Cabinet reshuffle 2021: Gavin Williamson and Robert Jenrick AXED in Boris’s reshuffle with Dominic Raab also at risk

Cabinet reshuffle 2021: Gavin Williamson and Robert Jenrick AXED in Boris’s reshuffle with Dominic Raab also at risk

September 15, 2021

BORIS Johnson has wielded the axe in a brutal Cabinet reshuffle that today saw Gavin Williamson among senior ministers to be chopped.

Williamson was widely expected to be removed as Education Secretary following a torrid pandemic beset by endless fiascoes with schools, exams and PR disasters.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick were also surprise sackings from the Government.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was locked in a meeting with the PM earlier and is being tipped for demotion.

The PM is overhauling his top team this afternoon in a long-awaited shake-up that will see senior ministers turfed out of their jobs.

Ambitious MPs desperate to climb the ladder were standing by their phones this morning as the Westminster rumour mill went into overdrive.

For weeks the PM has dangled the prospect of a reshuffle to whip rebellious MPs into line for a series of crunch votes.

Now – as he looks to reset his premiership with the annual Conservative Party conference in a few weeks – the reshuffle is finally on.

Read our Boris Johnson live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    IT MUST BE GOVE

    Michael Gove is now being tipped by Cabinet colleagues to become the next housing secretary, according to our Political Editor Harry Cole.

    He currently has a roving role within Government as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    But the PM is now said to want to unleash his famed zeal for reform on the nation's housing problem.

    Meanwhile, Harry reports embattled home secretary Priti Patel is safe in her job despite being tipped by some for the axe.

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    JENRICK GONE

    Housing secretary Robert Jenrick is the latest Cabinet minister to be axed by Boris Johnson.

    In a tweet confirming the news he vowed to continue supporting the PM from the back benches.

  • Jack Elsom

    GAVIN JUST DIDN'T MAKE THE GRADE

    By Jack Elsom, Political Reporter

    That Gavin Williamson has been sacked will come as a shock to nobody.

    In his two years as Education Secretary he has presided over one of the most chaotic periods of British schooling in modern history.

    He just about managed to cling to his job following last year's algorithm fiasco that made him public enemy number one in the eyes of many students.

    But his fate was sealed with hated policies like school bubbles and a series of PR blunders like his recent mistaking of Maro Itoje for Marcus Rashford.

    For the man dubbed "gaffe-a-day Gavin" by his critics, the gaffes just piled too high.

    Credit: pixel8000
  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    NEXT JUSTICE SECRETARY?

    Dominic Raab is expected to be axed as foreign secretary this afternoon and is now being tipped for a move to the justice department.

    Robert Buckland's sacking creates a vacancy which could be filled by Mr Raab, who is a lawyer by trade.

    Credit: Getty

     

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    BUCKLAND OUT

    Justice secretary Robert Buckland has become the second victim of today's Cabinet reshuffle.

    In a tweet confirming his sacking he said he's "deeply proud of everything I achieved" in the post.

    Like Gavin Williamson, he too looks destined for the back benches.

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    PASS THE BUCK?

    Justice secretary Robert Buckland could be the next reshuffle victim and is reportedly set to be ousted.

    Trade secretary Liz Truss, culture secretary Oliver Dowden, and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch are meanwhile all tipped to secure promotions.

    Badenoch has previously been linked with the education secretary role, which has just been vacated by Gavin Williamson.

  • Jack Elsom

    GAVIN GONE

    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson this afternoon became the first victim of the reshuffle.

    He announced the news – which was widely expected – in a tweet after meeting Boris Johnson.

    It is not believed he has been offered another position in Government.

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    DON'T LOOK VACC

    Nadhim Zahawi has been spotted arriving at Parliament in a limousine.

    The vaccines minister has been tipped for promotion to a Cabinet role after impressing with his handling of the jabs rollout.

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    HE'S DOM FOR

    Dominic Raab's fate was sealed by his widely criticised handling of the Afghanistan crisis last month.

    The foreign secretary initially refused to return home from his holiday at a 5* hotel in Crete to oversee the evacuation efforts.

    He was accused of being asleep on the job and a slew of briefings against him then further undermined his position.

    Mr Raab is also the de facto deputy PM – a job he could cling on to despite being demoted.

    Here he is leaving the Foreign Office to discover his fate.

    Credit: Reuters

     

  • Jack Elsom

    RAAB ARRIVES AT THE COMMONS

    Dominic Raab has arrived at Parliament, where Boris Johnson will carry out his sackings.

  • Jack Elsom

    TRUSS ON TOP

    Trade Secretary Liz Truss is the most liked Cabinet Minister among Tory members.

    A poll of party activists by the grassroots ConservativeHome website shows her net satisfaction rating as +85.2, ahead of Rishi Sunak on +74.5.

    Bottom of the heap is Education Secretary Gavin Williamson on -53.5.

    A minister under David Cameron, Truss is the longest serving member of the Cabinet and has been tipped to replace Dominic Raab at the Foreign Office.

