Boris Johnson stamped his authority on government tonight as he shipped in a host of Brexiteer ministers – after carrying out a brutal cull of Theresa May loyalists. In two hours of extraordinary political upheaval, Mr Johnson moved to create a new Eurosceptic team in the ashes of Mrs May’s failed premiership. Hardliner Dominic Raab
Boris Johnson stamped his authority on government tonight as he shipped in a host of Brexiteer ministers – after carrying out a brutal cull of Theresa May loyalists.
In two hours of extraordinary political upheaval, Mr Johnson moved to create a new Eurosceptic team in the ashes of Mrs May’s failed premiership.
Hardliner Dominic Raab was made his effective deputy and Foreign Secretary, with Priti Patel becoming Home Secretary as Sajid Javid was promoted to Chancellor.
Michael Gove was also handed an influential job as Cabinet Office minister despite his turbulent history with Mr Johnson – and is expected to focus on contingency plans for Brexit.
Another of the former premier’s close allies, Ben Wallace, is Defence Secretary, while Liz Truss has gone to Trade and Theresa Villiers takes over at Environment.
Andrea Leadsom is becoming Business Secretary, and Gavin Williamson – sacked by Mrs May over national security leaks less than three months ago – has been handed Education.
In a rare bright spot for the Tory Remain wing, Nicky Morgan was brought back to the top table as Culture Secretary. Former Tory chairman Grant Shapps returns at Transport.
Amber Rudd has clung on as Work and Pension Secretary after humiliatingly recanting her call for a second referendum a fortnight ago and saying she could back No Deal.
Robert Jenrick has been made Housing Secretary – one of only two ministers who have not served in the Cabinet before.
Mr Johnson’s Tory vanquished leadership rival Jeremy Hunt was summarily dismissed after refusing a demotion from the Foreign Office, while Penny Mordaunt – who backed the loser in the contest was evicted from the MoD.
Veteran minister Liam Fox, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Scottish Secretary David Mundell also went in a series of savage sackings which shocked Westminster.
James Brokenshire was given the boot despite having backed Mr Johnson for the leadership, and Chris Grayling left reportedly at his own request.
In a sign of the scale of the bloodbath, Mr Johnson’s rampage looks to have racked up around £280,000 in severance payments for the 18 fired ministers.
Sajid Javid has been promoted from Home Secretary to Chancellor, while Priti Patel is hotly tipped to take his old job
Gavin Williamson, pictured in Downing Street tonight, is tipped for Education Secretary in the new Johnson regime
Dominic Raab (left) is seemingly bound for the Foreign Office, while Michael Gove (right) looks set for a big job despite his turbulent history with Mr Johnson
Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street today) has laid down a marker by appointing maverick Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings as a top adviser
Mr Johnson had already laid down a marker this morning by installing maverick Brexit architect Dominic Cummings as one of his top advisers – to the horror of many Conservative MPs. A swathe of key figures from the Vote Leave team that won the 2016 EU referendum are being drafted in.
Mr Hunt, who was trounced by Mr Johnson for the leadership, said he ‘would have been honoured to carry on my work’ but he understood the need for the victor to ‘choose his team’.
Boris’s brutal clearout
The new Prime Minister shocked Westminster with mass sackings from the Cabinet as he reshaped the government.
Here is a complete list of who has been axed:
He confirmed he had been offered a new role in the Cabinet by Mr Johnson but he rejected the demotion.
The sackings came after Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Rory Stewart all resigned immediately before Mr Johnson became PM, denying him the chance to fire them.
Stephen Barclay has been kept in place as Brexit Secretary, and Matt Hancock stays at Health – despite having been mooted in some quarters as deputy PM.
Mr Hunt’s supporters had urged Mr Johnson to keep the foreign secretary in a senior role in his new government.
But Mr Hunt suggested the offer he had been made by the new premier was not good enough and it was ‘time to return to the backbenches’.
He said: ‘I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role but after 9 yrs in Cabinet & over 300 cab mtgs now is the time to return 2 backbenches from where PM will have my full support
‘I’ve been a cabinet minister for every hour my 3 gorgeous children have been alive.
