Newslinks for Friday 14th February 2020

Reshuffle 1) Javid fires ‘warning shot’ at Johnson

“Sajid Javid quit as chancellor in protest at a No 10 power grab yesterday and warned that Boris Johnson risked wrecking the Treasury’s credibility. The prime minister backed Dominic Cummings, his senior adviser, in demanding that Mr Javid sack his entire team of aides in the reshuffle. Instead the 50-year-old former leadership contender resigned and questioned the “character and integrity” of those around Mr Johnson. Rishi Sunak, the new chancellor, who was a junior minister under Theresa May, has accepted what Mr Javid said no “self-respecting minister” could — a joint No 10-No 11 economic team.” – The Times

  • How ex-Chancellor lost the battle of power between Number 10 and 11 – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson dropped his bombshell and low-key reshuffle exploded – The Times
  • Prime Minister brings Treasury to heel – Daily Telegraph
  • Insulting nickname (*Chancellor In Name Only) helped trigger huge bust-up – Daily Mail
  • What now for UK economic policy? – FT
  • Javid may now be remembered as the second Chancellor never deliver a Budget – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Reshuffle 1) The lesson of this PJ Masks shakeup. For Johnson and Cummings, it is truly Do or Die.

>Yesterday:

Reshuffle 2) Rumours that Sunak was in line for Number 11 ‘never far from the surface’

“Rishi Sunak’s elevation to Chancellor of the Exchequer may have been dramatic, but the 39-year-old has long been marked out as a rising star in the Conservative party. The wealthy Winchester-educated son of Indian immigrants entered Parliament in 2015, taking over William Hague’s old seat of Richmond in Yorkshire, and won first his junior ministerial role under Theresa May. The committed Brexiteer was catapulted rapidly into the cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Boris Johnson last July. The rumours that he was likely to replace Sajid Javid – who backed Remain in the referendum – were never far from the surface.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The ‘Yorkshire maharajah’ – The Times

>Yesterday: Profiles: Rishi Sunak, rising star of the Johnson project

Reshuffle 3) Daniel Finkelstein: This is not the way to bring the Treasury to heel

“The best way to achieve harmony between Nos 10 and 11 is for the prime minister to appoint his or her closest ally to the job. But Theresa May and Boris Johnson share one characteristic, perhaps a surprising one given that Mr Johnson is so gregarious and Mrs May is so not. Both of them are loners. So Mr Johnson didn’t have a parliamentary best friend he could appoint. His relationship with Mr Javid was cordial because both of them are cordial people but they weren’t partners. And Rishi Sunak (also a cordial person) isn’t his partner either. I suspect they don’t know each other all that well. An alternative is to appoint a chancellor who is at least philosophically aligned with the PM and committed to the same goals. But it’s not yet obvious what those goals are and therefore who that person should be.” – The Times

  • This is Boris’s show – and he wants to pull all the levers of power – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Reshuffle shows weakness at heart of No 10 – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Johnson has backed Cummings over Javid, and there will be a cost – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • Javid stood in the way of Treasury reform, Boris was right to get rid of him – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Reshuffle was a ruthless crushing for enemies of henchman Cummings – Simon Walters, Daily Mail
  • Treasury will bide its time over Johnson’s radical changes – Larry Elliott, The Guardian
  • Johnson should beware threat from his own side – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Javid was pushed before he jumped despite being a most pliant MP – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • Post-Brexit Chancellor needs to be unafraid to challenge the Treasury – Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph

Sunak:

  • Why our ‘exceptional’ new Chancellor is the bright person for the job – Grant Rollings, The Sun
  • Sunak has won the Treasury, but its long-fabled power is now broken – Tom Kibasi, The Guardian

Sketches:

  • It all started so cheerfully, then came a mighty prang – Quentin Letts, The Times
  • The day ‘The Saj’ stormed out… – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Javid’s self-worth wasn’t part of the plan for Cummi– sorry, Johnson – John Crace, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • Prime Minister may come to regret his seizure of control of the Treasury – The Times
  • The dangers of this power grab – FT
  • Johnson is entitled to overhaul the Treasury but mustn’t lose sight of the balance sheet – The Sun

>Today: Chris White in Comment: Reshuffle 4) It isn’t just Ministers who get fired. A third of SpAds are set to lose their jobs.

