Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle, which triggered the shock resignation of Chancellor Sajid Javid, has provoked debate online over whether the UK PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings is in fact calling the shots in government.
What was billed as a ‘Valentine’s Day massacre’ reshuffle by some media outlets, turned out to be chaos for the UK government’s finance department, ahead of a March budget.
Javid’s resignation, due to his refusal to accept No 10’s request to sack his advisers, according to a number of media outlets, was the big name cabinet casualty on Thursday.
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UK Chancellor Sajid Javid quits as Boris Johnson reshuffles cabinet
The 50-year-old politician’s exit comes with departures from several other high-profile ministers, including Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
The UK cabinet culling prompted accusations online that Johnson had “lost control,” with Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in Westminster, suggesting the PM had become “embroiled in an ego battle between his de-facto deputy Dominic Cummings” and Tory MPs like Javid.
One person, ostensibly agreeing with Blackford’s assessment, sarcastically tweeted: “Confirmed: Dominic Cummings has retained his position as Prime Minister.” Others posted comical videos and gifs in honor of “new emperor Dominic Cummings” as the perceived powerhouse within Johnson’s government.
All hail our new emperor Dominic Cummings! To celebrate this new unelected reign of terror I just had to dance!Dancing to The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme). What a interesting day and totally Classic Dom! #reshuffle pic.twitter.com/RDNrJiBwcE— James 🔶 (@DaleksGamertag) February 13, 2020
#reshuffle with Dom in charge of the hiring and firing 👇 pic.twitter.com/DpiGcDwjol— Stuart-Lee Robson #GTTO (@SLRoppa77) February 13, 2020
There were even tweets suggesting former PM Theresa May had been enjoying the chaotic day, chilling with a lovely cool glass of white wine. In addition, Downing Street pet ‘Larry the Cat’ assured the public that he was in good spirits having said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to being offered a new role within cabinet.
Theresa watching the #reshuffle this morning pic.twitter.com/43wL0WyZ4z— Jamie Dickinson (@jamielewis016) February 13, 2020
#Reshuffle update:I was offered my pick of the jobs, but decided to stick at what I do best. pic.twitter.com/Rilj3MNf94— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) February 13, 2020
Rishi Sunak – who has served as chief secretary to the Treasury since the summer of 2019 – is replacing Javid in the top finance role. Some key ministers escaped the chop, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel and the leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg.
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