    Liz Truss attending Cabinet yesterdayCredit: Getty
  • Jack Elsom

    DON'T GET CARRIED AWAY

    During Boris Johnson's premiership there has been much talk of the influence wielded by his wife Carrie.

    The ex Tory comms guru famously won a power struggle with Dominic Cummings that led to the top aide leaving Downing Street.

    But the PM's official spokesman today insisted Ms Johnson had no sway in her husband's decisions.

    The PM and Carrie Johnson at the EurosCredit: AP
  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    PRIVATE BO-MENT

    The PM is expected to call Cabinet ministers facing the chop into his Commons office first to deliver the bad news.

    Doing so will spare them the humiliating walk along Downing St in front of the world's media after losing their jobs.

    Those set for promotion will then be invited to No 10 later on, giving them an opportunity to smile for the cameras.

    Boris is set to reshuffle his Cabinet today, before moving onto juggling junior ministerial jobs tomorrow.

  • Natasha Clark

    CLAWS OUT

    Larry the Downing Street cat, chief mouser to the Cabinet office, is keeping a close eye on the potential cabinet arrivals.

    The PM will hop over here to carry on his reshuffle here later on.

    Larry's job appears safe this morning as he confidently pads around outside No10Credit: AP
  • Natasha Clark

    RESHUFFLE UNDERWAY

    The PM's spokesperson confirms the reshuffle is now underway. He won't go into when the PM first started to plan things… considering that they said yesterday there were "no plans" for one.

    It's currently taking place in the PM's Parliamentary office, they said.

    We can expect to see cabinet ministers and MPs going up the Downing Street path in the mid afternoon.

    It's expected that Cabinet ministers will be reshuffled today, and junior ones tomorrow.

    No news on how long it might last either… buckle in!

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    TAKING IT FOR GRANT-ED

    One Cabinet minister who's showing no signs of nerves about today's reshuffle is Grant Shapps.

    The transport secretary is widely considered to have been one of the Government's better performers during the pandemic.

    While colleagues fret over their futures he's been taking in the sights checking out London's new fleet of river buses.

  • Nicholas Gutteridge

    GAV IT AWAY

    Gavin Williamson is said to have delivered a farewell speech to staff at his department just now.

    The education secretary "knows he's done" and will be axed in this afternoon's reshuffle, according to HuffPost.

    The gaffe-prone Cabinet minister had been widely tipped for the chop after a series of missteps during the pandemic.

    Rumours have swirled that the PM is lining him up to replace Brandon Lewis as Northern Ireland secretary.

  • Jack Elsom

    WHO WILL BE SITTING ROUND THE TABLE NEXT WEEK?

    This is a picture of yesterday's Cabinet meeting – but there will be some new faces soon.

    Credit: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St

     

  • Natasha Clark

    NOT ON THE BENCH

    Are Dominic Raab, the Foreign Sec, and Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary…

    Work and Pensions boss Therese Coffey not there either.

    Is that a sign they're about to get the boot?

  • Jack Elsom

    PANTO SEASON

    Boris Johnson appeared in buoyant mood this afternoon as he taunted Keir Starmer in the Commons chamber.

    The PM teased that "panto season had come early" after Labour MPs jeered that taxes were going "up up up" under the Tories.

    Conservative MPs erupted into fits of laughter, while Rishi Sunak also smiled as sat beside the PM on the green benches.

  • Natasha Clark

    IT'S ON, IT'S ON!

    A No10 source says: "The PM will today conduct a reshuffle to put in place a strong and united team to Build Back Better from the pandemic.

    "Yesterday the PM set out his plan for managing COVID during the autumn and winter.

    "But the government must also redouble our efforts to deliver on the people’s priorities.

    "The PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country."

  • Natasha Clark

    ROWDY MPS

    The MPs in the chamber are clearly buoyed by the talk of a reshuffle on the cards, and are keen to show their support for the PM.

    Here's Kate's take from inside the House of Commons chamber.

  • Natasha Clark

    CAN THE PM SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF?

    Dozens of MPs are wearing wheat lapels today in a show of support for British farmers.

    Boris appeared to have his wheat lapel inside his pocket instead
    It's in honour of backing British Farming Day

     

  • Natasha Clark

    STARMER IN

    Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer wants to focus on Universal Credit today – as he's got a key debate later on the same issue.

    The opposition are pushing on ministers to keep the extra £20 a week boost which was put in place during the pandemic – but the PM is standing firm.

    Sir Keir skewers him over the benefits shake-up, saying millions will be hit hard by the cut.

    The PM raises the harsh taper rate for those on Universal Credit too, which take chunks out of income.

    Labour boss Sir Starmer grilling the PM ahead of the expected reshuffle
  • Natasha Clark

    CHEERS FOR PM

    Boris arrives in the chamber to cheers in the chamber.

    Several MPs offer him their condolences on the sad death of his mum, Charlotte, earlier this week.

    The PM is flanked by his Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary.

    On the other side is Jacob Rees Mogg, the Commons leader.

    Does that mean they're safe?

    MPs cheer the PM as he arrives for PMQs today

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