Reshuffle 4) Smith, ‘Minister of the Year’, dismissed

“Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, called Julian Smith “one of Britain’s finest politicians of our time”, but on Thursday Boris Johnson dismissed him from his post as Northern Ireland secretary. Only last month Mr Smith was being garlanded as “Minister of the Year” by the Spectator magazine for his role in bringing the Stormont assembly in Belfast back to life after three years in the deep freeze. But his sacking revealed the depth of animosity felt by the prime minister towards Mr Smith, a pro-Remain survivor from the Theresa May era. Mr Smith, chief whip under Mrs May, was somewhat surprised to survive Mr Johnson’s first reshuffle last July but threw himself into his role in Northern Ireland, whose future was bound up with Brexit.” – FT

  • Northern Ireland peace deal ‘hangs in balance after’ Johnson axes its architect – The Sun
  • Decision ‘upsets Ulster leaders’ – The Times
  • Smith sacked ‘over risk of more prosecutions for Troubles veterans’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson ‘kept in the dark’ over decision to sanction investigations – Daily Express

>Yesterday:

Reshuffle 5) Braverman’s views, set out views on ConservativeHome, scrutinised

“The government’s new chief lawyer condemned the growing power of judges over politicians weeks before her appointment. Suella Braverman, the new attorney-general, is a prominent supporter of Brexit and has criticised decisions by the Supreme Court around Britain’s departure from the EU. “Brexit has served as a flashpoint of the shrinkage of politics and the ascent of law,” Ms Braverman, 39, the MP for Fareham, wrote in a blog on the Conservative Home website last month… Her views will add to the row between the legal profession and the government over Mr Johnson’s plan to review the role of the senior judiciary and the expansion of judicial review.” – The Times

  • Data case defeat ‘increases Tory pressure to quit ECHR’ – FT

More:

  • Diversity goes backwards in reshuffle – The Times
  • Sharma appointed president of Cop26 climate conference – The Guardian
  • Johnson rewards trusted allies in shake up – FT
  • Prime Minister assembles youngest ever post-war cabinet – Daily Telegraph
  • Leadsom took her team for a champagne lunch after Johnson fired her – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Reshuffle 2): Live Blog – Berry turns down a Foreign Office post and leaves the Government, citing family commitments.

Reshuffle 6) Trevelyan has expressed scepticism over her new brief

Shield“The new international development secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has previously expressed apparent scepticism about the value of foreign aid, comments that will prompt fresh concerns that the department could become marginalised. While aid groups welcomed the fact that her appointment meant the Department for International Development (DfID) had not, at least for now, been incorporated into the Foreign Office, as mooted, her comments indicate at least doubt about the sector. In 2012 – three years before she became MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed – she replied to a tweet from DfID saying: “No one in Africa should go hungry,” by saying: “Nor in the UK. There r kids in NE who have no regular meals due to chaotic parents. Should they go hungry?”” – The Guardian

  • Charity begins at home for woman in charge of aid – The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Reshuffle 3) It’s a scandal that Housing is now on its tenth Minister in ten years.

Prime Minister ‘risks deepening row with US’ by cancelling visit…

“Boris Johnson has risked deepening tensions with Donald Trump by scrapping a visit to America next month to see him. The US President is desperate to seal a trade deal with Britain before his re-election campaign begins in the Autumn. Mr Trump wants to begin trade talks with the PM during a high profile visit to the White House. But the PM has repeatedly delayed the trip, which was expected in January, then later this month. It has now been decided to suspend any meeting between Boris and the president altogether until June, when the PM is due at Trump’s official retreat Camp David for a summit of G7 leaders. Confirming the cancellation, No10 sources insisted it was because the PM is determined to stay in No10 to drive through his domestic agenda.” – The Sun

…and faces investigation over holiday

“Boris Johnson is facing an investigation by parliament’s sleaze watchdog after a Conservative donor said that he had “facilitated” his free stay on a Caribbean island. Mr Johnson had claimed that the £15,000 cost of the holiday on the private island of Mustique was paid for by the Carphone Warehouse boss David Ross, who owns a property there. But his declaration in the register of MPs’ interests was contradicted by Mr Ross, who denied that he had paid for the holiday Mr Johnson took with his partner, Carrie Symonds. Yesterday he said that he had merely “facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson”. Labour reported the prime minister to the commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, questioning whether he had “knowingly made a false entry”.” – The Times

  • He ‘failed to declare’ the villa is owned by an elusive hedge fund boss – The Sun

Labour leadership candidates divided over trans pledge card

“A controversial pledge card calling on the Labour party to expel “transphobic” members has split the party’s leadership contenders. Lisa Nandy has joined Rebecca Long-Bailey in signing the 12-point pledge card by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR) that also describes some organisations including Woman’s Place UK as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Nandy said: “It’s a very tough pledge but it’s important that we are tough.” But Emily Thornberry has spoken out against the pledge card, and Keir Starmer, the frontrunner in the race, has not signed it and on Thursday chose instead to endorse a less contentious 10-point pledge by LGBT Labour.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Max Young in Comment: Labour’s London Assembly candidates stress their Corbynista credentials

News in Brief:

  • The real impact of a dramatic reshuffle – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • Boris has tightened his iron grip on government – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Losing Julian Smith is bad for Northern Ireland – Ruth Dudley Edwards, Reaction
  • Ireland’s crumbling defences against Sinn Fein – Richard Waghorne, The Critic
  • The strange tragedy of John Bercow – Douglas Murray, UnHerd

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