UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a Cabinet reshuffle over the weekend following his Conservative Party’s landslide victory in the snap general elections on 12 December, as speculations are rife as to who might be in or out.
Who is ‘In’?
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid is the only minister believed to be guaranteed the opportunity to retain his position at the Treasury, writes the Daily Mail.
Boris Johnson delivered a “categorical assurance” in November that he would keep Sajid Javid in the same job if he won the election, describing his former Party leadership rival as “a great guy”.
Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove is tipped to be promoted to lead a beefed-up Brexit department to deal with trade negotiations with the EU and other countries.
The Vote Leave veteran had previously been in charge of no-deal preparations, but is now expected to be rewarded a leading role in trade after making 17 broadcast appearances during the election campaign and speaking on behalf of Johnson - the highest number of any cabinet member.
The most senior cabinet minister, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who holds the ceremonial title of First Secretary of State, is unlikely to be sacked, claim sources quoted by the Daily Mail.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak, dubbed a rising star in the party, is also said to be in line for a promotion following his impressive showing in the TV debates.
Former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt is expected to fill the vacancy left by ex-Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan, who quit as MP.
Penny Mordaunt, who was a vocal supporter of Jeremy Hunt during the Conservative leadership campaign, was sacked by Johnson in July in one of his first acts as Prime Minister. Since then, however, the longtime Brexiteer who campaigned alongside Johnson in the 2016 referendum has shown continued loyalty and helped the prime minister in his attempts to secure support for his Brexit deal.
Johnson is also, however, said to be considering promoting Victoria Atkins, a home office minister, to the culture post.
Jeremy Hunt himself could be set to make a return after demonstrating loyalty to the PM during the Parliamentary tussle over Brexit in October.
Boris Johnson has also hinted that Matt Hancock will remain as Health Secretary.
At a victory speech to fellow Conservatives in London Friday morning, where Johnson reiterated his manifesto pledges of 50,000 more nurses and 40 more hospitals, he was noted to have gestured towards Hancock.
A prized national asset, the fate of the UK's National Health Service post-Brexit has come under scrutiny amid allegations by the opposition Labour Party that the UK government plans to open it up to US companies following a "sweetheart" trade deal with the ruling Trump administration in the US.
“That could lead to the runaway privatisation of our health service," claimed Labour.
At Risk of Sacking
Rumours suggest Jacob Rees-Mogg is 'at risk', writes the publication.
Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council since 2019, Jacob Rees-Mogg, once a frequent media personality for the Conservative party, was absent from the current general election.
Speculations have been rife that Boris Johnson had sidelined him over tactless remarks that victims in the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 that resulted in the death of 71 people had lacked the “common sense” to flee the burning building.
Others believed to be at most risk of being ushered out are Trade Secretary Liz Truss, and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, an ally of ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, who was also benched during the campaign.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, whose comments on Northern Ireland trade failed to echo those of PM Johnson, risks having his position abolished under plans for his department to be absorbed into the Trade department.
The International Development could also be subsumed by the Foreign Office, according to the Times.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Trade Secretary Liz Truss are said to have failed to “make their mark on the campaign” and are likely to be sent packing.
Boris Johnson is expected to fill two other vacancies.
The position of Welsh Secretary is up for grabs after the snap resignation of Alun Cairns.
The cabinet-level position of environment minister is vacant in the wake of Zac Goldsmith's defeat at the hands of the LibDems in Remainer-dominated Richmond.
Boris Johnson is anticipated to wait until after Brexit in February to completely overhaul his cabinet.
"Smashed the Roadblock" over Brexit
UK PM Boris Johnson has vowed he would work "flat out" and lead a "people's government" after he met the Queen to ask to form a new government in the wake of his Conservative Party’s "historic" snap poll triumph.
The Conservatives now have 365 parliamentary seats, a majority of 80 in the House of Commons.
The Labour Party, that lost even in its traditionally strong voting areas in the Midlands and north-eastern England, finished with 203 seats, with its leader Jeremy Corbyn saying he would not fight another election as party leader.
In other results, the Scottish National Party won 48 seats, the Liberal Democrats got 11 and Northern Ireland's DUP won eight.
The Conservative Party's majority in the House of Commons is its largest since Margaret Thatcher won a third term in 1987.
Johnson said the Conservatives' victory had "smashed the roadblock" over Brexit in Parliament and put an end to the "miserable threats" of another referendum on Europe.
"We will get Brexit done on time by 31 January - no ifs, no buts, not maybe," vowed Johnson.