Yesterday’s Times reported that
Boris Johnson is considering a cabinet reshuffle this month as Westminster is engulfed by rumours about demotions for some of his most senior ministers.
In the middle of a pivotal week for the prime minister, ambitious Tories and career officials are convinced that a shake-up is imminent and could come as soon as [Thursday].
Publicly Downing Street has said that there are “no plans” for a reshuffle — stopping short of scotching speculation altogether — while Johnson avoided the question three times at a press conference last night. Some believe that the prospect of a reshuffle has been dangled to dampen opposition to the tax rises that MPs will vote on [Wednesday].
In private, though, senior figures have confirmed the possibility of a reboot of the cabinet before the Conservative Party conference at the start of October, allowing Johnson to present new faces to the country before what is expected to be a difficult winter.
Any pre-conference reshuffle would have to take place in the next fortnight before the Commons goes into recess.
This could be a major reshuffle as The Times says Raab, Patel, and Williamson look set to be demoted with Gove to the Home Office and Truss to the Foreign Office are possibilities. I have to admit I’m looking forward to seeing Gove at the Home Office, one of the many tragedies of the 2016 referendum was it helped end Gove’s tenure at Justice where he was becoming a truly transformative Justice Secretary where he realised locking up lots of people didn’t help lower the reoffending rate.
Smarkets have a market on whether there will be a reshuffle before Monday.
This is definitely a market for insiders, so I’m not going to bet on this market even if well informed journalists are tweeting there isn’t going to be a reshuffle today.
One thing is for sure, Boris Johnson needs a reshuffle, Raab, Patel, and Williamson deserve to be removed.