BORIS Johnson showed who is boss by threatening to sack ministers who flaunt themselves on TV or radio.
The PM warned he expects them to work flat out to deliver election pledges — not spend time touring studios to boost their own profiles.
He put his top team on tenterhooks as he prepared to execute a Cabinet cull within days of Brexit, marking ministers out of ten.
But the move sparked disquiet among some ministers who fear Downing Street is being run by “a bunch of control freaks”.
One said: “It’s effectively a blanket gagging order. We’re being told we open our mouths at our peril.”
Mr Johnson wants his huge domestic agenda to be the main focus of his government once Britain has left the EU.
Officials have been told to strip back his travel plans so he can personally drive delivery of his crusade to “level up” the country.
The PM will make a major speech soon afterwards to set out his post-Brexit plan.
It will focus on Britain’s trading relationships with Europe and the world — revealing talks with the US will start at the same time as the EU.
But he will stress his priority it to open opportunities across the UK.
Munira Mirza, who heads the No10 policy unit, will write to all Cabinet members dictating what the PM expects them to deliver.
A Downing Street source said: “We’ve been impressed by Cabinet members and junior ministers who’ve quietly got on with driving change within their departments and delivering on the PM’s priority to level up our country.”
But one minister said: “We’re under orders to keep our traps shut.”