Boris Johnson sacks education and justice chiefs as Cabinet reshuffle begins

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Boris Johnson kicked off a long-awaited reshuffle of his top team on Wednesday by firing his education, justice and housing secretaries.

Cabinet-level changes are expected to continue throughout the day, with further ministerial posts filled Thursday. No. 10 said the reshuffle — only the second since Johnson’s election victory in 2019 — would have “a focus on uniting and leveling up the whole country.”

It comes as Whitehall departments continue to thrash out three-year spending settlements with the Treasury ahead of a review and budget unveiled October 27.

The changes so far

  • Gavin Williamson — who attracted criticism over a botched grading of exam results and was previously removed from Theresa May’s Cabinet in a security row — has been sacked as education secretary. Williamson ran Johnson’s 2019 leadership campaign.
  • Robert Buckland — in post since 2019 and a minister for the past seven years — has been sacked as justice secretary. He was seen as a safe pair of hands at the Ministry of Justice, who went out to bat for the government as it faced controversy over key Brexit legislation.
  • Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has been sacked, with the Cabinet’s outgoing youngest member paying tribute to the “hard work, dedication and friendship” of his officials after a two-year stint in the job that’s included kicking off major planning reform and a row over a Conservative donor’s role in a housing development.

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