190724 boris johnson
Boris Johnson Image Credit: AP


  •  19 ministers leave the Cabinet 
  • Johnson's defeated rival for the top job, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is out
  • New prime minister lines up a completely new team at the top of his government

London: They called it a "summer's day massacre". 

Boris Johnson cleared out 19 ministers and promoted a succession of pro-Brexit allies to his Cabinet. He named Dominic Raab Foreign Secretary and effective deputy prime minister, and appointing Sajid Javid as Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Johnson's defeated rival for the top job, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is out as the new prime minister lined up a completely new team at the top of his government.

Following are key developments:

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.

Liz Truss
Liz Truss Image Credit: The Telegraph

Tasked with readying the U.K. 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.

Ally-turned-rival Gove appointed 

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.

Michael Gove

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.

Dominic Raab Image Credit: Bloomberg

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 is 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.

Priti 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.

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid
Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives to attend the weekly meeting of the Cabinet at 10 Downing Street in central London on May 21, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

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.

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.

Mundell's tweet suggests he's set to join former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and former Justice Secretary David Gauke in the backbench awkward squad of former ministers.

Hunt says he's leaving government 

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has quit the government, saying Boris Johnson offered him a different role which he turned down.

Jeremy Hunt Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs leaves 10 Downing Street following a cabinet meeting in London, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Image Credit: AP

"I would have been honored to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team," Hunt said on Twitter. "Now is the time to return to the backbenches from where PM will have my full support."

Johnson clears out May's ministers 

Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle is shaping up to be a comprehensive clear-out of Theresa May's most senior ministers as he prepares a radically new team to deliver on his election pledges.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Business Secretary Greg Clark, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and Education Secretary Damian Hinds have all announced their departures on Twitter. U.K. media also reported that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley are also out of the top team.

May's de facto deputy, David Lidington, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart all resigned earlier Wednesday before May had left office and before they could be sacked.

Clark and Fox out as Johnson builds Cabinet 

Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Business Secretary Greg Clark have both confirmed they're leaving the cabinet, as Boris Johnson continues building his team of top ministers.

Dr Liam Fox says the UK understood the geopolitical importance of the Middle East, and already had strong trade ties, particularly in defence and security. Image Credit: Logan Fish/Gulf News

Johnson 'is right to appoint a new team for a new premiership and I wish him and them well for the vital work ahead,' Clark tweeted.

Fox, for his part, tweeted that he's 'sadly' leaving the government. 'I look forward to supporting @BorisJohnson and the government from the backbenches,' he wrote.

Defence Secretary Mordaunt leaves government

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt is leaving the government, she said in a posting on Twitter, without saying if she'd jumped or been pushed.

Penny Mordaunt

"I'm heading to the backbenches from where the PM will have my full support," Mordaunt said. "Thank you to everyone who's helped me get things done, especially our Armed Forces and civilians in defence for the last 85 days. We achieved much."

A Royal Navy reservist and daughter of a paratrooper, Mordaunt was the first woman to serve as armed forces minister and entered the Cabinet as international development secretary last year. She was promoted to Defence Secretary in May.

Johnson pledges free ports amid crime warnings 

Johnson said during his speech that he will create tax-free zones "" also known as free ports "" which were singled out as a potential money-laundering risk in a report published by the European Commission on Wednesday.

The ports were originally intended as a place to keep goods temporarily on EU soil, but have become popular as a place to store art and other valuables on a permanent basis, according to the study.

"This is something we have to focus more on," Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told journalists earlier on Wednesday.

Johnson promises to get ready for No-Deal 

Turning to Brexit, Johnson promised "a new partnership with our European friends" but insisted he would get the country ready to leave the bloc without a deal in October if necessary.

Johnson repeated the guarantee of residency rights to three million EU citizens to give them "absolute certainty."

"I am convinced we can do a deal without checks at the Irish border because we refuse under any circumstances to have such checks," he said. "It is of course vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no deal."

Johnson says Brexit critics are 'wrong' 

Boris Johnson promised to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 "no ifs or buts." In a speech outside the prime minister's Downing Street office, he said this would involve reaching "a new deal, a better deal" with the European Union.

"The doubters, the gloomsters, the doomsters are going to get it wrong again," he said. "Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here."

"I have every confidence that in 99 days we will have cracked it," Johnson said. "We aren't going to wait 99 days. The time has come to act. To take decisions. To give strong leadership and change this country for the better."