Boris Johnson moves foreign minister in cabinet reshuffle

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson began a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, reassigning his Foreign Secretary and several...


LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson began a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, reassigning his Foreign Secretary and several other ministers in a bid to revitalize a government whose popularity now appears to be waning.

The biggest change came with the impeachment of Dominic Raab, whose post as foreign minister was seen as precarious after generalized criticism of its management of the evacuation from Afghanistan. Mr. Raab was appointed secretary of justice but also received the title of Deputy Prime Minister, softening the blow of a decision that will be seen by many as a demotion.

Mr Johnson replaced Mr Raab with Liz Truss, the trade secretary, considered by many to be a rising star in the Conservative Party.

Mr. Raab’s position during the evacuation from Afghanistan had been further diminished by his decision to delay his return from vacation as the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Three other senior ministers confirmed that they had been removed from their posts: Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, Robert buckland, the justice secretary, and Robert jenrick, the secretariat for housing, communities and local communities.

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The reshuffle gives Mr Johnson the opportunity to reshape the upper echelons of his government ahead of a party conference next month in which he will try to deliver a clearer post-Covid political agenda. But with the number of coronavirus cases remains high, the government is also preparing for the possibility of an increase in hospitalizations in the fall and winter.

Tuesday, Mr Johnson laid out his plans to tackle the virus as winter approaches, saying Britain would offer vaccine boosters to people aged 50 and over, and the first vaccines to children 12 to 15 years old. His government is determined to avoid a new lockdown but could resort to measures like mask warrants if infections rise.

After a successful start to Britain’s vaccination program earlier this year, Mr Johnson’s Tories have surged in opinion polls, but that lead now appears to be fading away. Last week Mr Johnson made the bet of break an election promise not to increase taxes so that it can allocate more money to health and social services.

Critics have also complained about a lack of clarity on the government’s main national promise to “level up” – that is, to bring prosperity to economically disadvantaged regions.

As education secretary, Mr. Williamson had faced strong criticism for presiding over a crisis in the results of school examinations last year. Mr Jenrick, as housing secretary, has been criticized after approving a real estate project involving a Conservative Party donor, and was in charge of a project to ease restrictions on housing construction in England that was unpopular among some Tory lawmakers. Mr. Buckland’s tenure has been much more fluid, but his departure frees up a position within the firm for further moves.

But so far Mr Johnson has been hesitant to move or fire members of a top-tier squad that was initially chosen largely from his own Brexit supporters and advocates, which Mr Johnson had made himself the champion.

Since his landslide victory in the general election in december 2019Mr Johnson made few changes to his cabinet, most notably in February 2020, when Sajid Javid resigned from his post as Chancellor of the Exchequer after refusing to accept restrictions on his right to hire his own advisers.

Mr Javid’s post went to Rishi Sunak, who became a leading figure in the government and a potential successor to Mr Johnson. However, Mr Javid returned to cabinet earlier this year as Health Secretary when his predecessor, Matt Hancock, was forced to resign from this post in June.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Boris Johnson moves foreign minister in cabinet reshuffle
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