Boris Johnson has sacked a number of prominent Brexiteers in a reshuffle of his cabinet.
Attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox, housing minister Esther McVey, environment secretary Theresa Villiers, and business secretary Andrea Leadsom, all of whom have been consistent Brexit supporters, have been fired.
Meanwhile Sajid Javid stood down as chancellor of the exchequer in a shock move after refusing to cave to demands from Downing Street to sack an entire team of aides.
Here’s a list of all firings and hirings so far that will be updated throughout the day
Sajid Javid, chancellor of the exchequer
Nicky Morgan, culture secretary
Julian Smith, Northern Ireland secretary
Esther McVey, housing minister
Theresa Villiers, environment minister
Andrea Leadsom, business secretary
Sit Geoffrey Cox, Attorney General
Nusrat Ghani, transport minister
George Freeman, transport minister
Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer
Alok Sharma, business secretary and and minister for climate conference COP26
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, international development secretary
Oliver Dowden, culture secretary
Suella Braverman, attorney general
George Eustice, environment secretary
Stephen Barclay, treasury secretary
Northern Ireland minister and former chief whipp Smith was the first to be given the sack on Thursday morning.
Sources indicate the PM is poised to promote a number of female MPs to junior positions, with the overall gender balance of the 22-strong cabinet expected to stay the same.
Leadsom said it had been a “privilege” to serve in government, while McVey said she was “very sorry” to have been sacked as housing minister.
It has been a real privilege to serve in Government for the last six years, and in @beisgovuk for six months. I now look forward to focusing on my constituents and on my 20+ year campaign to see every baby get the best start in life. (1/)— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) February 13, 2020
I’m very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister— Esther McVey (@EstherMcVey1) February 13, 2020
I wish my successor the very best & every success
I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government & he will continue to have my support from the back benches
Confirming her dismissal, Villers wrote on Facebook: “What the Prime Minister giveth, the Prime Minister taketh away: just over six months ago, I was delighted to be invited by the Prime Minister to return to government after three years on the backbenches.
“This morning he told me that I need to make way for someone new.”
Smith thanked the PM and the people of Northern Ireland as he confirmed on Twitter that he had been shown the door.
Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege. I am extremely grateful to @BorisJohnson for giving me the chance to serve this amazing part of our country. The warmth & support from people across NI has been incredible. Thank you so much.— Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithUK) February 13, 2020
He was initially thought to be safe in his post after securing a power-sharing deal at Stormont after months of stalemate.
But there are concerns the deal could pave the way for prosecutions of British soldiers.
Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney paid tribute to Smith and his work restoring government in Northern Ireland.
U have been such an effective SOS for NI at a time of real challenge & risk. Without your leadership I don’t believe NI would have a Govt today. Thank you @JulianSmithUK for your trust, friendship and courage; UK & #Ireland can look to future with more confidence because of it.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) February 13, 2020
Junior ministers Nusrat Ghani and George Freeman were also let go.
Universities minister Chris Skidmore announced on Twitter that he had also been fired, saying he would now have more time to spend with his “gorgeous” baby.
Got a promotion in the #reshuffle to be a better Dad with more time to spend with this gorgeous little one....— Chris Skidmore (@CSkidmoreUK) February 13, 2020
Thanks everyone who I’ve had the chance to work with and the civil service teams that have supported me- you have all been amazing pic.twitter.com/RdvdMCEl1N
A Number 10 source said: “The prime minister wants this reshuffle to set the foundations for government now and in the future.
“He wants to promote a generation of talent that will be promoted further in the coming years.
“He will reward those MPs who have worked hard to deliver on this government’s priorities to level up the whole country and deliver the change people voted for last year.”