Pound jumps on hopes new Chancellor will turn on the spending taps

Indian-origin Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Narayana Murthy, is Britain's Finance Minister

Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle, which triggered the shock resignation of Chancellor Sajid Javid, has provoked debate online over whether the UK PM's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is in fact calling the shots in government.

Rishi Sunak has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer - the UK's finance minister - in succession to Sajid Javid, who resigned on a point of principle on Thursday, 13 February, after being ordered to sack his closest advisers.

Mr Cummings, his most senior adviser, will also summon political aides for a meeting this evening, where several are expected to be moved or demoted as part of a significant reorganisation.

And he told Mr Johnson in his resignation letter that he believed it was "important as leaders to have trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would wish to be associated with".

Asked whether the planned Budget statement would still take place on March 11, he said only: "Extensive preparations have already been carried out for the Budget and they will continue at pace".

Mr Sunak has been Chief Secretary to the Treasury since July 2019, and was regularly sent out to bat for Boris Johnson in media appearances both during and since the election.

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said Smith was "one of Britain's finest politicians of our time".

The government said Thursday that Alok Sharma, previously in charge of global development, would become business secretary and also take charge of COP26. Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, will join Home Secretary Priti Patel on the top government bench as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Johnson, who had wanted to minimize any disruption from the cabinet reshuffle, quickly appointed Javid's deputy Rishi Sunak, a loyal supporter of the prime minister who has often been put in front of the cameras to sell government policy.

"He is going to be a fantastic Chancellor".

But Mr Javid's resignation as Chancellor due to his reluctance to sack his political advisers has raised the question - has Number 10 now got too much power?

Along with the ministerial exits, the reshuffle - which Downing Street insiders had predicted would be "conventional" before the row with Javid - included promotions for MPs who are highly rated by Number 10.

George Eustice was promoted to environment secretary from his previous role in the same department.

- Esther McVey lost her job as housing minister.

Former defence secretary Penny Mordaunt will return to Government as Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office.

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