‘So whilst it may seem strange for someone who just tried to become PM (& is a terrible cliche) I have decided now is the time for the biggest challenge of all – to be a GOOD DAD!’
Ms Mordaunt, Mr Clark and Dr Fox were all reportedly fired by Mr Johnson as he made space to appoint his supporters.
The sacked defence secretary confirmed her departure with a tweet as she said: ‘I’m heading to the backbenches from where the PM will have my full support, as will my successors at [the Ministry of Defence] and [Department for Women and Equalities].
‘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.’
Her departure stunned Westminster because she was viewed as a lock to feature in Mr Johnson’s top team because of pro-Brexit stance.
Steve Barclay, another early backer of Mr Johnson, is staying as Brexit Secretary. He is pictured going into No10 this evening
Penny Mordaunt, pictured in central London yesterday, was sacked by Boris Johnson after just 85 days as defence secretary
Chris Grayling (left) is reportedly leaving the government at his own request. His time as Transport Secretary has been littered with blunders. Damian Hinds (right) was sacked as Education Secretary after a relatively low-key tenure on the frontbench
Maverick Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings was spotted standing behind Mr Johnson (on the right hand side of the picture) as the new PM entered Downing Street and shook hands with Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill
Dr Fox, another supporter of Mr Hunt’s failed bid for the Tory leadership, said he was ‘sad’ to leave the government and described his tenure banging the drum for trade as a ‘privilege’.
Mr Clark said Mr Johnson was ‘right to appoint a new team for a new premiership’ and he wished him well ‘for the vital work ahead’.
Boris’s new Cabinet
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Sajid Javid
Home Secretary: Priti Patel
Foreign Secretary/First Secretary: Dominic Raab
Brexit Secretary: Stephen Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Michael Gove
Defence Secretary: Ben Wallace
International Trade Secretary: Liz Truss
Health Secretary: Matt Hancock
Environment Secretary: Theresa Villiers
Education Secretary: Gavin Williamson
Culture Secretary: Nicky Morgan
Business Secretary: Andrea Leadsom
Housing Secretary: Robert Jenrick
Work and Pensions Secretary: Amber Rudd
Justice Secretary: Robert Buckland
International Development Secretary: Alok Sharma
Transport Secretary: Grant Shapps
Mr Hinds said he looked ‘forward to supporting the government from the backbenches’.
The scale of the sackings shocked even the most weathered of Whitehall observers as Mr Johnson chopped far more ministers – and more quickly – than had been expected.
Mr Johnson’s decision to boot out so many of Theresa May’s long-serving allies means he will be able to start afresh with his top team.
It will also allow a reset button to be pushed in a handful of government departments which have been beset by controversy in recent years.
Perhaps the most significant of those will be the Northern Ireland Office where Mrs Bradley’s tenure has been littered with missteps and the Department for Transport where Mr Grayling has presided over a series of blunders.
MPs reacted with alarm at news of Mr Cummings’ appointment. One Johnson supporter told MailOnline he ‘lacks people skills’ and was ill-equipped to handle the pressure-cooker of No10. Hearing of the recruitment, another MP said incredulously: ‘Really?’
Mr Johnson once joked that he had more chance of being ‘reincarnated as an olive’ than becoming PM – but today he will realise his dream.
The new Tory leader – who as a child said his ambition was to be ‘world king’ has been frantically assembling his new team as he prepares will take over from Mrs May this afternoon .
In a speech on the steps of Downing Street after being confirmed as PM, Mr Johnson vowed to keep his ‘do or die’ Brexit pledge in a bullish speech in Downing Street today after the Queen installed him as PM.
Watched by girlfriend Carrie Symonds outside No10, the new premier said he was honoured to have been chosen to take over from Theresa May.
Dominic Cummings: The acerbic Brexit mastermind not afraid to speak his mind
Dominic Cummings was the quiet yet acerbic power behind the Vote Leave campaign that propelled Britain towards backing Brexit in 2016.
While Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were in the limelight the 47-year-old remained in the shadows pulling the strings.
