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HENRY DEEDES on Prime Minister’s ruthless Cabinet reshuffle 


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Bullets pinged around the parliamentary estate yesterday. Pow! Pow! Pow! Sheriff Johnson’s Colt 45 was locked and loaded and his trigger finger was itchy.

What many assumed would be a peaceful mornin’ doling out justice quickly turned mighty ugly.

By the time luncheon was upon us, it was clear this minor reshuffle had turned into a Wild West showdown.

The carnage began shortly after 8.30am, when the Prime Minister’s motorcade pulled up. Cue Ennio Morricone soundtrack: Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo, wah-WHA-wha!

Housing minister Esther McVey, Bang! Ghoulish Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Bang! Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Bang! The Prime Minister is pictured above arriving at Downing Street for the reshuffle

One by one, ministers were summoned from their offices to face judgment.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith was first for the bullet. Harsh. Under Mr Smith’s charge, Northern Ireland’s power sharing arrangement had resumed but his wobbliness over Brexit had apparently not been forgotten.

The Sheriff, it was clear, was in a vendetta kind of mood.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom was next to go. Mrs Leadsom emerged from the PM’s office behind the Speaker’s chair in a beige mac, her face like thunder. Shame, I always enjoyed her matronly appearances at the dispatch box.

Soon after, they were being pinged off like empty beer cans from a wall. Housing minister Esther McVey, Bang! Ghoulish Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Bang! Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Bang!

The carnage began shortly after 8.30am, when the Prime Minister’s motorcade pulled up. Cue Ennio Morricone soundtrack: Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo, wah-WHA-wha! One by one, ministers were summoned from their offices to face judgment

The carnage began shortly after 8.30am, when the Prime Minister’s motorcade pulled up. Cue Ennio Morricone soundtrack: Oo-ee-oo-ee-oo, wah-WHA-wha! One by one, ministers were summoned from their offices to face judgment 

Poor old ‘Sir’ Geoffrey. To think he’d been a big Boris loyal warm-up act during his leadership contest.

Deposed universities minister Chris Skidmore put on a brave face, tweeting a picture with his young tot and saying he could now spend time being a better dad and claimed it felt like ‘promotion’.

Don’t you believe it. Politics is like any other career. Skidmore’s demotion will have felt like a hard slap in the face with a soggy halibut.

After such a bloodbath, the PM’s loyal posse was suddenly feeling vulnerable.

Over in Downing Street, a nervy mood hung in the air as Cabinet ministers began rolling in.

Turned out old Saj had got himself in an old fashioned Mexican stand-off over sacking his advisers. Dumb move. Only one winner in that shoot-out. Sayonara, Saj

Turned out old Saj had got himself in an old fashioned Mexican stand-off over sacking his advisers. Dumb move. Only one winner in that shoot-out. Sayonara, Saj

Home Secretary Priti Patel tottered so unevenly in her high heels along the Downing Street cobbles that for a second I thought she might tumble over; Michael Gove, never normally one to pass on a jovial ‘what ho!’ or well-timed bon mot, uncharacteristically kept his counsel; Dominic Raab made his way to that famous black door purposefully.

‘Are you going to keep your job Foreign Secretary?’ someone yelled.

Raab, who seems to harbour such inner rage that you suspect blood bubbles through those arteries, muttered something not intended for public consumption.

Most noticeably, Sajid Javid’s usual chirpy demeanour was markedly absent. His movement was rapid and awkward, his arms jangling like tentacles, never quite knowing what to do with his hands.

Nice boy, Saj, almost too nice. You never got the feeling he had the stomach for a gun fight. 

Half an hour later, news emerged which no one that morning had predicted: Mr Javid was to be replaced by his deputy dawg Rishi Sunak.

Turned out old Saj had got himself in an old fashioned Mexican stand-off over sacking his advisers. Dumb move. Only one winner in that shoot-out. Sayonara, Saj.

Once Javid’s departure was confirmed, a raft of underwhelming appointments began to emerge.

Deposed universities minister Chris Skidmore put on a brave face, tweeting a picture with his young tot and saying he could now spend time being a better dad and claimed it felt like ‘promotion’

Deposed universities minister Chris Skidmore put on a brave face, tweeting a picture with his young tot and saying he could now spend time being a better dad and claimed it felt like ‘promotion’

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden was awarded Nicky Morgan’s Culture brief. 

‘Who’s he?’ The nation cried.

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma was moved over to Business, hardly an appointment to send champagne corks popping through City boardrooms.

Replacing Sharma at International Trade was Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a hardcore Brexiteer with a penchant for knee-high leather boots.

By lunch, with most of the bloodletting done, the new Chancellor rode into the Treasury for the first time.

He emerged along Whitehall, grin as broad as the Angel of the North, wearing a suspiciously expensive-looking suit so tautly tailored even Cara Delevingne might struggle to squeeze her slender hip bones into the trousering.

Barely an hour into the job and Rishi Sunak was already looking like a cocky young gunslinger.

But with less than a month until he delivers a budget, and a Prime Minister who yesterday proved how ruthless he can be, the new kid on the Westminster block will need to watch his back.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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