BORIS JOHNSON has been warned Speaker of the House John Bercow could “facilitate” requests for a confidence vote in his leadership before Parliament goes into recess later this week. Boris Johnson was elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday. The overwhelming support he received from members of the party – 92,153 votes against Jeremy Hunt’s 46,655 – however could not provide Mr Johnson with enough protection to avoid a confidence vote before recess.
Boris Johnson carried out the biggest Cabinet cull in almost 60 years on Wednesday as he promoted Brexit loyalists to help him get Britain out of the EU on October 31, “no ifs or buts”. The new Prime Minister, who had recently said his favourite film moment was the “retribution scene” in The Godfather, staged his own political massacre as 17 ministers either resigned or were sacked. Among those fired in a breathtakingly swift transition were Jeremy Hunt, who was shown the door after refusing a demotion, and nine ministers who had supported the outgoing foreign secretary in the leadership race.
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.”
Boris Johnson’s new Cabinet will meet at 8:30 this morning to start the battle for Brexit just hours after the new Prime Minister made his final appointment. Names of new ministers continued to emerge until two minutes to midnight last night as Mr Johnson assembled his team after an unparalleled bloodbath of Theresa May’s ministers. The Cabinet includes Dominic Raab, the new Foreign Secretary, as Mr Johnson’s de facto deputy, and also saw jobs found for the PM’s brother Jo and for senior Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg
Boris Johnson conducted the most brutal cabinet purge in modern political history yesterday to reunite the team that won the Brexit vote three years ago. The new prime minister shocked Westminster and Brussels by handing responsibility for no-deal preparations to Michael Gove and bringing Dominic Cummings, the former campaign director of Vote Leave, into the heart of Downing Street. In his speech outside No 10 Mr Johnson dashed hopes that he would soften his negotiating stance by issuing a “no ifs or buts” promise to leave on October 31.
Boris Johnson has signalled his ruthless determination to deliver Brexit and stoked speculation about an early general election by sacking more than half of Theresa May’s cabinet and packing his team with Vote Leave veterans and rightwing free marketers. Despite the new prime minister’s repeated insistence that he is a one-nation Conservative, he handed the job of home secretary to Priti Patel, who advocated the return of capital punishment as recently as 2011, and the Treasury to Thatcher devotee Sajid Javid.
Boris Johnson is assembling Britain’s most right-wing government since the 1980s with a hardline new Cabinet on his first day in 10 Downing Street. More than half of Theresa May’s cabinet – 17 out of 30 – were either sacked or resigned in the new PM’s brutal reshuffle. Both Remainers and supporters of leadership rival Jeremy Hunt were shown the door as Johnson ruthlessly dumped enemies – including Mr Hunt himself who quit after refusing a demotion to Defence Secretary.
Priti Patel – Home Secretary
Priti Patel, who once supported the death penalty, has been given as home secretary the key task of restoring the Conservatives’ reputation as the party of law and order. Her return to government is a stunning comeback for the hardcore Brexiteer and prominent member of the Vote Leave campaign. She had been a rising star of Theresa May’s government, but resigned as international development secretary two years ago over unauthorised contacts with Israeli government officials while she was on holiday.
As a one-time supporter of the death penalty, Priti Patel becomes potentially one of the hardest line Home Secretaries for years. With knife crime spiralling, she signalled just months ago that she wanted tougher sentences for perpetrators. “Crime is rising, while offenders are being released early,” she warned in The Daily Telegraph. In a 2013 pamphlet, she also called for a new victims’ law in order to redress the balance in their favour and against criminals.
Dominic Raab – Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister
As Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab will help reinforce Boris Johnson’s hardline approach to the EU over Brexit. In the Conservative leadership contest, he took the toughest and most pugilistic line over Brexit, initially outflanking Mr Johnson by warning that he was prepared to prorogue Parliament in order to force a “no deal” exit from the EU. Since his resignation as Brexit Secretary in November, he has been a persistent critic of Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, describing it as worse than remaining in the EU, a threat to the integrity of the UK and locking the UK into a regime with no say over the rules being applied or exit mechanism.
Michael Gove – Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Michael Gove, a seasoned minister with four Cabinet jobs under his belt, will be expected to use all his administrative skills to tide the Government through a prospective no-deal Brexit. Heading education, justice and environment departments as well as a stint as chief whip, he has earned a reputation for radical reform and assured handling of potentially tricky briefs. He survives Boris Johnson’s cull of the Cabinet despite the infamous knifing of his fellow Brexiteer in the Tory leadership election when he withdrew his support for him on the morning that the new Prime Minister was to declare.