Born in Durham and educated at Oxford University, he over saw a campaign that totally outflanked Remain and which is widely credited with leading to the 52-48 result in favour of quitting.
Such was his central role he was played by Benedict Cummberbach in Channel 4’s Brexit: The Uncivil War last year (below).
He was the man behind the infamous ‘£350million-a-week for the NHS’ claim on red buses, and the ‘take back control’ catchphrase. However, a year after the referendum, Mr Cummings said it was a ‘dumb idea’.
But his success in the strategic role of the campaign saw his drawn blinking into the daylight.
A former special adviser at the Department for Education during Mr Gove’s controversial reforming tenure was later found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to answer MPs questions about campaign.
He declined to assist the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s investigation into claims made by Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie that the Facebook data of millions of users was illegally harvested and used to sway the Brexit vote.
He was once labelled a ‘career psychopath’ by former prime minister David Cameron, according to widely-reported remarks.
But Mr Cummings is no stranger to an insult either.
He described Mr Davis, then the Brexit secretary, as ‘thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus’ in July 2017.
He has also turned his fire on hardline Brexiteers in the Tory European Research Group in one of his trademark lengthy blogposts.
In March he likened some members of the to a ‘metastasising tumour’ accusing them of ‘scrambling’ for top radio spots while ‘spouting gibberish’ since 2016.
As the street was bathed in sunshine, Mr Johnson said he would ‘honour’ the mandate of the 2016 referendum and prove the ‘doomsters and the gloomsters wrong’.
‘The British people have had enough of waiting. The time has come to act,’ he said.
‘Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here.’
He said wanted the ‘warmest possible’ relations with the EU, but would prepare for the ‘remote’ possibility the bloc refuses to offer an acceptable deal.
Mr Johnson also insisted that his plans would stretch far further than Brexit, and he would boost police numbers by 20,000, bring forward a new social care system and boost education.
Earlier, Theresa May arrived in the Commons chamber for her last PMQs to cheers from Tory backbenchers.
She said she would continue with her duties from the back benches.
Speaking in the Commons, she said: ‘This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others.
‘Following my duties in this House this afternoon I shall have an audience of Her Majesty the Queen.
‘I shall then continue with my duties in this House from the back benches where I will continue to be the member of parliament for Maidenhead.’
Last night Mr Johnson told a meeting of Tory MPs he would ‘love bomb’ his critics in an attempt to unite a party that has been riven by conflict since the 2016 referendum.
But installing Mr Cummings immediately cause alarm in many parts of the Conservative Party.
The maverick, renowned as the brains behind the Vote Leave victory three years ago, recently compared hardline Eurosceptics to a ‘metastasising tumour’ branding them ‘useful idiots’.
One Tory MP, who supports Mr Johnson as PM, told MailOnline that Mr Cummings ‘lacked people skills’.
‘One of the lines being used for why people should not support Michael Gove (during the leadership campaign) was, ”Do you really want to see Dominic Cummings at No10?”’ they said.
‘He wouldn’t be coming back without assurances that he will have free rein.
‘He does lack people skills. In a place like Downing Street there are always tensions, there is always territorial warfare and there is individual ambition.
‘You need to deal with all these egos and different issues with a bit of diplomacy.
‘Even the best of people would have clashes. But with Dominic Cummings there is no effort. If he wants to swear at you he will swear at you.’
The MP added: ‘The fact he has been brought in at such a senior level will give him licence to say, ”Everyone knows the way I behave, despite that they have called me back – they know what they are going to get.”
‘We have had in the past few years various issues on bullying… MPs bullying their staff, codes of conduct, ministers being held to account. The PM will no doubt be held to account for the conduct in his own office.’ .
In a statement of intent, Mr Johnson is planning to embark on a tour of the four nations of the UK to counter claims that his tough stance on Brexit risks fracturing the Union.
Who is Penny Mordaunt, the sacked defence secretary?
Penny Mordaunt made waves earlier this year when she was made the UK’s first ever female defence secretary.
