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Johnson kicks off new ministry with dramatic Cabinet cull…

Boris Johnson carried out the biggest Cabinet cull in almost 60 years on Wednesday as he promoted Brexit loyalists to help him get Britain out of the EU on October 31, “no ifs or buts”. The new Prime Minister, who had recently said his favourite film moment was the “retribution scene” in The Godfather, staged his own political massacre as 17 ministers either resigned or were sacked. Among those fired in a breathtakingly swift transition were Jeremy Hunt, who was shown the door after refusing a demotion, and nine ministers who had supported the outgoing foreign secretary in the leadership race. In their place, Mr Johnson packed the Cabinet with loyalists and Brexiteers…” – Daily Telegraph

  • The bloodiest reshuffle in modern history – The Times
  • Eleven sackings mean plenty of new enemies – The Sun
  • Loyalist Brexiteers promoted – Daily Telegraph
  • He will stand by the head of the Civil Service – The Times
  • Speech a ‘brutal dismissal of the May era’ – FT

Analysis:

  • Defiance costs Hunt his job – Francis Elliott, The Times
  • He must act swiftly to capitalise on a ‘Boris bounce’ – Ben Page, Times Red Box
  • That first speech, unspun – Philip Collins, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson’s shuffle. If one asks for decisiveness – for an end to drift – don’t complain when it’s delivered.

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Johnson’s reshuffle. Live Blog. Seven of his leadership rivals get jobs. Rees-Mogg in as Leader of the House.

…as he insists Britain will leave the EU in 99 days…

“Boris Johnson entered Downing Street on Wednesday and embarked on a remarkable bout of political bloodletting, as he created a hardcore team of Brexiters determined to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 and primed for an early election. Mr Johnson ripped apart Theresa May’s former cabinet – 15 senior ministers were sacked or resigned before they were axed – as he declared war on “the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters”. Standing on the steps of Downing Street he said “no ifs or buts” Britain would leave the EU in 99 days’ time and carried out a cabinet clear-out that made Harold Macmillan’s 1962 “Night of the Long Knives” seem modest by comparison. In a defiant and brutal speech outside Number 10, Mr Johnson did not even mention Mrs May by name, but lambasted her for her indecision.” – FT

  • Out on October 31st: no ifs, no buts – The Times
  • Gove will bring experience to bear to deliver no-deal Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Vote Leave veterans bury the hatchet – The Times
  • Rees-Mogg stresses that MPs don’t need to approve No Deal – Daily Express
  • Johnson won’t strike a deal with Farage – The Sun

More:

  • Varadkar dismisses Johnson as ‘ranting fantasist’ – The Sun
  • France ready for no deal, says Paris minister – FT
  • Brussels gear up for ‘brutal’ showdown with new regime – The Sun
  • EU brands Johnson’s tax-free zones a ‘money-laundering threat’ – The Guardian
  • Von der Leyen demotes ‘monster’ Selmayr – The Times

>Today: MPs Etc.: ConHome’s Ministerial recommendations: how did we do and what did we learn?

>Yesterday: Chris White in Comment: What will the new Prime Minister’s Parliamentary options be on Brexit?

…and brings Cummings into the heart of government

“Every political aide across the government will report to Dominic Cummings, the mastermind of the Vote Leave campaign, after he was appointed one of Boris Johnson’s most senior Downing Street advisers. The man who, perhaps even more than Mr Johnson himself, was responsible for persuading Britain to vote to leave the European Union has been brought in to spearhead the new prime minister’s pledge to deliver Brexit “do or die” in less than a hundred days. In a move that is eye-catching and controversial, Mr Cummings, who devised the infamous Vote Leave NHS funding pledge, will help to form and enforce Mr Johnson’s Brexit strategy and has successfully demanded all political aides across government report to him.” – The Times

  • Guerrilla warrior prepared for a revolution in Whitehall – The Times

Comment:

  • A sharp-tongued recruit who could cut Johnson down – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • ‘Night of the Long Knives’ has Cummings’ fingerprints on it – Tom Harwood, Daily Telegraph
  • This is a Vote Leave government now – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

>Yesterday:

James Forsyth: Everything hangs on delivering Brexit

“If Boris can’t get Brexit done, then he’ll be done. So what’s the plan? Well, it is to seek a deal while preparing for No Deal. Boris has long regarded a genuine threat to walk away without a deal as being a bit like the Trident nuclear deterrent: Because you have it, you don’t have to use it. But as one of those involved in devising this approach tells me, for it to work, “both elements of the strategy have to be credible”. In other words, both the No Deal preparation and the proposed deal must be realistic. This is where his key Brexit lieutenants Dominic Cummings and David Frost come in. They might be backroom appointments but they are as – if not more – important to the success of Boris’s premiership as the Cabinet appointments he has made.” – The Sun

  • His spirit of optimism will make all the difference – Madeline Grant, Daily Telegraph
  • Three things to know about a Johnson government – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Midsummer massacre may come back to haunt him – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Brexit:

  • Prime Minister has a mandate for no deal, whatever Remoaners say – Owen Paterson, Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Blue terror’ does not mean a no-deal exit – Tom Kibasi, The Guardian
  • They froze May out, but Johnson scares EU leaders – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • We all know he’s bluffing – Fintan O’Toole, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • A brilliant debut speech – The Sun
  • Gambling that this team can finish the job – The Times
  • A crack unit to take us out of the EU – Daily Telegraph
  • Economy needs more than optimism – FT
  • No room for compromise – The Guardian

>Today: Andrew Sharpe and Pamela Hall in Comment: Now is the time to back our new leader and unite our party

