/Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson assembles DREAM TEAM with historic first – Brexiteers delighted

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson assembles DREAM TEAM with historic first – Brexiteers delighted

Mr Johnson himself, along with his new chancellor Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary Dominic Raab and home secretary Priti Patel, all voted leave in the 2016 EU referendum. Mr Sunak was an unexpected replacement as Chancellor after Said dramatically stepped down from the role yesterday.

Mr Javid was ordered to fire his closest aides and replace them with advisers chosen by Number 10.

But the former chancellor chose to quit instead.

Mr Javid accused the Prime Minister of setting conditions “any self-respecting minister” would reject.

This was seen as a thinly veiled swipe at his successor.

And he told Mr Johnson in his resignation letter that he believed it was “important as leaders to have trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would wish to be associated with”.

Brexit Live: Boris Johnson's new Cabinet is filled with leave voters

Brexit Live: Boris Johnson’s new Cabinet is filled with leave voters (Image: GETTY)

Elsewhere, Andrea Leadsom was sacked as business secretary and Theresa Villiers lost her job as environment secretary.

Geoffrey Cox was removed from his post as attorney general and Esther McVey lost her role as housing minister.

The total number of women attending Cabinet fell from eight to seven.

And the total number of ministers attending shrank from 32 to 26.

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1.30pm update: Boris Johnson holds call-and-response exercise with new-look Brexit Cabinet

Following yesterday’s shock cabinet reshuffle, which saw Sajid Javid resign as Chancellor, the Prime Minister held his first meeting with his newly appointed colleagues.

Rather bizarrely, Boris Johnson instigated a call and response exercise where the 22 ministers responded to prompts about his campaign promises.

These included his pledge to recruit 20,000 more police officers, 50,000 more nurses and build 40 new hospitals.

Hailing his “people’s Government”, Mr Johnson asked them: “How many hospitals are we going to build?”.

They replied: “Forty!”

He asked: “How many more police officers are we recruiting?”

They replied: “20,000!”

He added: “How many more nurses will we recruit?”

They replied: “50,000!”

“Exactly”, the PM concluded.

12.22am update: ‘We fell into the trap!’ Real reason Boris Johnson pushed Sajid Javid out REVEALED

According to Salma Shah, former aide to , the Prime Minister set out a “trap” for the former Chancellor and his team in order to have a more -supporting team by his side going forward.

Speaking to the BBC’s Newscast, Ms Shah said: “I fell into this trap of thinking well the withdrawal agreement is done, maybe we don’t need to have that Brexit-Remain balance.

“But actually, I was talking to somebody earlier today and I said have we all miss the trick here looking forward to what’s going to happen?

“Has there been a clear-out because we don’t want any more ructions around whether we are going to extend the transition period and things like that?

“It could be that we get to October and we are right back where we were last year.”

10.50am update: Jackson Carlaw elected new leader of Scottish Conservatives 

Jackson Carlaw has been elected as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, succeeding Ruth Davidson.

Mr Carlaw, who served as interim leader during the recent general election campaign, defeated Scottish Tory social security spokeswoman Michelle Ballantyne by 4,917 votes to 1,581.

His success in the leadership contest comes despite the Scottish Conservatives losing more than half their MPs north of the border in December’s election.

Ms Davidson quit as party leader last August – citing her conflict over Brexit and changes to her personal life after becoming a mother – but the contest to find her successor was delayed because of the election.

The UK has a busy year of negotiating a deal with the EU

The UK has a busy year of negotiating a deal with the EU (Image: EXPRESS)

10.02am update: ‘Europe is WEAK!’ Brussels heavyweight opens up about major fears for EU

Manfred Weber, who has served as leader of the European People’s Party – the centre-right group – in the European Parliament since 2014, highlighted several of the EU’s flaws on Thursday night.

Speaking on the eve of the Munich Security Conference, the German politician attended a panel of diplomats, including Richard Grenell, US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Germany and Margaritas Schinas, the European Commission vice president.