But a little over 80 days later, her fleeting tenure in the Cabinet ended as she was sacked by Boris Johnson.
Though brief, the 46-year-old’s stint in one of the most significant offices of state was enough to endear her to both rank-and-file and the military top brass – not least because, unlike her predecessor Gavin Williamson, Ms Mordaunt had experience in the Armed Forces as a Royal Navy reservist.
Last year, there was speculation the prominent Leave campaigner – who came out to bat for Jeremy Hunt during the leadership campaign – might resign over Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
But her public show of support for the then-prime minister seemed to have paid dividends, with a promotion from international development secretary.
First elected to Parliament as MP for Portsmouth North in 2010, Ms Mordaunt achieved ministerial rank under David Cameron between 2014 and 2016, and was appointed minister for disabled people when Theresa May took power in 2016.
She is probably best known outside of Westminster for donning her swimsuit in the TV show Splash! in 2014, when she joined celebrities to be trained in diving by Olympian Tom Daley.
The daughter of a paratrooper-turned-teacher, she served as an acting sub-lieutenant of the Portsmouth-based HMS King Alfred.
Mrs May announced she was stepping down in the wake of the disastrous European Parliament elections that followed her failure to take Britain out of the EU on March 29.
Yesterday’s Tory leadership result confirmed that Mr Johnson’s blend of optimism and Brexit determination had proved a winning formula with Tory activists.
He secured 92,153 votes – 66.4 per cent – to defeat Mr Hunt, who was backed by 46,656 Tory members – 33.6 per cent.
Mr Johnson said: ‘We are once again going to believe in ourselves and what we can achieve. And like some slumbering giant, we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self-doubt and negativity, we are going to unite this amazing country and we are going to take it forward.’ Referring to his promise to deliver Brexit, unite the nation and defeat Labour, he added: ‘I know that some wag has already pointed out that Deliver, Unite and Defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign, since unfortunately it spells DUD – but they forgot the final E, my friends, E for Energise. And I say to all the doubters, DUDE, we are going to energise the country.’
Former Tory leader William Hague also sounded the alarm, warning that No Deal could put the government ‘in near-terminal trouble from its first hour’.
Veteran Tory MP Sir Keith Simpson branded the new regime a ‘circus’ and attacked those MPs clamouring for government jobs as ‘ambitious little s***s’.
In his acceptance speech yesterday, Mr Johnson acknowledged he had his doubters, saying: ‘I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision. And there may even be some people here who still wonder quite what they have done.’
But he offered a return to traditional Tory values.
And, in an olive branch to his critics, sources said he would offer plum jobs today to rising stars Oliver Dowden, Rishi Sunak and Robert Jenrick, who backed Remain at the referendum.
Who is who in Boris Johnson’s new-look Brexit Cabinet
Sajid Javid outside the Treasury today
Sajid Javid: Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Moves across from Home Secretary
- Came fourth in Tory leadership race
- Ex-banker with working class roots
- Son of Pakistani immigrants
- Voted Remain in 2016 but wants to see Brexit delivered
- Married father of four, 49, who worked as a banker
The married father of four becomes the first ethnic minority MP to become Chancellor.
Sajid Javid ran against Mr Johnson in the Tory leadership campaign, eventually finishing fourth.
The 49-year-old is respected for having a more working class background than many of his contemporaries. He is the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants who had a humble upbringing in Bristol and Rochdale.
He went on to become a banker and is married to Laura. He is the most senior Remain voter in the Government.
After becoming Home Secretary last year he showed that he was not afraid to clash with Theresa May, putting clear ground between himself and the Prime Minister on issues like caps on skilled migrants after Brexit.
After being knocked out of the leadrship race Mr Javid mved swiftly to back Mr Johnson and was widely tipped as the top choice to move to number 11.
Priti Patel in Downing Street today
Priti Patel: Home Secretary
- Former Aid Secretary forced to quit in 2017 over secret meetings with Israeli officials
- Mother-of-one supports return of capital punishment
- Courted controversy last year over Brexit comments about food shortages in Ireland
- Hardline Brexiteer who became a vocal May critic
- Mother of one, 47, who previously worked for Diageo and for the Conservative Party
Boris Johnson stunned Westminster today by making Priti Patel Home Secretary in place of Mr Javid.