Michael Gove was yesterday brought back into the heart of government by his erstwhile friend and rival as Boris Johnson handed him the job of preparing the government to deliver a “do or die” Brexit. The former environment secretary will move to the Cabinet Office where he will oversee no-deal Brexit preparations across Whitehall. The Department for Exiting the European Union, which has been in charge of no-deal planning, will be stripped of this responsibility to focus on EU negotiations.
Sajid Javid – Chancellor
Sajid Javid, the most senior ethnic-minority politician in British history, was made chancellor last night. Boris Johnson’s first and most important appointment to his new cabinet is a massive reward for a man who came fourth in the Tory leadership contest. Although Mr Javid, 49, campaigned for Remain in 2016 he sided with those like Mr Johnson who argued in cabinet that Theresa May should do more to ensure that a no-deal Brexit was a credible threat in talks with Brussels.
Sajid Javid has been appointed as chancellor, replacing Remainer “Spreadsheet” Philip Hammond. How will his Treasury treat the money in our pockets? When he became prime minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to make his cabinet more diverse than some of his predecessors. His leadership campaign centred on Britain leaving the European Union “do or die” on October 31, but he also made some controversial pronouncements on tax and spending, making policy-watchers keen to see who he would place in the all-important Treasury role to enact his ambitious, and costly, plans.
Jacob Rees-Mogg – Leader of the House
Boris Johnson handed the arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg a cabinet role last night. Mr Rees-Mogg said he was “delighted” to be given the post of leader of the House of Commons, a position that means he will attend cabinet. He said of his new job the “default position” was to leave the EU on October 31. “So it’s not simply a matter of a parliamentary motion, parliament would have to change the law and it’s hard to see how that would happen,” he added.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has been appointed Leader of the House of Commons by Boris Johnson. The arch-Brexiteer was also appointed Lord President of the Council and will attend cabinet, Downing Street said. Mr Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, told Sky News: “The prime minister kindly offered me a very interesting job to do, one that is something that I’m very interested in because parliamentary procedure and practice is something I’ve spent a lot of time on.”
JACOB REES-MOGG, the new Leader of the House of the Commons, has said Remainers may not be successful in any attempt to thwart a no deal Brexit. Mr Rees-Mogg’s new role will see him oversee Government business in the Commons and announce the weekly debate schedule. Upon his selection by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he was interviewed by Robert Peston on ITV Peston. The Brexiteer explained Parliament had already legislated for Britain to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. He said this meant: “So, just for the status quo to be maintained means we leave without a deal unless a deal is passed.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has been rewarded for his loyalty to Boris Johnson and his hardline Brexit views by being appointed as Leader of the House of Commons. In an unusual move, Mr Rees-Mogg will attend Cabinet meetings despite not being a full member of the Cabinet. The fourth of five children, Mr Rees-Mogg was born to a wealthy family steeped in the Conservative Party – his late father William Rees-Mogg was a former editor of The Times and was created a life peer in 1988, while his mother Gillian Shakespeare Morris’s father was a Tory local government politician.
Jeremy Hunt was last night forced from his role as Foreign Secretary after he refused a demotion. Boris Johnson offered his rival in the Tory leadership race the role of Defence Secretary, but Mr Hunt declined and was shown the door after nine years in Cabinet. He said he planned instead to spend his time being a ‘good dad’ to his three children. Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter last night: ‘I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team.
Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has quit the government after rejecting a move to defence secretary, telling Boris Johnson he would not take sacked Penny Mordaunt’s job. The former Tory leadership contender, who lost out to Mr Johnson by a margin of two-to-one on Tuesday in the race to succeed Theresa May, said that he would have been willing to stay on as foreign secretary.
Every political aide across the government will report to Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of the Vote Leave campaign, after he was appointed one of Boris Johnson’s most senior Downing Street advisers. The man who, perhaps even more than Mr Johnson himself, was responsible for persuading Britain to vote to leave the European Union has been brought in to spearhead the new prime minister’s pledge to deliver Brexit “do or die” in less than a hundred days.
Boris Johnson entered Number 10 today as he was watched by controversial Vote Leave architect Dominic Cummings who he has appointed as a top adviser to help get Brexit done. The Tory leader began to assemble his forces for Brexit warfare this morning before he was even installed as PM. He laid down a marker by appointing the maverick Mr Cummings whose return to government prompted widespread astonishment across Westminster.
Boris Johnson is set to appoint the controversial former chief of the Vote Leave campaign as one of his senior advisers in 10 Downing Street. The new Conservative leader and incoming prime minister will hand a key role to Dominic Cummings after the pair worked closely together while campaigning for the UK to leave the EU ahead of the 2016 referendum. However, Mr Cummings has a record within Westminster as a radical reformer but also a divisive character once described as a “career psychopath”.
