Boris Johnson sacks Brexiteer ministers in cabinet reshuffle

Boris Johnson has carried out a cabinet reshuffle (PA)

Boris Johnson has sacked a number of prominent Brexiteers in a reshuffle of his cabinet.

Attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox, housing minister Esther McVey, environment secretary Theresa Villiers, and business secretary Andrea Leadsom, all of whom have been consistent Brexit supporters, have been fired.

Meanwhile Sajid Javid stood down as chancellor of the exchequer in a shock move after refusing to cave to demands from Downing Street to sack an entire team of aides.

Here’s a list of all firings and hirings so far that will be updated throughout the day


Sajid Javid, chancellor of the exchequer

Nicky Morgan, culture secretary


Julian Smith, Northern Ireland secretary

Esther McVey, housing minister

Esther McVey was one of the ministers to be sacked in Boris Johnson's reshuffle (Empics)

Theresa Villiers, environment minister

Andrea Leadsom, business secretary

Sit Geoffrey Cox, Attorney General

Nusrat Ghani, transport minister

George Freeman, transport minister


Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer

Alok Sharma, business secretary and and minister for climate conference COP26

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, international development secretary

Oliver Dowden, culture secretary

Suella Braverman, attorney general

George Eustice, environment secretary

Stephen Barclay, treasury secretary

Northern Ireland minister and former chief whipp Smith was the first to be given the sack on Thursday morning.

Sources indicate the PM is poised to promote a number of female MPs to junior positions, with the overall gender balance of the 22-strong cabinet expected to stay the same.

Leadsom said it had been a “privilege” to serve in government, while McVey said she was “very sorry” to have been sacked as housing minister.

Confirming her dismissal, Villers wrote on Facebook: “What the Prime Minister giveth, the Prime Minister taketh away: just over six months ago, I was delighted to be invited by the Prime Minister to return to government after three years on the backbenches.

“This morning he told me that I need to make way for someone new.”

Boris Johnson chairs a cabinet meeting before the reshuffle (PA via AP)

Smith thanked the PM and the people of Northern Ireland as he confirmed on Twitter that he had been shown the door.

He was initially thought to be safe in his post after securing a power-sharing deal at Stormont after months of stalemate.

But there are concerns the deal could pave the way for prosecutions of British soldiers.

Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney paid tribute to Smith and his work restoring government in Northern Ireland.

Junior ministers Nusrat Ghani and George Freeman were also let go.

Universities minister Chris Skidmore announced on Twitter that he had also been fired, saying he would now have more time to spend with his “gorgeous” baby.

A Number 10 source said: “The prime minister wants this reshuffle to set the foundations for government now and in the future.

“He wants to promote a generation of talent that will be promoted further in the coming years.

“He will reward those MPs who have worked hard to deliver on this government’s priorities to level up the whole country and deliver the change people voted for last year.”