British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed his party’s first female foreign minister in a reshuffle, replacing ministers who have voiced criticism with the stated aim of tackling economic inequality after COVID-19.
Ending local inequality is the key to the agenda set in 2019 when Johnson won the Conservative Party’s largest parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher. But the issue has been overshadowed by COVID-19 and headlines about ministerial gaffs.
Dominic Raab’s replacement for former Secretary of Commerce Liz Truss at the Foreign Office on Wednesday stressed the underpinnings of the reform, promoting those whose governments had a bluff and promoting those who avoided crises.
“We know that the public also wants us to meet their priorities, and that’s why the Prime Minister wants to make sure we have the right team for that,” Johnson’s spokesman told reporters.
A source in Johnson’s office said the British leader would appoint ministers “with a focus on unification and equality across the country”. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak remains in office.
Truss, a favorite in the Conservative Party, moved to the foreign office of the trade department where she has completed a number of trade agreements since the UK left the European Union. Anne-Marie Trevelyan goes into business after being Minister of Climate.
She became only the second female foreign secretary in British history.
Truss replaces Raab, who has since called for resignations went on holiday in Crete when the Taliban advanced to the Afghan capital, Kabul. He was demoted to the Ministry of Justice.
To mitigate the blow, Raab was also appointed deputy prime minister, a role he played in anything but name when he stepped in to lead the government when Johnson fought for his life in hospital with COVID last year.
‘Raab is the youngest member of this Tory government to be rewarded for failure. “After his catastrophic handling of the crisis in Afghanistan, he should be completely out of government,” the opposition Liberal Democrats said.
Michael Gove, who is considered a key player in the Johnson government, has moved from his post in the Cabinet office to a housing, a department in the government center that drives policy execution. He was replaced by Stephen Barclay, a former Brexit minister.
Raab and Gove’s actions follow the dismissals of three others: Gavin Williamson as education minister, Robert Buckland as justice minister and Robert Jenrick as housing minister.
Buckland did not commit any gaffes or was criticized for his decision-making, but was urged to make room for Raab.
My letter to the Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/lelqRR3L86
– Robert Buckland (@RobertBuckland) 15 September 2021
Williamson’s downfall was widely expected after he was criticized for his handling of school closures and exams during the COVID pandemic and for the confusion of two black sportsmen.
Jenrick was under fire for his role in a one-billion-pound ($ 1.38 billion) development proposed by a Conservative donor.
It has been a privilege to serve as Education Secretary since 2019. Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I am particularly proud of the reforms I have undertaken in Post 16 education: in high schools, our skills agenda, apprenticeships and more.
– Gavin Williamson (@GavinWilliamson) 15 September 2021
Rumors of a reform, and which may or may not be on the way, have been circulating for weeks.
Some in his party have suggested that the threat of a reform has helped ensure Johnson’s plans for a tax increase to tackle a crisis in health and social care have supported the party after it was widely criticized because it hurt the lowest earnings.
Johnson on Tuesday outlined a plan to repair pandemic restrictions if necessary, to prevent a new crisis for the NHS, which could be a difficult winter with hospitalizations rising again.
The party slipped into opinion polls and one of those replaced on Wednesday was its chairman, with former culture minister Oliver Dowden taking over the post.
Critics have accused Johnson of trying to overshadow the planned Labor opposition vote in parliament over the government’s decision to scrap extra support for low-income families.
But some conservative lawmakers said it was simply too late. One lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the cabinet as a boat that was “terribly covered in side roots”.