THE pound has surged against the Euro after Boris Johnson’s confirmation as Prime Minister. Sterling is on its course for its biggest rally against the Euro since May, with £0.89186 required for a unit of the currency. It has also recovered against the dollar, and is now trading at $1.24983. Markets were apparently well prepared for Boris beating Conservative rival Jeremy Hunt.
The European parliament has vowed to block Boris Johnson’s plan to ditch the Irish backstop from the Brexit withdrawal agreement – warning that it is not up for negotiation. Guy Verhofstadt, chair of the parliament’s Brexit steering group, blasted the new prime minister’s “irresponsible” claims during the Tory leadership contest which he argued had increased the risk of no deal. After a meeting of the legislature’s steering group, MEPs said in a statement that an orderly exit was “only possible if citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the backstop, that in all circumstances ensures no hardening of the border on the island of Ireland, safeguards the Good Friday Agreement and protects the integrity of the single market, are guaranteed”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union can be completely renegotiated in the coming months is “not in the real world”, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday. The European Union’s red lines had not changed and its negotiating position will not change ahead of Britain’s planned exit from the European Union on Oct. 31, he added.
Boris Johnson was put under pressure on his first day as prime minister by both Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier to explain “in detail” his Brexit plan. In a curt letter of congratulations, Tusk, the European council president, made a thinly-veiled reference to Johnson’s reputation for bluffing his way through difficulties. “I look forward to meeting you to discuss – in detail – our cooperation,” he wrote to Johnson.
German populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) MP Petr Bystron has predicted that new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be good for the UK, but bad for the German establishment. In a statement released Tuesday, Mr Bystron, who serves as AfD speaker for foreign policy in the Bundestag, said: “Thanks to the stubborn intransigence of the Merkel government, we will now get a hard-core Leave proponent as PM in Downing Street, who will presumably strive for a No-Deal Brexit on All Hallows’ Eve 2019.”
The European Union’s chief negotiator has praised Boris Johnson as “clever” — while another key Brussels figure condemned him as “unhelpful”, “irresponsible” and having increased the risk of a “catastrophic” no-deal Brexit. The judgments of Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt came after confidential talks yesterday during which Mr Verhofstadt and his committee of senior MEPs were briefed by Mr Barnier on his latest assessment of the state of play on the withdrawal agreement drawn up between Britain and the EU last year.
Incoming UK PM Boris Johnson faces “challenging” times, the EU has warned, as it reacted to his election as new Conservative leader. Mr Johnson has the immediate task of guiding the UK out of the EU ahead of a 31 October deadline. He says he wants to renegotiate an agreement with the EU, ditching large parts of the deal outgoing PM Theresa May struck last year. But EU leaders have said the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation. The European Commission’s newly elected President, Ursula von der Leyen, has however said she is willing to grant the UK another extension to Brexit talks, if London comes up with good reasons.
BORIS Johnson’s victory in the race for Number 10 has been met with incredulity across Europe with the continental media pulling no punches in its strident views on Britain’s new Prime Minister. Germany’s Stern magazine carried the simple headline “What?!” above a picture of a surprised-looking Mr Johnson. The tone of the accompanying article captured the anti-Johnson sentiment which is rife across the European Union where, because of his leading role in the Brexit campaign and his continued taunting of Brussels, he is widely disliked.
The EU has identified Boris Johnson‘s plan for tax haven “free ports” after Brexit as a money laundering threat, meaning the zones could make it hard for the UK to get a trade deal with the bloc. During the Tory leadership race Mr Johnson said he “definitely” wanted to set up “about six” free ports in the UK after Brexit and said they would be “a massive boost to this economy”.
The Singapore-style tax-free zones favoured by Boris Johnson have been identified as a money-laundering threat by Brussels. In a report on money laundering, the European commission named free ports for the first time as a concept “potentially vulnerable to money laundering or terrorism financing” in the European single market. “Golden passport” schemes promoted by some EU countries, professional football and private ATM machines were also put on the commission’s watch list, which totals 47 goods and services.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the first minister has said Scotland must have an “alternative option” to his Brexit plan. Nicola Sturgeon congratulated Mr Johnson on his appointment but also pressed the case for independence. The new prime minister has said Britain will leave the EU on 31 October regardless of a deal being agreed. He underlined the commitment in his first speech from Downing Street, promising “no ifs, no buts”.
GPs say they are misdiagnosing patients because appointment slots are too short. A survey of family doctors found more than one in three said they had failed to properly diagnose cases because they did not have enough time to fully assess them. Typically, the time slot to see a patient is around 10 minutes. The poll of 200 GPs found that 95 per cent of those surveyed said such slots were too short to do their jobs safely. More than 70 per cent of those polled said they needed at least 15 minutes per person to properly assess them, with 30 per cent saying at least 20 minutes were needed.