Thu | Feb 20, 2020

UK Treasury chief quits as Johnson shakes up Cabinet

Published:Thursday | February 13, 2020 | 9:45 AM
British lawmaker Sajid Javid Chancellor of the Exchequer walks along Downing Street in London, Thursday, February 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — United Kingdom Treasury chief Sajid Javid unexpectedly resigned on Thursday, throwing a carefully planned shakeup of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government into turmoil.

Javid had been widely expected to keep his job — the second most powerful in the government — as Johnson fired some Cabinet members and promoted more junior ministers to top jobs.

He smiled as he entered the prime minister’s 10 Downing St. office on Thursday morning to meet Johnson.

But a spokesman confirmed soon after that Javid had quit.

The government announced that he would be replaced by Rishi Sunak, who was previously a deputy to Javid at the Treasury.

Javid’s resignation follows reports he had clashed with Johnson’s powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings, a self-styled political disruptor who is mistrusted by many lawmakers and officials.

Javid had been due to deliver his annual budget in less than a month.

His resignation shakes the government as it faces the challenge of negotiating a new relationship with the 27-nation European Union by the end of this year.

Johnson also has ambitious infrastructure plans including a 100 billion-pound high-speed railway connecting London to central and northern England, and has vowed to boost poorer regions outside the economic hub of London and southeast England.

Britain’s Press Association news agency reported that Javid had quit after being told to fire all his aides and replace them with staff appointed by the prime minister’s office.

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