrey Cox confirmed he had been removed as Attorney General this morning, despite stressing his loyalist credentials

There had been rumours that Anne-Marie Trevelyan could replace her current boss Mr Wallace, and she is still strongly mooted for a high-level role. Victoria Atkins has also been tipped to climb the ladder.

Oliver Dowden is the hot favourite to take over as Culture Secretary from Baroness Morgan, who is standing down to spend more time with her family.

Rising star Lucy Frazer could also become Attorney General. 

'Got a promotion ... to be a better Dad': Chris Skidmore CELEBRATES his sacking as universities minister 

A minister sacked by Boris Jonson in his brutal post-Brexit reshuffle celebrated his departure from Government today, saying it would allow him to be a better father.

Chis Skidmore was axed as universities minister this morning as the Prime Minister made a sweep of changes to his team.

The Kingswood MP marked the end of his second term in the role by posting pictures on Twitter of himself with daughter Ottolie, who was born in November.

He wrote:  'Got a promotion in the reshuffle to be a better Dad with more time to spend with this gorgeous little one.... 

'Thanks everyone who I've had the chance to work with and the civil service teams that have supported me- you have all been amazing.'

Penny Mordaunt, sacked by Mr Johnson after being a cheerleader for his Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt last year, could make a shock return. 

And MPs believe Steve Barclay, whose Cabinet job was abruptly abolished along with the Brexit department when the UK left the EU last month, will make a comeback. 

Julian Smith said on Twitter: 'Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege. I am extremely grateful to @BorisJohnson for giving me the chance to serve this amazing part of our country. The warmth & support from people across NI has been incredible. Thank you so much.' 

DUP leader Arlene Foster paid tribute to Mr Smith for his 'incredible' contribution to restoring devolution in Northern Ireland. 

She tweeted: 'Spoke with @JulianSmithUK a short time ago to thank him for his help in getting devolution restored. We may not have always agreed (we did sometimes) but his dedication to the role was incredible. Best wishes to him and his family. Always welcome in Fermanagh.'

Ireland's deputy prime minister Simon Coveney sent a message to Mr Smith saying: 'U have been such an effective SOS for NI at a time of real challenge & risk. 

'Without your leadership I don't believe NI would have a Govt today. Thank you @JulianSmithUK for your trust, friendship and courage; UK & #Ireland can look to future with more confidence because of it.' 

Ms McVey tweeted: 'I'm very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister I wish my successor the very best & every success I'm very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government & he will continue to have my support from the back benches.' 

Mr Cox, who was subject to hostile briefings from No10 that he was not a 'team player', said he was proud to have been part of government in 'turbulent political times'.

In his resignation letter, the QC stressed his credentials as a loyalist, saying he had always backed Mr Johnson to 'see off the twin threats of Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage'. He pointed out that he told MPs last year they risked 'incurring the wrath of the British people by continually frustrating the result of the referendum'. 

'I have been truly privileged to have served as Attorney General during the recent turbulent political times. I am now leaving the Government at the PM’s request. I shall continue to represent and stand up strongly for the interests of Torridge and West Devon,' he said. 

Ms Villiers posted ruefully on Facebook: 'What the Prime Minister giveth, the Prime Minister taketh away: just over six months ago, I was delighted to be invited by the Prime Minister to return to government after three years on the backbenches. This morning he told me that I need to make way for someone new.

'I am deeply grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve twice at the highest level of Government, first as Northern Ireland Secretary and then as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. I tackled both roles with passion, commitment, and huge amounts of hard work.' 

Outside the Cabinet, universities minister Chris Skidmore revealed today he was out of government, joking that he had been freed to 'be a better dad'. 

Transport ministers George Freeman and Nusrat Ghani have also been given the bullet - although their boss Grant Shapps is set to stay in post. 

Rishi Sunak, Chief Secretary to the Treasury arrives in Westminster today 

Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to deflect questions from reporters about his future by chatting about the weather as he left his London home - although he is thought to be safe

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to deflect enquiries about his future by chatting blithely about the weather as he left his London home - although he is thought to be safe despite a backlash over comments about Grenfell during the election campaign.  

The PM's maverick aide Dominic Cummings had initially wanted to slash the size of the Cabinet and axe a series of Whitehall departments. 

But his advice appears to have been rejected for now, with ministers saying there is little sign of big changes to the machinery of government. 

However, one current Cabinet minister cautioned that 'you never know what they are dreaming up in secret'. 

Speaking at a Nato meeting in Brussels yesterday, Mr Wallace admitted reshuffles could be 'brutal' but said he hoped his military experience and the fact he is a northern MP would help keep him in post.

Mr Wallace will not attend the Munich Security Conference tomorrow. 

