Reset Moment? BoJo Reportedly Plans to Hold Cabinet Reshuffle Within a Few Months
05:29 GMT 07.05.2022 (Updated: 05:30 GMT 07.05.2022)
Last month, Boris Johnson refused to say if he would shake up the cabinet in June amid reports that he plans to overhaul his ministers. The British PM has been facing calls to quit after he received a police fine for breaching COVID restrictions at a No 10 party in 2020.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has considered carrying out a major cabinet reshuffle at the beginning of this summer, apparently in order to strengthen his No 10 clout after the “tough results” of the country’s 5 May local elections
, The Daily Mail has reported.
The newspaper cited unnamed Whitehall sources as saying that Johnson plans to “put in place the team who will take us [the UK] into the next election”.
One of the sources argued that “there will be a reset moment in the next couple of months” and that BoJo is also expected to deliver a major speech on the government’s key priorities, including measures to soften the blow of the cost of living crisis.
“The PM will set out to the public the things they can expect us to concentrate on in the run-up to the next election. You can expect to see the cost of living at the top of that,” the insider argued.
Another source asserted that the UK prime minister was mulling making Home Secretary Priti Patel Tory chairman as the next election approaches.
The claims come after Johnson told reporters that he is taking responsibility for the loss of almost 500 seats in Thursday's local government elections.
“It is mid-term. It's certainly a mixed set of results. We had a tough night in some parts of the country,” the British PM conceded, adding that “on the other hand, in other parts of the country you are still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven't voted Conservative for a long time, if ever.”
He spoke after Labour won control of three flagship Conservative London boroughs in the Thursday elections, including Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, hailed the party’s Wandsworth win as a “historic, joyous night for Labour”, while Barnet Conservative leader Daniel Thomas warned that the Labour victory in the borough “does not bode well” for the Conservatives “to form a government in future general elections”.
Johnson, for his part, reiterated in late April that despite pressure, he would get on with his job after the PM, his wife Carrie and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were fined by the Metropolitan Police over a birthday party thrown for BoJo in the Cabinet Room in June 2020 amid strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The PM is believed to have attended at least two more of the 12 events still being investigated by the Scotland Yard.
BoJo apologised to the House of Commons for the gathering in June 2020, but insisted he did not believe at the time it was a breach of coronavirus rules.
In a separate development, a total of 46 letters calling for a vote of no confidence in the PM have already been sent to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee, according to sources. If that figure is correct, only another eight are needed to set a Tory leadership contest in motion.