Boris Johnson has begun sacking Theresa May’s Cabinet before he builds his own senior team.
So far a clutch of senior ministers have been asked to leave the government, all of whom backed Jeremy Hunt in the leadership race and some of whom had been expected to stay regardless according to news.sky.com .
Penny Mordaunt the defence secretary, Liam Fox the trade secretary, Greg Clark the business secretary and Damian Hinds, the education secretary, have all been sacked. All supported Mr Hunt.
Chris Grayling resigned his position as transport secretary; he backed Johnson.
The departure of Maudaunt and Fox have caused the most surprise so far as both were expected to continue in government despite not supporting the new prime minister.
Sources say both were asked to leave without being offered alternative roles.
Their departures show Johnson intends to govern with a fresh Cabinet of people who support him despite earlier claims he may keep some ministers in the top team to avoid rocking the boat with such a small Commons majority.
Earlier in the day David Gauke, the justice secretary, Rory Stewart the secretary of state for international development, chancellor Phillip Hammond and deputy prime minister David Lidington all handed in their resignations.
Johnson is understood to be planning to overhaul the Cabinet to include more women and ethnic minority ministers than have previously sat around the top table.
But he faces a number of difficult appointments, including the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is understood to have been offered another job in government but turned it down.
Johnson must decide whether he allows Hunt to stay in the job he wants or to face him down and deal with the prospect of his leadership rival on the backbenches.
Others are vying for senior positions too.
Gavin Williamson, Priti Patel, Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab, and others are all being discussed as possible cabinet appointments but reshuffling a team so small when there are so many people hoping for senior roles is difficult.
Johnson’s first task will be to hire a team which backs his aim but without prompting uproar from conservatives who do not share his vision.
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