But one Whitehall source dismissed speculation this meant he was going to be sacked, saying: 'Quite the opposite.' 

Reports last month suggested the PM was willing to jettison as many as six female Cabinet ministers. However, he appears to have backed away to avoid allegations of sexism. 

A Government source said the PM was aiming to have a '50/50 gender balance' among the 26 most junior ministerial positions.

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan is standing down.  

Former ministers Maria Miller and Penny Mordaunt have been tipped for recalls while International Development Secretary Alok Sharma is set for promotion. 

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden will also get a full Cabinet post. 

Former Brexit minister Suella Braverman will return to Government, as will Remainer Gillian Keegan. 

Outside the Cabinet, universities minister Chris Skidmore revealed he was out of government, joking that he had been freed to 'be a better dad'

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (left), a junior defence minister, will be promoted to the Cabinet as the Prime Minister tries to maintain the number of women at the top table. Nicky Morgan (right) is standing down to spend more time with her family

Who has been sacked from Boris Johnson's Cabinet?

Julian Smith: Out as Northern Ireland Secretary

Julian Smith's removal as Northern Ireland Secretary represents a crushing blow for the man who successfully helped restore powersharing at Stormont after three years of deadlock.

Mr Smith did what his predecessors failed to do when he steered the devolved assembly back on track in January but it was not enough to keep him in the Cabinet.

He has been booted out by Boris Johnson with critics speculating he was relieved of his duties due to clashes last year over the PM's Brexit policy.

An MP for Skipton and Ripon since 2010, he previously held the role of parliamentary secretary to the treasury and chief whip.

As chief whip he was tasked with trying - and failing - three times to help pass Theresa May's withdrawal agreement and many were surprised that he was kept in the Cabinet when Mr Johnson took power in July last year.

The married 48-year-old was educated at the University of Birmingham, and Balfron High School before going on to have a successful career as an entrepreneur after setting up Arq International, an executive recruiting firm, in 1999.

In Parliament since 2010, Mr Smith served on the Scottish Affairs Committee briefly before he became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Minister of State for International Development Sir Alan Duncan MP between September 2010 and 2012.

He then became Parliamentary Private Secretary to Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development, between 2012 and May 2015, before he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip in David Cameron's Government.

After the 2016 EU referendum, Mr Smith became one of six MPs who led Mrs May's leadership campaign, and after the campaign's success he was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household - a senior position within the whips' office.

Mr Smith attended the DUP annual conference in 2017 after the confidence-and-supply agreement between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionists was brokered in the wake of the election, and was welcomed as a 'friend' of the party.

He backed Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum and served as chief whip under Mrs May between November 2017 and July 2019 before surprisingly being made Northern Ireland Secretary by Boris Johnson - a role he held for 204 days.

He sparked controversy when he was critical of Mrs May's approach, claiming that the government should have made it clear after the 2017 election that it would have to accept a closer relationship with the European Union following Brexit.

In a BBC documentary he also criticised ministers, accusing them of trying to undermine Mrs May, claiming their behaviour was the 'worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history'.

In October 2013 The Guardian had claimed that Smith may have breached national security by posting an image of himself alongside military personnel at a high-security US base on his website.

Mr Smith says his interests include 'violin and piano' and was a junior international squash player.

Andrea Leadsom: Out as Business Secretary

A former Tory leadership contender who was forced to apologise to Theresa May for suggesting being a parent made her a better leadership candidate than the childless ex-PM, Ms Leadsom leaves the government after six years on the front bench.

Ms Leadsom was appointed Business Secretary by Boris Johnson when he took office in July last year.

The Leave supporter, a mother of three, resigned as leader of the House of Commons in May last year amid a backlash against Mrs May's Brexit plan.

Mrs Leadsom was hardly a household name when she first entered the fray to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party in the wake of the EU referendum in 2016.

Her plans to cross the threshold of Number 10 were thwarted when comments which appeared to suggest being a mother gave her an advantage as a potential prime minister over Mrs May saw the then-energy minister's hopes of winning evaporate.

In an interview she said: 'I feel that being a mum means you have a real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.'

Her departure from the leadership race in 2016 resulted in her being appointed environment secretary when Mrs May became premier.

After the 2017 general election she was made Commons Leader, a role she held until Mr Johnson moved her to the business department.

Mrs Leadsom entered Parliament in 2010 after a 25-year career in banking and finance - realising an ambition she first developed at the age of 13.

Educated at Tonbridge Girls Grammar School and Warwick University, she rose to become financial institutions director at Barclays and worked with then Bank of England governor Eddie George to avert a crisis after the 1995 Barings collapse.

She later spent a decade in fund management - her financial experience gaining her first a seat on the Treasury Select Committee and then a stint as economic secretary to the Treasury with responsibility for financial services.

