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SUELLA BRAVERMAN PA Stefan Rousseau header2.jpg
PA Stefan Rousseau
SUELLA BRAVERMAN PA Stefan Rousseau.jpg
PA Stefan Rousseau

Johnson is freshening things up and choosing people who deliver, says Conservative Councillor

by Cara Bentley

The former Chancellor Sajid Javid has resigned after the PM asked him to sack all his aides. Rishi Sunak has taken his place and Suella Braverman (pictured above) has taken over the role of Attorney general. 

Boris Johnson has been putting together his new team, keeping those loyal to him and removing colleagues (and their advisers) who have shown signs of dissent. 

Brandon Lewis replaces Julian Smith as Northern Ireland Secretary and gone are Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey to the back benches. 

Premier Christian News' Cara Bentley spoke to Clare de Silva, the Conservative Councillor for Bush Hill Park in Enfield, about her reaction to the changes.

To read an article with Labour MP Rachael Maskell, click here

She started by asking her what the swaps revealed about the Prime Minister: 

CDS: I think everyone was shocked about the Sajid Javid resignation. Although I can understand that he must have felt he was put in a very tricky situation, it was certainly an unexpected turn of events. I'm sure that will have knock on consequences now for the rest of the appointments because obviously, they may have to reshuffle the deck a little bit before they get through to the end of the day. I think it'll be interesting to see which appointments are made into tomorrow morning.

PCN: So, let's go through some of the names that are going - we mentioned a few of them - how big a clear out is this?

CDS: Although, clearly, the change of Chancellor was unexpected and quite big shock, many of the other names (so Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and so on) - there have been some warning signals that they may be for chop. It seems to me that it's not as big a dramatic reshuffle as actually it could have been. We haven't seen so far any indications of whole departments being combined, although it's not over 'til it's over so you never know! 

But I think it looks like what Boris is trying to do is to really freshen things up to have a very united Cabinet, closer ties between Number 10 and Number 11, recognising that he wants to drive through some big changes and you can't do that with lots of different departments acting semi-autonomously, it has to be a kind of unity thing. It's interesting, if you remember, Boris was the Prime Minister who got all of his candidates to sign his Brexit pledge, every single one of them, he's big on unity. I think what we're going to see is quite an interesting new tranche of people coming in who could reflect more broadly different elements of the party working together.

PCN: Let's talk about a few people who are coming in - who are they and what do we know about them? 

CDS: The new chancellor was already tipped as a rising star. He took his place in some of the leadership debates and was already making a bit of a name for himself. A slightly unexpected one was the loss of Julian Smith in Northern Ireland who obviously has done really a significant job. It's interesting to see some of the tributes that are coming through to him about the real, solid work he's been doing there - so that will be a loss for the Cabinet actually, but otherwise it's about bringing in fresh faces. I would expect to see lots of new intake taking up some of the junior positions in a day or two's time, especially some of the younger women. Actually we've got quite a lot of women entering Parliament for the first time at the moment so it'll be very interesting to see people like Deanna Davidson, some of the Northern new MPs, coming in at a more junior rung. 




PCN: What does this show about Boris Johnson's direction? What kind of team is he trying to build and who is he trying to appeal to?

CDS: Well he's made it very clear all the way along that he is interested in delivery not showboating. So, less of the media interviews and the grand speeches; more of the day-to-day delivery. He wants to show that he means business, that he can get things done - he's very keen on getting things done! He's looking for people who will get their heads down, make some change. We've got big projects coming in like HS2 that's just been agreed. We've obviously got to get the trade agreement through an a new relationship with the EU and beyond and there's a lot of work to do. So, he's looking for people who will really knuckle-down and get the job done and I think some of those people won't be people we necessarily recognise as big stars, purely because they are the ones that get their heads down in the background.

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