Boris plans to stick by under fire Rishi despite speculation over a major reshuffle
GB News: Sajid Javid could replace Rishi Sunak as Chancellor
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With the Conservatives braced to lose around 550 council seats in the local elections tomorrow, there is rampant speculation that the Prime Minister is going to wield the knife on his cabinet and bring in fresh blood. But Downing Street sources have told Express.co.uk that the Prime Minister is “very happy with his Chancellor” and is not planning to reshuffle his team in the coming days.
Express.co.uk has been told by one of the people providing advice to the Prime Minister that he is urging him to “make drastic changes”.
The source said: “Boris is the one man who can unite the old Conservative supporters in the south with the new voters in the former Labour red wall seats in the North.
“But he needs a vision and he needs a team with talent around him who the public can trust.
“He has to get rid of Rishi Sunak and move him to another department. I’ve told the Prime Minister that directly.
“But others need to go too and he needs to bring in some of the young guns who have a different vision.”
Mr Sunak until recently was favourite to take over from Mr Johnson after masterminding the bailout schemes and furlough during lockdown.
But his reputation has taken a nosedive after he was fined for breaking lockdown rules and it emerged that his wife legally avoided paying millions in tax through non dom status.
One Downing Street insider said that any speculation on reshuffles “should be taken with a dollop of salt.”
Another added: “He is very happy with the Chancellor and there are no plans for a reshuffle.”
A further source close to the Prime Minister recently insisted that the Prime Minister will stick by his Chancellor.
He said: “The PM has been sending him messages to try and lift his spirits after his recent press and reassure him he is safe.
“Also Rishi [Sunak]’s future now is tied to that of the PM. His one way back as a future contender is to deliver the Prime Minister’s vision and make it work.
“If he succeeds over the next two years the recent problems will fade into the background and people will look at him again as a potential PM.
“So why would Boris drop him now?”
But one veteran MP also told Express.co.uk that there is “a great deal of speculation that there will be swift changes” after the local elections.
The MP said: “After the last few months with Partygate and a lack of direction colleagues are telling the whips that the Prime Minister has to refresh his team.
“We need some direction and some doers not just in Cabinet but also in the next layer of ministers.
“I’m afraid the tax status of his wife has hurt Rishi but his biggest problem with colleagues is that he has increased taxes, particularly the National Insurance rise.”
Another added: “After Partygate and the fines, the PM needs to reassert his authority and put his stamp on the Government.”
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The National Insurance increase was aimed at paying for a new care package but also tackling the NHS backlog caused by covid.
Mr Sunak has also warned MPs that rising interest rates caused by inflation and the cost of living crisis means that if the Government borrows more the taxpayer will be hit with billions extra in interest payments.
If Mr Sunak were to be replaced then one candidate for his job could be the high flying Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who is known to want to bring tax cuts forward.
She is a former Chief Treasury Secretary and has the experience to take on the Treasury mandarins.
A reshuffle could open the door to some talented ministers outside the cabinet including Europe minister James Cleverly, Attorney General Suella Braverman and International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt.
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