After a spell as a councillor in South Oxfordshire from 2003-2007 - during which she fought an unsuccessful general election campaign in the safe Labour seat of Knowsley South - she became MP for South Northamptonshire.

Esther McVey: Out as Housing Minister

Esther McVey found fame as a GMTV presenter in the 1990s before turning to politics, and was considered one of the Conservative Party's strongest media performers.

The MP for Tatton – George Osborne's old seat – resigned in protest from the Cabinet over Theresa May's Brexit deal in November 2018 but was brought back to the top table by Boris Johnson last year.

Ms McVey made a bid for the leadership after Theresa May quit last year – but finished in last place after the first ballot of MPs.

The 51-year-old, who attended Cabinet as employment minister under David Cameron, was the most high-profile Tory casualty of the 2015 general election when she was ousted by Labour in Wirral West.

She lost her seat after the unions launched a concerted effort to remove her from a constituency which was surrounded by a sea of red.

She returned to Parliament in June 2017 after taking Mr Osborne's seat and was made deputy chief whip in November the same year.

In January 2018, she made a remarkable comeback to the Cabinet table when she was appointed Work and Pensions Secretary.

In an interview with the Daily Mail late last year, Ms McVey revealed how she had been put into foster care as a baby after she was born to young parents.

She said: 'I believe most people in their life will fall upon tough times at some point. I want to give the message that anyone can succeed given the opportunity.

But she sent Mrs May's Cabinet into meltdown in November when she dramatically quit in fury at the PM's Brexit divorce deal.

She joined Dominic Raab in storming out in fury after the PM put her blueprint to her ministers in a stormy five-hour cabinet session.

In March she boosted talk of a leadership bid after going public with her MP lover Philip Davies.

The four-year relationship between her and the stubborn backbench MP for Shipley, 47, was already an open secret at Westminster.

But the Brexiteer lovers went public to confirm they are 'two individuals, but a couple' in a joint-interview with the Conservative Home website.

She later revealed that they were planning to marry after he proposed in April.

Geoffrey Cox: Out as Attorney General

Relatively unknown in Westminster before becoming Attorney General in 2018, Geoffrey Cox became a key player in Theresa May's government in the run up to the original March 29, 2019 Brexit deadline.

He announced himself on the national political scene with a barnstorming speech as the warm up act for Mrs May at Conservative Party conference in October 2018.

With his booming voice and soaring rhetoric he left many in the conference hall wondering why he wasn’t the prime minister.

His professional opinion would later have a major impact on Britain’s departure from the EU.

MPs wrestled with the government as they demanded Mr Cox’s Brexit legal advice be published with the Commons eventually victorious in the contest.

The publication of the legal advice in December 2018 torpedoed Mrs May’s hopes of getting her Brexit deal through parliament because in it Mr Cox said the UK could not unilaterally leave the Irish border backstop protocol if it was ever implemented.

He wrote: ‘In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the United Kingdom might become subject to protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations.’

The 59-year-old QC was chosen to stay in the role as the government’s top legal adviser by Boris Johnson when the latter took power in July last year.

He first became an MP in 2005 and has represented the seat of Torridge and West Devon ever since. Before his political career he was a barrister, having first been called to the Bar in 1982.

He is married and has three children.

He has been tipped to chair a democracy commission being planned by the government to examine the relationship between Parliament and the courts.

Theresa Villiers: Out as Environment Secretary

One of the leading Brexiteers in the government, Ms Villiers has been ousted as Environment Secretary after only being given the role in July last year. 

Boris Johnson brought the divorced 51-year-old ex-barrister, who is descended from Edward II, back into government when he initially took power. 

She had served as Northern Ireland Sectary in the coalition government and later under David Cameron's Tory government before being sacked by Theresa May.

A lawyer, university lecturer and MEP before entering the Commons in 2005 the London-born and Bristol-educated MP for Chipping Barnet has not always seen eye-to eye with Mr Johnson over the environment. 

She had shown her green credentials before her appointment last year having sparked a well-publicised hunt for a mystery litter bug who left their Crunchie chocolate bar wrapper in the House of Commons Chamber.

She attacked litterers who dump their rubbish - damaging the environment and harming people's quality of life.

And she warned that even the Palace of Westminster is not immune to the anti-social activity.

Ms Villiers pulled out a crumpled up Crunchie bar wrapper which she said had been discarded carelessly on the green benches of the House of Commons.

Brandishing the shiny wrapper, she said: 'However, I am afraid that it is not just young people who drop litter.

'To illustrate that, I produce this Crunchie wrapper, which I picked up this week after it had been dropped in the back row of the main Chamber of the House of Commons.'

'It is truly depressing that littering occurs even here, in this mother of Parliaments.'

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