Jul 24, 2019

Boris Johnson begins by blowing up Theresa May’s cabinet

Dave Lawler, author of World

Boris Johnson moves into Downing Street. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson brought the Theresa May era to a screeching halt on Wednesday, dispatching 17 cabinet ministers and installing a team of loyalists and enthusiastic Brexit backers.

Why it matters: Johnson came to power through the Conservative leadership contest that followed May's resignation, not by winning a general election. It's highly unusual for an incoming prime minister to make sweeping personnel changes under such circumstances, and Johnson has sent a clear message that the Brexiteer flank is now in control.

Out with the old...

  • Among those exiting are Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (or finance minister) and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
    • Hammond resigned and joined other outgoing senior officials in vowing to dedicate himself to preventing a "no deal" Brexit. Hunt, Johnson's top rival in the leadership race, stepped aside rather than accept a demotion.

In with the new...

  • Dominic Raab, a former Brexit secretary and leading Brexiteer, will be foreign secretary and Johnsons' de facto deputy.
  • The other "Great Offices of State," chancellor and home secretary, go to Sajid Javid and Priti Patel, respectively.

What they're saying...

  • The Telegraph calls it a "summer's day massacre" that's "reminiscent of Harold Macmillan's 'Night of the Long Knives' in 1962."
  • "Outside the cabinet, the most eye-catching appointment is that of Dominic Cummings as senior adviser to the new prime minister," the BBC notes, citing the "brash and outspoken" operative's work on the campaign to leave the EU.

What to watch: Johnson vowed to "come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts" and said he'd strike a "new deal" with Brussels by that date.

  • He's only got 98 days left to do so, setting up a likely collision with Parliament in October over his preference for a damaging "no deal" to another delay.
  • One possibility is a general election later this year, likely pitting Johnson against Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left leader of the Labour Party.

Go deeper: How Johnson got here

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.