Johnson shakes up ministerial team

Boris Johnson has named Jacob Rees-Mogg minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency as part of a reshuffle of his ministerial team.
Rees-Mogg will become a member of cabinet in his new role, and is replaced as leader of the House of Commons by Mark Spencer, the former chief whip.

The Commons leader is responsible for parliamentary business, and Rees-Mogg – a Johnson loyalist – was heavily criticised during his time in the role for his part in the Owen Paterson sleaze scandal.

Spencer, meanwhile, was last month embroiled in a row over alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative party after Nusrat Ghani said she had been told by a whip that her “Muslimness was raised as an issue” at a meeting in Downing Street shortly before she was sacked as transport minister in 2020. Spencer later identified himself as the whip involved but said Ghani’s claims were “completely false”.

Chris Heaton-Harris will replace Spencer as chief whip, and it is understood Stuart Andrew will become housing minister.

Johnson is looking to shore up his position after a torrid few weeks, including the police launching an investigation into the parties held at 10 Downing Street during lockdown, Sue Gray’s highly critical partial report and a number of resignations of close aides, all alongside the escalating cost of living crisis.

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