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February 14, 2020

Sajid Javid quits as chancellor in reshuffle upset

Top Story

February 14, 2020

LONDON: Pakistani origin Sajid Javid and Nusrat Ghani are no more a part of Boris Johnson’s cabinet after a reshuffle while three Indian origin members Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma and Priti Patel will be part of the new cabinet in some of the most important positions.

Javid has resigned as UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer only four weeks before he was due to present UK’s annual budget. He has been replaced by former chief secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak who served as junior housing minister merely seven months ago.

Javid refused Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s orders to fire his aides saying that “no self-respecting minister” could accept such conditions. His resignation has sent shockwaves in the political landscape of the United Kingdom given the timing merely two months after a successful Conservative win in the general election.

A source close to Javid said: “The Prime Minister said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with Number 10 special advisers to make it one team. The chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms.”

Other sacked cabinet members include Housing Minister Esther McVey, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox. Nusrat Ghani, Member of Parliament from Wealden has been removed in her position as Transport Minister.

Sources privy to the developments in Westminster point to the role of Dominic Cummings, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as being behind this major reshuffle. Commenting on Javid’s resignation, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “This must be a historical record with the government in crisis after just over two months in power. Dominic Cummings has clearly won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury and install his stooge as chancellor.”

Javid started as an extremely successful investment banker for 18 years before venturing into British politics. He became Vice President of Chase Manhattan Bank at the age of 25, one of the youngest people to rise to this position at such a young age. He was also on the board of directors of Deutsche Bank.

Javid has been elected as Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove with 23,106 votes. He also contested to run for the leader of the Conservative party last year but finished at fourth place, losing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The next move of Javid remains to be seen but according to analysts, his political career is far from over.

Nusrat Ghani’s sacking has shocked observers since she was tipped to be promoted in this reshuffle. She has previously worked in major UK charities including the famous children charity, Bernardo’s.

After news of her sacking went viral, she tweeted: “Huge privilege to have been Transport Minister and we’ve achieved so much In 2 years. Thanks to the great team in the Dept and now I get to spend more time with family and constituents.”

Priti Patel has retained her important designation of Home Secretary after this turbulent re-shuffle signalling that she enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Alok Sharma was born in Agra but moved to the UK when he was five years old. He qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for Deloitte Haskins & Sells before moving to corporate finance.

He has been elected as an MP for Reading since 2010 although his victory margins have been thinning in recent years.

PA adds: Before the explosive meeting with Johnson, Javid had walked smiling into Number 10 in a sign that he expected to remain in place ahead of the March 11 Budget. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that preparations for the Budget would continue under the new Chancellor. “Extensive preparations have already been carried out for the Budget and they will continue at pace,” the spokesman said.

Although female ministers were axed in the reshuffle, Downing Street indicated that there would not be a reduction in the number of women around the Cabinet table.