Minister Says Boris Johnson Wants “The Best People In The Right Roles” Amid Reshuffle Rumours
Health secretary Sajid Javid has said Boris Johnson wants “the best people” in his top team as expectation grows that the Prime Minister is due to undertake a reshuffle following Monday's confidence vote.
Johnson is expected to try and restamp his authority on the party next week after only narrowly winning a confidence vote in his leadership on Monday by 211 to 148.
Despite 41% of Tory MPs voting that they had no confidence in the prime minister, Javid told Sky News that the result of the ballot was “a clear and decisive win” for Johnson and that he had spoken to many colleagues who were ready to move on, whichever way they voted.
“They’re democrats like all of us and they accept the result of the vote and they’re getting behind the prime minister," he said.
There has been growing speculation that Johnson will announce a reshuffle of his top team next week to help avert any future rebellions in the party.
Javid said “what the Prime Minister does next in terms of his Cabinet” would be a “decision for him” and that he would not be spending time “speculating” about it.
He dismissed suggestions that the MPs who had remained loyal to Johnson throughout the confidence vote could be rewarded with ministerial roles.
“My experience is that he wants the best people in the right roles so that we can get on with dealing with the huge challenges, especially post-pandemic, we face as a country,” he continued.
The health secretary also warned party rebels against any attempt to change the rules of the 1922 committee to allow a second vote to be held within a year.
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, a vocal critic of the PM, said he understood that such a change was being considered, and indicated he would support such a move "if there's a requirement for it to be introduced".
Javid said: “There is no need to change any rules because we have had the ballot, it is a clear decisive result and now we just get on with the job.”
Questions were raised over how Johnson shored up his support this week after Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely suggested that he voted for Johnson after gaining assurances about funding for his local council.
He told constituents that he chose to back the PM after ministers told him they would "look again" at funding for his constituency.
“I would rather continue to focus on getting him to deliver on this commitment than start afresh with a PM who has not made, or may not offer to make, any such offer," Seely said in a post on his website.
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