Javid to ‘splash the cash’ as Chancellor

Boris Johnson has just made what may be one of the most important decisions of his premiership: replacing Philip Hammond as Chancellor of the Exchequer with Sajid Javid. The expectation is that this will mark an important change of tone from Number 11 – and not just on Brexit policy. Johnson has promised to “to energise the country”. His list of priorities includes “better education, better infrastructure, more police, fantastic full-fibre broadband sprouting in every household – we are going to unite this amazing country and we are going to take it forward”. That indicates he wants bold new ideas across all departments – and given bold ideas are often expensive that means big demands on the Treasury. Balancing the books will be difficult.” – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Johnson must spend, spend, spend to reunite the UK – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

>Today: MPs Etc.: Full list of Cabinet appointments

Raab takes over the Foreign Office

“The ambitious ex-lawyer, 45, was rewarded with the appointment after coming sixth in the Tory leadership contest. He inherits a £1.2 billion annual budget and a network of 14,000 employees in addition to a bulging in-tray. The Iran crisis and the Trump administration will demand his immediate attention, alongside building relationships with his European counterparts in the lead up to the Brexit deadline, which is 98 days away. It marks a major promotion for the MP and senior Vote Leave campaigner, who has only four months’ experience in the cabinet.” – The Times

  • Hint of ship swap amidst de-escalation efforts – The Guardian
  • Wallace will help on Iran as he replaces Mordaunt at Defence – The Times

Comment:

  • Time for pragmatism with Tehran – Roula Khalaf, FT

Patel to ‘lead fightback on law and order’

“Priti Patel, who once supported the death penalty, has been given as home secretary the key task of restoring the Conservatives’ reputation as the party of law and order. Her return to government is a stunning comeback for the hardcore Brexiteer and prominent member of the Vote Leave campaign. She had been a rising star of Theresa May’s government, but resigned as international development secretary two years ago over unauthorised contacts with Israeli government officials while she was on holiday. She was accused of running her own foreign policy in the Middle East. Yesterday several Conservative MPs lobbied Mark Spencer, the new chief whip, against appointing her.” – The Times

  • She could be the hardest-line Home Secretary in years – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • A hang’em and flog’em heroine of the hard right – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • A more diverse Cabinet is only the first step to winning minority voters – Sunder Katwala, Times Red Box

Test for Johnson as Sturgeon tries yet another independence push

“Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has written to Boris Johnson to tell him that she is “looking forward” to discussing with him her proposals for a second independence referendum… She writes: “Given your public comments about leaving the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, “come what may” and “do or die” , it is now – more than ever – essential that in Scotland we have an alternative option”… Johnson refused to rule out blocking a second referendum on Scottish independence, even if the SNP won a mandate for one at the next Holyrood elections, when he visited Scotland during the Conservative leadership campaign, maintaining that “we should stick to that promise” that the 2014 vote was decisive for a generation.” – The Guardian

  • He strains relations with Davidson by sacking Mundell – The Times

May expected to stay in Parliament

“Theresa May warned Boris Johnson of the “heavy responsibilities” of office as she left Downing Street for the final time as prime minister. In her last speech outside No 10 before she left for Buckingham Palace to resign, Mrs May, 62, said that the role was the “greatest honour” and pledged to continue to serve in the national interest from the back benches. Mrs May, with her husband, Philip, standing next to her, also told Mr Johnson in a pointed message that his immediate priority should be to secure a Brexit that worked for the whole of the United Kingdom. Friends said that she would stay in parliament and focus on her constituency of Maidenhead and issues close to her heart, such as mental health, despite job offers “coming out of her ears”.” – The Times

  • Conservatives rally to outgoing leader on her final day – FT
  • She steps down with the lowest approval rating since Thatcher – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • All Labour MPs showed by refusing to clap is a shameful lack of grace – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May’s farewell: “To serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the greatest honour.”

Corbyn rules out confidence vote before the autumn

Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out bringing a confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s Government until at least September. It comes as “a minimum of 40” Tory MPs are braced to rebel against the government to block a no deal Brexit after Remain-backing ministers quit before Mr Johnson entered Downing Street. However the Opposition leader said he will only table a confidence vote when he think it will be “successful”, effectively ruling it out until Parliament returns after summer recess. Mr Corbyn said: “Conservative and DUP MPs need to recognise this is a Government that barely has an arithmetic majority in Parliament and certainly doesn’t have the confidence of the people of this country.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • McDonnell exposes ‘utter disarray’ of Labour’s Brexit policy – Daily Express

Liberal Democrats:

  • Boost for Swinson as poll suggests Tories are swelling Lib Dem ranks – The Times
  • Liberal leader reveals ‘desperate’ plan to topple Johnson – Daily Express

Tugendhat leads MPs’ call for tougher jail sentences for leakers

“Jail sentences for anyone caught leaking Government secrets should be made more “severe”, MPs demand today. In a report, the Foreign Affairs committee wants the maximum term for breaching the Official Secrets Act increased from two years. Rogue officials should also face extra sanctions such as being stripped of their pensions and being hit with the costs of mole-hunt investigations, the report says. Chairman Tom Tugendhat said: “Confidentiality is at the heart of our diplomacy. The effective functioning of Government depends on it. Leaks are corrosive and undermine the work of the FCO, the civil service and the wider Government at home and abroad.”” – The Sun

  • Those who leak sensitive cables ‘should face losing pension’ – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Why an election before 2022 would be a mistake – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • Johnson the columnist may regret he went into politics – Alastair Benn, Reaction
  • Cummings is his most important appointment – Robert Peston, The Spectator
  • May’s last-gasp attack on liberty was illiberal and unworkable – Christopher Snowdon, 1828
  • Could Johnson solve the housing crisis? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

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