British PM Johnson reshapes cabinet after Brexit

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to reporters after presiding over the United Nations Security Council at United States Headquarters in New York on March 23, 2017. REUTERS / Mike Segar

British Treasurer Sajid Javid resigned unexpectedly on Thursday, in a shocking move after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to rearrange his cabinet to get rid of some of Javid's aides.

It was generally expected that Javid – the second most powerful in the government – would keep his job when Johnson fired certain cabinet members and promoted more junior ministers to top jobs. The former chief financial officer, one of the strongest candidates in the 2019 conservative leadership competition, smiled when he entered the Prime Minister's Downing Street 10 office on Thursday morning to meet Johnson. However, a spokesman confirmed shortly after Javid's resignation and became the shortest incumbent Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1970. The government announced that he would be replaced by Rishi Sunak, who had previously served as Javid's deputy in the Treasury Department. His resignation follows reports of clashes with Johnson's powerful advisor Dominic Cummings.

Johnson had previously fired his Northern Irish minister, although he restored the decentralized government in Belfast after a three-year suspension last month. Economic Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Minister Theresa Villiers and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were also shown the door. But Secretary of State Dominic Raab and Michael Gove, Johnson's deputy factor representatives, remain.

Johnson withdrew from reshuffle immediately after winning in December and decided to wait for Britain to leave the EU. After years of political turmoil over Brexit, he wants to focus this year on domestic issues, including investments in the police, healthcare, and infrastructure.

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