Boris to hold his first Cabinet meeting TODAY after only finishing bloodbath reshuffle at midnight as he makes Raab deputy PM and rewards Rees-Mogg and forgives his brother in bid to deliver Brexit

Boris Johnson launches an extraordinary mass clear out of the Cabinet including sacking Jeremy Hunt

25 July 2019 - 08:17

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.   

Jo Johnson, the new Universities minister, and Boris's staunch backer Mr Rees-Mogg, the new Leader of the House of Commons, were among those heading to and from Downing Street late into the night.

Priti Patel became Home Secretary and Sajid Javid was promoted to Chancellor in one of the most ethnically diverse sets of ministers ever assembled.

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 as a 'Minister for No Deal'.

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.

Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen heading to work in Number 10 yesterday ahead of his brutal Cabinet bloodbath which ran late into the night

Sajid Javid
Priti Patel

Sajid Javid (left) has been promoted from Home Secretary to Chancellor, while Priti Patel (right) has become the new Home Secretary

The new Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg beamed as he entered the black door of Downing Street on Wednesday night

The new Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg beamed as he entered the black door of Downing Street on Wednesday night

Andrea Leadsom was made 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 glimmer for the Remain wing, Nicky Morgan was brought back to the top table as Culture Secretary. Former Tory chairman Grant Shapps returns at Transport.

Other Remainer appointees included rising stars Rishi Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Oliver Dowden as Paymaster General, Robert Jenrick as Housing Secretary and Alok Sharma is the new Department for International Development Secretary.

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. 

New regional ministers included Julian Smith for Northern Ireland and Alister Jack for Scotland, while Alun Cairns held down his job as Wales Secretary. 

Geoffrey Cox
James Cleverly

Geoffrey Cox (left) kept his job as Attorney General, while James Cleverly (right), a staunch Johnson-backer, has replaced Brandon Lewis as the Conservative Party Chairman

Mr Johnson's 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, to be replaced by Grant Shapps. 

Firm Johnson-backer James Cleverly was appointed as the Conservative Party Chairman and Robert Buckland became Justice Secretary, while Jefferey Cox remains Attorney General and Baroness Evans the Leader of the House of Lords.

Brandon Lewis, who was replaced by Mr Cleverly, is now a Home Office minister, while Esther McVey - who resigned from Mrs May's government - has rejoined Cabinet as a Housing minister.

The latest appointment came minutes before midnight, Kwasi Kwarteng - an ardent libertarian - being given the role of Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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. But it has created one of the most diverse Cabinets in history, and Mr Johnson will hope they can unite to force through Brexit. 

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'. 

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!' 

One of Mrs May's former allies Ben Wallace leaving Downing Street today after he was appointed Defence Secretary

One of Mrs May's former allies Ben Wallace leaving Downing Street today after he was appointed Defence Secretary

Liz Truss
Theresa Villiers

Two of Mrs May's allies Liz Truss (left) and Theresa Villiers (right) are in Mr Johnson's line-up. Ms Truss as the International Trade Secretary and Ms Villiers as Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Matt Hancock has remained as Health Secretary despite having been mooted in some quarters as a potential deputy PM

Matt Hancock has remained as Health Secretary despite having been mooted in some quarters as a potential deputy PM

Alister Jack, from Dumfries, is Mr Johnson's Secretary of State for Scotland having previously worked as Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in the Whips Office
 

Alister Jack, from Dumfries, is Mr Johnson's Secretary of State for Scotland having previously worked as Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in the Whips Office

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.  

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