With the Conservatives' Popularity Declining, Boris Johnson is Reshuffling
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a cabinet reshuffle with the aim of forming a united team to face the post-COVID epidemic.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson just reshuffled his current cabinet.
Following circulating rumors for weeks, British media finally revealed that Johnson had dismissed Foreign Minister Dominic Raab from his position today, assigning him to the role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, thus replacing Robert Buckland.
"I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved," Buckland wrote earlier before his departure in a Tweet.
It has been an honour to serve in Government for the last 7 years, and as the Lord Chancellor for the last 2.— Robert Buckland (@RobertBuckland) September 15, 2021
I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure
Gavin Williamson has also been fired as Secretary of Education. Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick was another victim early in the reshuffle.
Priti Patel will retain her position of Home Secretary and Rishi Sunak will retain his position as chancellor.
Earlier in the day, a Downing Street source clarified that “The PM will today conduct a reshuffle to put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic,” adding that Johnson presented his plan to deal with COVID in the fall and winter seasons whilst stressing the need for the government to redouble its efforts.
The announcement comes at a sensitive time for the 57-year-old Conservative PM, who arrived in Downing Street in the summer of 2019 and won a landslide victory in the December 2019 legislative elections with his promise to deliver Brexit.
A recent opinion poll conducted by YouGov showed that the popularity of the Conservatives had fallen sharply (33%), over which the Labor Party had advanced (35%) for the first time since the beginning of the year.
The government is thus paying the price for announcing an increase in social security contributions to support a public health system that has suffered a severe setback due to the epidemic.
The Conservative government raised taxes to their highest levels since the post-World War II era, thus defying their campaign promise.
Simultaneously, the British press reported on Boris Johnson's desire to separate from senior ministers in his government after they faced major waves of criticism:
-Education Secretary Gavin Williamson for his handling of school closures during the pandemic.
-Home Secretary Priti Patel for her inability to reduce the number of illegal immigrants coming from France.
-The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab for his failure to evacuate all those who should have been evacuated from Kabul after the Taliban’s return to power.
Raab, who took over the position of Johnson's deputy last April when the latter was in intensive care following his COVID-19 infection, faced constant criticism for his handling of the Afghan crisis, as he did not interrupt a vacation he was spending on the beach on a Greek island while the Taliban was consolidating its position.
The press also expects Raab, who has brokered a series of deals since the implementation of Brexit in January, to be replaced by Trade Secretary Liz Truss.
Michael Gove, one of the leaders of the pro-Brexit campaign, has been proposed as a replacement for Patel.
The period is also difficult for the government, which in July lifted most of the restrictions that were imposed to contain COVID-19 despite the outbreak of the Delta variant, which kept infections at a high rate (about 30 thousand infections per day).
The return to school and the advent of the fall, with its host of seasonal viruses similar to the common cold, raises fears of a difficult situation in hospitals in the coming weeks.
Britain is one of the countries most affected by the epidemic in Europe, with more than 134,000 deaths reported so far.