British finance minister Sajid Javit quits in cabinet reshuffle

Feb. 13 (UPI) — A cabinet reshuffle by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Thursday resulted in the unexpected resignation of finance minister Sajid Javid.

Javid resigned from his key government post as chancellor of the exchequer after rejecting an order from Johnson to fire all of his aides. He had previously been expected to keep his job during the cabinet realignment despite ongoing clashes with Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief political strategist.

Javid, who has served as chancellor since July when Johnson was first appointed prime minister, was set to deliver the government’s first budget within the month. With his resignation he became the shortest-serving British finance chief since 1970.

He was replaced as chancellor by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak, the government said.

Sunak’s appointment is said to be part of an effort to align the treasury more closely with the prime minister’s office.

Other key ministers held onto their jobs, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove and Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Also sacked Thursday were Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and and Housing Minister Esther McVey.

Besides Javid’s exit, perhaps the greatest surprise in the cabinet reshuffle is the firing of Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, who had success securing a deal to end a three-year suspension of the local government.

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