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Thu, 13 August 2020

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Sajid Javid confronts Boris Johnson after top aide is sacked by Dominic Cummings

Sajid Javid confronts Boris Johnson after top aide is sacked by Dominic Cummings
2 min read

Chancellor Sajid Javid has confronted Boris Johnson after one of his top aides was sacked by the Prime Minister's most senior adviser.


Dominic Cummings dismissed Sonia Khan - who used to work for Philip Hammond - after summoning her to Downing Street on Thursday night.

She was the second special adviser to the Chancellor to be sacked by Mr Johnson's top aide in the past month.

Ms Khan was accused of being in contact with a former colleague who was also an adviser to the former Chancellor.

After denying the accusation, Mr Cummings demanded to see her private mobile phone, which government sources claimed proved that she had spoken to the ex-colleague.

Ms Khan was sacked on the spot and escorted from Number 10 to the Downing Street security gates by a police officer.

One source told PoliticsHome: "She loved that job. Worked for years to build up the experience to get into that job with Philip."

Mr Javid, who was not consulted ahead of her dismissal, was said to be "livid" at the decision and demanded to see the Prime Minister to make clear his displeasure.

One source told the Financial Times: "He's absolutely furious. He doesn't consider the matter closed."

Appearing on Radio Four's Today programme on Saturday, Mr Javid insisted his relationship with Mr Johnson was "fantastic", but refused to be drawn on Ms Khan's sacking.

He said: "I'm not going to talk about personnel issues, it wouldn't be appropriate."

Asked about his relationship with Mr Cummings, he said: "I'm not going to talk about personal relationships."

The row comes amid rumours that relations between the Number 10 and the Chancellor are strained.

Mr Javid is understood to be uneasy about the Prime Minister's big-money spending pledges in areas such as the NHS, schools and policing.

He also had to cancel a major economic speech after the Whitehall spending review was brought forward to next Wednesday amid mounting speculation that Downing Street is preparing for a general election.

Number 10 refused to comment on Mr Javid's meeting with the Prime Minister.

According to The Times, Mr Cummings told a meeting of special advisers on Friday that he would not change his uncompromising management style.

He said: "If you don't like how I run things, there's the door. Fuck off."

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