The former aid secretary and mother-of-one returns to the Cabinet two years after being forced to resign by Theresa May over secret meetings with Israeli officials, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The appointment of Mrs Patel, the 47-year-old MP for Witham in Essex, means that Mr Johnson has a female minister in one of the four so-called Great Offices of State: prime minister, chancellor, home secretary and foreign secretary.
But the hardline Brexiteer and arch critic of Theresa May will infuriate more liberal Tories and the opposition.
As well as her secret meetings in Israel she has also sparked controversy with her support for the return of capital punishment.
She also last year appeared to suggest using the threat of food shortages in Ireland if there was a No Deal Brexit as a bargaining tool with the EU.
Dominic Raab at the Foreign Office today
Dominic Raab: Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
- Former Brexit Secretary who quit over Theresa May’s Brexit deal
- Tory leadership contender but was quickly eliminated
- His father was a Jewish refugee who came to England
- Hardline Brexiteer who supports a No Deal Brexit
- Married former lawyer, 45
Dominic Raab was a surprise choice as Brexit Secretary last year and is an equally surprising choice to make the move up to Foreign Secretary.
Appointed to replace David Davis by Theresa May last year he lasted just four months in the post before he too quit over the content of her Brexit deal.
But during his time he picked up a reputation for being spiky, facing criticism from Ireland. He also faced criticism after admitting in November he ‘hadn’t quite understood the full extent’ of the UK’s reliance on the Dover-Calais crossing for trade.
His role will also involve being First Secretary of State, effectively deputy prime minister, giving him a potentially key role in the heart of Government.
The son of a Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis in 1938 the MP for Esher and Walton trained as a lawyer and is married without any children.
He stood in the Tory leadership race on a hardcore Brexiteer ticket even harder than Mr Johnson. But after being knocked out he quickly backed his former rival and supported him in his campaign.
He is in favour of a No Deal Brexit and replaces Jeremy Hunt. He will step into immediate fire with an ongoing diplomatic spat with Iran.
Michael Gove in Downing Street today
Michael Gove: Cabinet Office Minister
- Former Environment Secretary and Education Secretary
- Led the Vote Leave campaign with Mr Johnson in 2016
- But famously turned on him and ran against him in that year’s leadership race
- Came third in the 2019 Tory leadership campaign
- Seen as the best thinker and orator in the Tory party – but with a Machiavellian persona
- Married father of two, 51, is a former journalist
Boris Johnson handed his old friend turned adversary what seemed a sideways move at best from Defra to the Cabinet Office.
As Environment Secretary he had shown some of the reforming zeal that had raised hackles when he ran the Department for Education but with less of the controversy.
He was known for cajoling Cabinet colleagues into having coffee in reuseable cups among other green-tinged announcements that fueled suggestions he had gone slightly native.
But his new role sees him inherit a job previously done by David Lidington, with a broad-ranging brief that is likely to include major responsibility for Brexit.
The former Times journalist, 51, who has two children with newspaper columnist Sarah Vine was a firm backer of Theresa May’s Brexit deal to the last, which damaged him in the eyes of the more purist Brexiteer elements.
Mr Wallace in Downing Street today
Ben Wallace: Defence Secretary
- The 49-year-old father of three is a former British Army Officer
- He served eight years in the Scots Guards
- Makes the step up from Security minister to replace Penny Mordaunt, who was in charge for less than three months
- Long-term supporter of Boris Johnson
Ben Wallace makes the step up from security minister to replace Penny Mordaunt.
The first female defence chief had been unceremoniously sacked by Mr Johnson today after backing Jeremy Hunt for the party Leadership.
Mr Wallace has a military backround, which will reassure senior brass.
The 51-year-old is a Sandhurst graduate and served for eight years in the Scots Guards and was mentioned in dispatches while serving in Northern Ireland.
He voted remain in the 2016 referendum.
