Sajid Javid dramatically quits Cabinet after Number 10 ultimatum to sack advisers

Posted On: 
13th February 2020

Sajid Javid has dramatically quit as Chancellor after Number 10 told him his closest advisers were being sacked.

Sajid Javid quit while the Prime Minister tried to reshuffle his top team.

Mr Javid was presented with the ultimatum in a face-to-face meeting with Boris Johnson inside Downing Street as the Cabinet reshuffle got underway.

He was told that a new unit of special advisers reporting to both Number 10 and Number 11 would take his team's place.

Boris Johnson wields the axe as he sacks five members of Cabinet in reshuffle

UPDATING LIVE: Track every move in Boris Johnson's government reshuffle

NFB extend congratulations to Rishi Sunak on his appointment as Chancellor

The walkout follows months of tensions between Downing Street and the Treasury, including the ousting of one of Mr Javid’s top aides by Mr Johnson’s most senior adviser Dominic Cummings. 

Mr Javid will be replaced in Number 11 by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak.

He will now have less than a month to prepare for the upcoming Budget, which is expected to unveil a raft of new spending pledges as the PM seeks to implement his election-winning manifesto.

A source close to Mr Javid - who Mr Johnson defeated to become Tory leader last summer - said: "They wanted to take control of the whole operation. There was going to be a whole new set up and they wanted to be in charge of it. Sajid didn't know it was coming and said no."

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: "This is a historical record. A government in chaos within weeks of an election. It’s clear Dominic Cummings has won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury and has installed his stooge as the Chancellor."

The dramatic exit of the Chancellor - who had been expected to keep his job in the reshuffle - came as Mr Johnson wielded the axe by removing five other top ministers from their jobs.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, were all removed from their posts after meeting the Prime Minister on Thursday. Suella Braverman - a former chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group of MPs who has also served as a Brexit minister - now takes on the post vacated by Mr Cox.

Ms Leadsom will be replaced by Alok Sharma, the former International Development Secretary - who will also take on responsibility for preparing the COP26 climate summit later this year. In turn, he will be succeeded by the newly-promoted defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith was also sacked, despite helping to broker the return of the Stormont government just weeks ago.

Housing minister Esther McVey, who attended Cabinet meetings, was ousted - meaning her replacement will be the 10th person to take on the role in 10 years.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Dominic Raab will remain Foreign Secretary, while Michael Gove will still be Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Others staying put include Home Secretary Priti Patel, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey.

Number 10 has also confirmed that Robert Buckland will stay on as Justice Secretary, while Liz Truss keeps the international trade brief she has held since Boris Johnson took the reins at Downing Street last year.