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All the key changes as Boris Johnson reshuffles UK Cabinet

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Boris Johnson fired his education, justice and housing secretaries as he carried out a major reshuffle of his top team.

He’s also demoted his former foreign secretary and shaken up his trade and tech departments — but kept the key jobs of home secretary and chancellor in the same hands.

With Cabinet-level changes wrapping up, further ministerial posts are set to be filled in the coming days. No. 10 said the reshuffle — only the second since Johnson’s election victory in 2019 — was aimed at “uniting and leveling up the whole country.”

It comes as Whitehall departments continue to thrash out three-year spending settlements with the Treasury ahead of a review and budget unveiled October 27.

The moves

— Gavin Williamson — who attracted criticism over a botched grading of exam results and was previously removed from Theresa May’s Cabinet in a security row — has been sacked as education secretary. Williamson ran Johnson’s 2019 leadership campaign.

— Nadhim Zahawi will replace Williamson as education secretary, a big promotion to Cabinet after winning praise for presiding over the U.K.’s vaccination program. Zahawi, whose family came to the U.K. after fleeing Iraq, is co-founder of polling firm YouGov and backed Dominic Raab in the 2019 Tory leadership race.

— Robert Buckland — in post since 2019 and a minister for the past seven years — has been sacked as justice secretary. He was seen as a safe pair of hands at the Ministry of Justice, who went out to bat for the government as it faced controversy over key Brexit legislation.

Dominic Raab replaces Buckland as justice secretary, a move that will be seen as a step down from one of the great offices of state he occupied as foreign secretary. Raab — who stepped in for Boris Johnson when the PM was hospitalized with COVID — has come under fire in recent weeks for his handling of the U.K.’s response to the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. No. 10 confirmed he’ll retain his role as deputy prime minister, however.

Liz Truss takes Raab’s foreign secretary job, moving from the Department for International Trade where she’s landed a string of post-Brexit trade deals and earned the admiration of the Conservative grassroots — but divided opinion about how far she’s moved the needle. Truss will continue to serve as minister for women and equalities.

— Anne-Marie Travelyan returns to Cabinet as international trade secretary, stepping into Truss’s shoes and making a comeback after the department she previously led — international development — was merged with Foreign Office amid wider cuts to U.K. overseas aid spending. She takes on the DIT job as it tries to put the finishing touches on a trade deal with New Zealand.

Robert Jenrick has been sacked as housing, communities and local government secretary with the Cabinet’s outgoing youngest member paying tribute to the “hard work, dedication and friendship” of his officials after a two-year stint in the job that’s included kicking off planning reform and a major row over a Conservative donor’s role in a housing development decision.

Michael Gove replaces Jenrick at the MHCLG after two years as minister for the Cabinet Office. The leading Brexiteer is an avowed public sector reformer who will now have oversight of a key area of domestic policy — and be handed “cross-government responsibility for” Johnson’s flagship ‘Leveling Up’ promise to curb regional inequality. He’ll continue to be Johnson’s point-man for the United Kingdom, tasked with staving off the threat of Scottish independence.

— Steve Barclay takes on Gove’s old Cabinet Office job after a stint at the Treasury. Barclay backed Johnson in 2019 and served as Brexit secretary to both Theresa May and Johnson before that department was axed.

— Nadine Dorries is promoted to secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport after serving as mental health minister. She takes on a packed brief that includes the U.K.’s bid to crack down on ‘Online Harms’ and the recovery of its pandemic-hit culture sector. Dorries is a best-selling fiction author and long-standing ally of Johnson’s who once branded then-prime minister David Cameron and his chancellor “two posh boys who don’t know the price of milk.” She replaces Oliver Dowden, who is handed the roving brief of minister without portfolio at the Cabinet Office.

Amanda Milling has been sacked as Conservative Party co-chair in a move that comes just weeks before the party gathers for its annual conference.

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