PM picks his replacements for Sunak and Javid – and there’s a new education secretary too


Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed Boris Johnson’s new chancellor after Rishi Sunak dramatically quit the role.

He moves from the post of education secretary, a role which has now been awarded to former universities minister Michelle Donelan.

The resignations of Mr Sunak and his fellow senior minister Sajid Javid have left the prime minister battling to remain in office amid questions about his handling of the row over MP Chris Pincher.

Steve Barclay has been appointed to the role of health secretary, replacing Mr Javid.

He was previously the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and chief of staff for Downing Street.

In his resignation letter, Mr Sunak said “the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously”, adding: “I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

‘It’s all over’: Johnson fights for political life – politics live updates

More on Boris Johnson

In the letter, published on Twitter, the now former chancellor said that he could no longer remain loyal to the prime minister, who remains mired in scandal over the appointment of Mr Pincher to the role of deputy chief whip.

Mr Pincher quit the role last week after claims that he groped two men at a private members’ club and Mr Johnson was told about allegations against him as far back as 2019.

Mr Sunak, tipped as a potential future leader of the Conservative Party, told the prime minister he was quitting with “great sadness”, saying: “To leave ministerial office is a serious matter at any time. For me to step down as chancellor while the world is suffering the economic consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and other serious challenges is a decision that I have not taken lightly.

“However, the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously. I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning.”

The prime minister acknowledged he should have sacked Mr Pincher when he was found to have behaved inappropriately when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2019, but instead went on to appoint him to other government roles.

But the apology from the PM for appointing Mr Pincher to the role was unable to prevent the departures of Mr Sunak and Mr Javid, which occurred within minutes of each other.

Mr Javid said the British people “expect integrity from their government” but voters now believed Mr Johnson’s administration was neither competent nor “acting in the national interest”.

Who is Nadhim Zahawi?

Mr Zahawi has been appointed chancellor following Rishi Sunak’s dramatic resignation on Tuesday evening.

Having served in various junior ministerial posts, his success as vaccines minister saw him promoted to education secretary in Boris Johnson’s last reshuffle.

As a nine-year-old, Mr Zahawi and his Iraqi Kurd family fled from Saddam Hussein to the UK and he has told of how he was unable to read English at 11 years old.

In a deeply personal speech in October last year, Mr Zahawi spoke of his own experiences arriving in Britain as a child refugee and said the UK “took in a young Kurdish boy without a word of English and made him a Cabinet minister”

“Now it’s my turn to make sure that the opportunities that transformed my life are available to every child in every corner of our great country,” he said.

Responding to Mr Javid’s resignation, the PM told the former health secretary he was “sorry” to receive his letter and suggested his government would “continue to deliver” plans for the NHS.

The twin resignations of Mr Javid and Mr Sunak mean Mr Johnson’s position remains perilous, but cabinet ministers including Dominic Raab, Liz Truss, Michael Gove, Therese Coffey and Ben Wallace indicated they would be staying in the government and still support the PM.

The loss of crunch by-elections in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield in June triggered the resignation of party chairman Oliver Dowden last month.

The position of Conservative Party chairman remains unfilled, as does the role of vice-party chairman following the departure of Bim Afolami who resigned on live television on Tuesday evening.

The PM is also now recruiting the fourth Downing Street chief of staff of his tenure after appointed Mr Barclay as health secretary.

A total of nine individuals left government positions on Tuesday including two cabinet ministers, four parliamentary private secretaries, one vice-chair and two trade envoys.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

As pressure mounts on Boris Johnson, can he hang on to the top job?

The prime minister’s fate may ultimately lie with backbench MPs if the Tory 1922 Committee’s rules are changed to allow another confidence vote within 12 months.

Seven in 10 Britons say Boris Johnson should resign, according to a snap YouGov poll of more than 3,000 people.

The PM narrowly survived a confidence vote last month but suffered a rebellion bigger than Theresa May.

Some 211 MPs voted for the prime minister, compared to 148 votes against – a majority of 63.

He needed a simple majority – 180 votes or more – to continue in office.

The result meant 59% of Conservative MPs backed Mr Johnson, with 41% voting against him.

Articles You May Like

Japanese shipping giant to take part in tidal power project planned for Singapore
Households already owe £1.3bn to energy suppliers – even before winter bill hikes set in
Rocket Debris From Space Launches Have 10 Percent Chance of Injuring Humans by Next Decade, Claims Study
‘You can’t heat your home with hope’: Sunak unveils plan to slash energy bills for millions
XPeng shares G9 features – charging 200 km of range in 5 mins, ‘immersive 5D experience,’ and 480 kW chargers