Sajid Javid, until yesterday Minister of the Treasury, second in the order of importance of the Cabinet, he resigned to continue in the Government presided over by Boris Johnson for not accepting the requirement that he dismiss his advisers so that the office of the prime minister was better coordinated with that of the Department of the Treasury. A minor ministerial remodeling became serious due to this unexpected march.
British governments are in crisis when there is tension between residents at 10 Downing Street (now Johnson) and 11 (so far Javid). Margaret Thatcher fell shortly after her finance minister, Nigel Lawson, resigned for the confrontation with an adviser of the Iron Lady about his stealthy maintenance of stability in parity with the German framework.
Personal tension between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown fractured the coherence of the Labor Government and finally it ended in a bloodless hit by Brown to take down Blair. The enmity between Theresa May and Philip Hamond was one of the stellar conflicts in her chaotic cabinet. There are also examples of harmony, such as John Major and Kenneth Clarke, or David Cameron and George Osborne.
There have been several tense moments between the prime minister’s office and Javid’s. The first was the most spectacular. Johnson’s chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, fired a consultant from Javid without consulting him, for allegedly leaking information to the press without his permission, withdrawing accreditation and asking a police officer to escort her beyond the gate of Downing Street .
Javid was not popular with Treasury officials, but he won the battle not to include in Johnson’s election program an increase in spending that seemed dangerous to financial stability. It will be replaced by Rushi Sunak. If Javid made his fortune in Deutsche Bank investment banking, Sunak earned it in Goldman Sachs and other investment funds. Javid voted for permanence in the EU and Sunak for the march.
After winning the elections, on December 15, Johnson’s exegetes explained that he had to form in July, when he replaced May, a Cabinet to unite the traumatized party by paralysis and division around the ‘brexit’. Once the march was completed, on January 31, there would be a purge of ministers to create the effective government of the next five years, explained unidentified spokespersons.
The adviser Cummings is a student of the theory and practice of large organizations, and advanced profound reforms, such as the formation of a small group of government coordinating ministers, mergers of ministries, changes in the relationship with senior officials … The idea It is to focus governance towards efficient project management.
Johnson would have ruled out changes of such depth in an administration that already has the extraordinary task of negotiating in a few months the new treaty with the European Union and preparing the departments and society for a change that may be abrupt, on December 31, even if there is agreement. The prime minister settled for a minor project: change to bland or incompetent ministers.
The former minister for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, managed in January for the Northern Irish parties to restore the institutions of shared autonomy, suspended for three years. The context made it easier but still Smith’s brief career has left sympathies in Belfast and in Dublin. His dismissal, like that of the Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrea Leadsom, is due to disagreements with the Prime Minister.
The most serious, the departure of the Minister of Finance, occurs in the first steps of a Government with a term of five years. Sunak supported Johnson in the elections to the conservative leadership and the ‘brexit’. Powerful emerges in the great theater of politics, although the opposition mocks him as a “puppet” of the prime minister. Johnson cannot say goodbye to finance ministers as if they were housing ministers. He has named the tenth in ten years.