Last month he warned that the UK’s spy network had been stretched to breaking point by a barrage of new deadly threats.
He painted a disturbing picture of how Russian aggression, Islamic extremism, neo-Nazi terrorism and organised crime have made the world a more dangerous place.
Revealing that there are hundreds of active ongoing operations, he made a direct plea for more Treasury funding to help the hard-pressed security services combat rising threats.
Gavin Williamson was sacked as defence secretary in May after leaking secret details of a meeting about Huawei
Gavin Williamson: Education Secretary
- Former defence secretary returns to Cabinet after less than three months
- Was fired for leaking details of secret meeting about Huawei
- Played a key role in running Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign
- 43-year-old father of two is the former managing director of a fireplace manufacturer
Gavin Williamson makes an astonishing return to the Cabinet less than three months after it appeared that his political career was over.
He was unceremoniously sacked as defence secretary in May after being revealed as the source of newspaper reports about Chinese media giant Huawei.
He was accused of leaking details of a secret meeting about access to the UK’s 5G network, although he denied being responsible.
The 43-year-old MP for South Staffordshire acquired the nickname Private Pike, after the hapless Dad’s Army character.
He went straight from the Cabinet shame to run Boris Johnson’s fledgling leadership campaign, using the backroom arm-twisting skill she learned as Tory chief whip.
Mooted for a return to Government he was linked with Northern Ireland Secretary after developing a good relationship with the democratic Unionist Party.
But instead he takes over from the low profile education secretary Damian Hinds, who quit today. Known to be fiercely ambitious so expect to see him in the headlines a lot more than his predecessor.
Mat Hancock remains as Health Secretaty
Matt Hancock: Health and Social Care Secretary
- Remains in the same job as before after wooing Boris
- Former Culture Secretary heavily criticised new PM in leadership campaign
- Married father of three, 40, is a former Bank of England economist with a love of waffles
Matt Hancock stays in one of the hardest job in government despite aiming volleys of criticism at Mr Johnson while running against him for the leadership.
He told an interviewer ‘f*ck f*ck Business’ after the new Prime Minister’s much criticised reaction to firms’ No Deal Brexit fears.
But the married father of three, 40, did a superb reverse ferret to become one of Mr Johnson’s chief cheerleaders.
This included reportedly trying to block the release of a paper he commissioned which recommended taxes on milkshakes because it ran contrary to his new boss’s opposition to ‘sin taxes’.
He also poked fun at himself during the campaign after being caught on camera wolfing down a high-sugar stroopwafel ahead of an early-morning TV interview.
Last year he was accused of breaking ethics rules after he praised a private health firm app in a newspaper article sponsored by its maker.
But he has since made some hard-hitting interventions in areas like the impact of social media on health.
In May he joined Ms Mordaunt in backing the Generation Why? report showing that the Tories needed to become more relevant to younger voters.
He called on the party to change its ‘tone’ towards modern Britain or face Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, in a speech widely seen as setting out his leadership credentials.
Liz Truss in Downing Street today
Liz Truss: International Trade Secretary
- Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Had been touted as a possible chancellor and made no secret of the fact she wanted a top job
- Brexiteer who agrees with Boris on low tax economic strategy
- Married mother of two, 43, and former accountant
Liz Truss had been widely tipped for a plum job as an early supporter of Mr Johnson.
Along with Mr Javid she was earmarked as a possible chancellor and made little secret of the fact that she ould like to do the job.
Instead she has been appointed to International Trade to replace another Brexiteer, Liam Fox.
Earlie this month she said the Tories must show more courage in promoting tax cuts for the well-off.
She said the party had failed to make the case for sweeping rate cuts for 10 years, which was why plans Mr Johnson unveiled last month had attracted ‘flak’.
Mr Johnson has put forward plans for a package of tax cuts, including for people earning more than £50,000.
Ms Truss acknowledged she was ‘not yet at Number 11’ – the home of the Chancellor – but joked about her ambitions for the role.
The married mother of two is also known for having an affair with Tory MP mark Field before she was married, an affair cited as a reason for the breakdown if his marriage.