Johnson kicks out ministers he doesn't want

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reshuffled his cabinet in his own favour. The most prominent of those who lost their jobs were Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith. Javid resigned saying he could not accept Johnson's demand that he fire his team of aides. Johnson is surrounding himself with yes-sayers, Europe's press comments.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Surrounded by yes-sayers

Now Johnson and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings will call the shots without any opposition in the cabinet, The Guardian complains:

“This is the sixth different Tory-led government since 2010. It marks a break with all the others. The days when David Cameron or Theresa May struggled to balance the factions of their party around the cabinet table are gone. This is a government beholden to one man, Mr Johnson, and to his grey eminence, Mr Cummings. There are no factions now. This prime minister is not the first among equals, as holders of his office were once said to be. He is the sole source of authority within a cabinet that is no longer made up of ministers and now consists of mere courtiers.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Johnson free to spend money as he pleases

The Irish Times voices concern that the HM Treasury will now effectively be under the prime minister's control:

“Javid’s successor, Rishi Sunak, is widely admired but the circumstances of his appointment mean that he is unlikely to resist any of Johnson’s spending plans or his strategy on Brexit. ... Johnson’s reshuffle has left senior Vote Leave figures in command of all the levers of power within a government that has been purged not only of dissenting voices but of sceptical ones. Downing Street hinted on Thursday that Javid’s public spending limits may no longer be operable, so the prime minister will be free to spend his way to popularity, regardless of the consequences.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

This means trouble for the Tories

Johnson is strengthening his influence but this may backfire, De Telegraaf notes:

“The series of high-profile dismissals means that Johnson is gradually building up serious opposition to himself within his own party. Before the election in December there was already talk of a rigorous purge within the Conservative parliamentary group. After his big victory Johnson's position seemed unassailable, also as a result of the large number of loyal newcomers in the House of Commons. But with Javid, Smith and Leadsom on the famous 'backbenches', the internal opposition is clearly gaining momentum.”