Boris Johnson to chair first cabinet meeting after reshuffle – live news | Politics


Hello. Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of his new cabinet this morning and, while he should discuss the government's plans for a new post-Brexit immigration system, many participants - like the rest of Westminster - will likely spend as much time to reflect on the implications of the events which led to the shocking resignation of Sajid Javid as Chancellor yesterday. This morning's articles are full of analysis - here is a take from my colleague Heather Stewart; I will post links to others later - but, broadly speaking, this decision raises four big questions about the future of British politics.1) Does this mean that Boris Johnson will now abandon the tax rules announced during the election, allowing him to borrow even more than expected for infrastructure and utility expenses? Dominic Cummings, his chief advisor, thinks about that, and yesterday, # 10 was vague as to whether the government was still committed to these tax rules (which were already seen as a relaxation from the days of Philip Hammond) . The rules were written when the Conservatives expected to win a small majority, and the magnitude of Johnson's victory in December means that the pressure for new Conservative voters in the north is much greater than it was not.

2) Does this mean that Johnson is emulating the Treasury? This certainly seems to be the intention, and yesterday a commentator said that the plan to effectively merge No. 10 and the Treasury into a more coherent unit amounted to "the most significant development since the creation of devolved parliaments in 1999" . But most prime ministers at some point try to limit the powers of number 10, and most fail. The Treasury may prove more resilient institutionally than Cummings imagines, and even if the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is more firmly placed under the hierarchical leadership of No. 10, he still heads a department crammed with hundreds intelligent public servants who are professionally trained to tell politicians truths they do not want to hear.

3) Does this mean that Johnson looks more like Donald Trump? In some ways, because the reshuffle had all the hallmarks of power, and the appointment of Suella Braverman as Attorney General went wrong with advocates for justice. But even though Johnson’s preferred leadership model is probably Emperor Augustus, the cabinet government still applies a lot.

4) In the end, will this reshuffle make Johnson politically stronger or politically weaker? At this point it is impossible to say. Some Conservative MPs must be unhappy with the way Javid has been treated, but if they are, they have not said it in public yet. Johnson is so powerful right now that he can more or less do what he wants, but it won't last forever and, in the end, the reshuffle will be judged on its effectiveness for the Conservative party.

Here is our story of the day about the reshuffle.

And here is a graph from last night on the reshuffle. It presents the 10 ministers who were authorized to sit in the cabinet before the reshuffle. No. 10 has now dramatically reduced these numbers and, in addition to the full cabinet, there will only be four additional participants: Stephen Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the Commons; Mark Spencer, the chief whip; and Suella Braverman, the Attorney General.

Cabinet changes
Cabinet changes

Here is the agenda for the day.

10 am: Boris Johnson chairs a meeting of the new cabinet.

10 am: Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Leadership Contestant, deliver a speech at Salford.

13h: Downing Street lobby briefing.

In addition, today is the last day for candidates for Labor and Deputy Leadership to obtain the CLP or affiliate appointments they need to make it to the last ballot. Emily Thornberry is the only candidate who has yet to reach that threshold, but three other CLP appointments today would overtake her.

As usual, I'll cover the latest political news as we go along, as well as the best reactions, comments and analysis from the web. I intend to publish a summary when I finish.

You can read all of the latest Guardian political articles here. Here is the Political Summary of Europe this morning. And here is the List of 10 must-haves today.

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