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Thu, 21 January 2021

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The House Live All
By Alice Lilly
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Sajid Javid hits out at Boris Johnson as he quits as Chancellor over advisers ultimatum

Sajid Javid hits out at Boris Johnson as he quits as Chancellor over advisers ultimatum
3 min read

Sajid Javid has hit out at Boris Johnson’s demand that he fire all his advisers in order to keep his job as Chancellor.

The former Treasury supremo said “no self-respecting minister” could accept the terms laid down by the Prime Minister as he carried out his Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Johnson delivered the shock ultimatum when he and Mr Javid met in Number 10 on Thursday morning.

The Prime Minister said that while he wanted him to stay on as Chancellor, his five political advisers would all have to go to pave the way for a new joint economic unit operating out of both Number 10 and 11.

Mr Javid turned down the offer - seen as an attempt by the PM to exert greater influence on the Treasury - and resigned.

His walkout came less than a month before he had been due to deliver his first Budget on 11 March.

He was replaced by Rishi Sunak, who had been Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

In his first comments since quitting, Mr Javid said: “It has been a huge honour to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and whilst I was very pleased the Prime Minister wanted to re-appoint me, I was unable to accept the conditions that he had attached. So I felt that I was left with no option other than to resign.”

He added: “The conditions that were attached was a requirement that I replace all my political advisers.

“These are people who have worked incredibly hard on behalf of not just the government, but the whole country. They have done a fantastic job.

“I was unable to accept those conditions, I don't believe any self-respecting minister would accept such conditions, so therefore I felt the best thing to do was to go.”

Asked if he believed Mr Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings - who he has had numerous run-ins with - was behind the ultimatum, Mr Javid said: “Those were the conditions requested by the Prime Minister.

“That was of course his prerogative, and as I say, my successor has my full support, as does the Prime Minister and I will continue to support this government in every way I can from the backbenches."

A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister thanked Mr Javid - who he beat to the Tory leadership last year - for his work as Chancellor.

He said that “extensive preparations” had already taken place for the Budget, but stopped short of confirming that it will still take place on 11 March.

The dramatic developments came as Mr Johnson re-organised his government following the Tories’ landslide election victory two months ago.

He sacked five Cabinet ministers - Julian Smith, Andrea Leadsom, Theresa Villiers, Geoffrey Cox and Esther McVey - while, as expected, Nicky Morgan resigned as Culture Secretary.

Among those promoted to the PM’s top team are Brandon Lewis, who becomes Northern Ireland Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who has been put in charge of International Development, and Alok Sharma, who replaces Ms Leadsom as Business Secretary with additional responsibility for the COP26 climate summit in November.

However, the shake-up was not as dramatic as had been initially expected, with the likes of Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Ben Wallace, Liz Truss and Therese Coffey all keeping their jobs.

Mr Johnson is expected to reshuffle his junior ministerial ranks on Friday.


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