Politics

Boris Unleashed: Big names could fall in ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ reshuffle


According to the Mail on Sunday, two names facing the sack are Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom. Mr Cox has been accused by sources of not being enough of a team player. One told the Daily Mail: “It’s all very well being able to recite Keats but the Government needs to come together if we’re going to deliver on this election.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith is reported to be facing removal from Cabinet after falling out with Number Ten before the general election.

In September, Mr Smith felt it necessary to dismiss speculation after he appeared to contradict a Government official.

As reported by Irish News at the time, a briefing to Spectator magazine suggested Britain might punish EU member states who supported an Article 50 extension.

The article blamed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and said defence and security co-operation could be affected, Mr Smith tweeted to say this would not have been in the interest of Northern Ireland or the Union.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey is also believed to be an insecure position and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, despite being a close friend of Mr Johnson, may be moved to a different position according to speculation.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove is thought be near the top of the promotion list.

Mr Gove could be given overall charge of global trade talks.

He is expected to take on responsibility for post Brexit trade talks with the EU.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson must look to replicate radical reforms after Brexit

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The Home Office would lose control of immigration which would be placed in a standalone department.

In Theresa May’s ministry, Caroline Nokes, immigration minister was given the right to attend Cabinet meetings.

Mr Cummings may also redefine how foreign aid can be spent.

The UK has a legally binding commitment to pay 0.7 percent of GDP to international charity as bound by Overseas Development Aid definitions.

The budget could now be shared across Whitehall including with the Ministry of Defence.

Some aid spending could count toward’s Britain’s NATO commitment of giving two percent of GDP to defence.

A Cabinet source said: “It’s our money and it is up to us how we spend it.”

International aid and the role of the Department for International Development are set to be reviewed by Professor John Bew.

Mr Johnson secured reelection on December 12 when he dramatically defeated Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.



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