By Ned Simons
Sajid Javid has unexpectedly resigned as chancellor amid Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle.
The prime minister sacked five senior ministers on Thursday morning but Javid had widely been expected to remain in post.
Rishi Sunak, who had been serving as chief secretary to the Treasury, has been appointed chancellor in his place.
It is understood Javid to objected to No.10 seeking to take more control over the Treasury.
Last year HuffPost UK revealed Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s senior adviser, had fired one of Javid’s advisers.
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said the shock resignation showed the government was “in crisis after just over two months in power”.
“Dominic Cummings has clearly won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury and install his stooge as chancellor,” he said.
Julian Smith was fired as Northern Ireland secretary earlier today, despite him having recently helped secure a power-sharing deal at Stormont.
Esther McVey has been fired as housing minister. Andrea Leadsom has been sacked as business secretary.
Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, has been removed from his post and said it had been a privilege to serve during “recent turbulent political times”.
In a post on Facebook, Theresa Villiers said the prime minister told her she had to “make way for someone new” as she lost her job as environment secretary.
It is the first cabinet reshuffle since Johnson won a comfortable majority at the general election in December.
Alok Sharma is expected to be promoted from his current international development job, while paymaster general Oliver Dowden is rumoured to be the new culture secretary.
Priti Patel remains as home secretary and Dominic Raab remains as foreign secretary, Downing Street has confirmed.
There are currently only eight women in Johnson’s 31-strong cabinet team and it has suggested this figure could actually go down rather than up.
Female MPs in line for promotion include defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, prisons minister Lucy Frazer, former Brexit minister Suella Braverman and Chichester MP Gillian Keegan.
Downing Street has indicated the most junior ministerial rank – parliamentary under-secretary of state level – is likely to have a 50-50 gender split after the reshuffle.