In his opening remarks, Mr Weber commented that “Europe is quite weak” in many areas, and proceeded to list off a series of the bloc’s shortcomings.

The MEP said the EU is not coordinated enough to properly fight terrorism or strong enough to deter an increasingly aggressive Russia.

He also hit out at the bloc’s lack of unity and said because of this the EU struggled to carry out an effective foreign policy.

Mr Weber said: “What I want to have is a Europe that is capable of defending itself.”

9.13am update: Bank of England boss sees silver lining after Brexit hit to UK economy 

For years, Bank of England boss Mark Carney warned of the economic risks of Britain leaving the European Union.

Now that it has happened, he says there could be a silver lining in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to boost growth.

Speaking to Reuters a month before he ends his nearly seven-year term as BoE governor, Mr Carney said Britain was moving to address its main economic problem – weak productivity.

After a thumping election win in December that paved the way for Brexit on January 31, Mr Johnson gave the green light this week to a new high-speed railway line that, according to one estimate, is likely to cost more than 100 billion pounds ($130 billion).

The prime minister has promised further help for regions where growth has fallen far behind London and other big cities.

Mr Carney said: “In an environment where everything is getting a fresh look, it’s fertile ground for taking a step back and making bigger changes than otherwise might have been made.”

Sajid Javid quit Mr Johnson's Cabinet as the reshuffle was getting underway

Sajid Javid quit Mr Johnson’s Cabinet as the reshuffle was getting underway (Image: GETTY)

8.37am update: Thank God they’re gone! Bitter Brussels makes sly Brexit dig at UK over EU Army

The European Union has taken yet another bitter post-Brexit shot at the UK, boasting the bloc’s security will now be more efficient and claiming Britain “wanted Europe to do nothing at all”.

European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas wasted no time in launching a scathing attack on Britain, as relations between Brussels and London threaten to descend into chaos ahead of the start of crunch trade talks next month.

But Mr Schinas, whose portfolio is “promoting our European way of life”, claimed the EU’s defence and security cooperation would accelerate thanks to Brexit.

He accused Britain of not wanting Europe to “spend on defence” and blocked “systematically every effort of the European Union to do something meaningful”.

Mr Schinas said: “There were always those who wanted Europe to do a lot, and those who wanted Europe to do nothing at all or less.

“Those who wanted Europe to do nothing at all, or less, in defence are no longer with us. They left us at the end of January.

“Because these are the ones who didn’t want Europe to spend on defence.

“These were the ones who were blocking systematically every effort of the European Union to do something meaningful.”

8.27am update: How Irish leader’s ‘Brexit-bashing’ backfired – PM pays ultimate price

Political expert Tom Gallagher said Leo Varadkar had paid the ultimate price at the polls for making Brexit his main focus during his electoral campaign.

During its campaign, Mr Varadkar’s party Fine Gael highlighted their leader’s success in preventing a hard border on the island and keeping Northern Ireland free of checks after Brexit.

But the strategy fell flat amid voter dissatisfaction over an ongoing homeless crisis, a creaking health service and a huge tranche of voters aged under 35 locked out of the housing market.

Mr Gallagher wrote: “Leo Varadkar thought that bashing Britain over Brexit would be the campaign theme that would enable his Fine Gael Party to achieve second decade in power.

“But instead, at 41, he looks washed-up politically and is unlikely to be in charge if the deadlocked result on means another general election has to be held before the year is out.

“An exit found that only 1 per cent of voters identified Brexit as the most important issue for them.

“Health was the chief concern of 32 per cent, closely followed by housing and homelessness.

“The terrible twins of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have no answers for these grave problems.

“Power to them was not about problem-solving but using control of the state to reward themselves and their backers in different ways.”

7.48am update: Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade talks with Donald Trump postponed

Mr Johnson has delayed a trip to the US to meet the US President. so he can stay at home to focus on delivering his domestic agenda, the Sun newspaper reported late on Thursday.

The decision to delay the trip would be a further blow to relations between the close allies who are set to begin discussing a trade deal, now that the UK has left the European Union.

The countries are divided on several issues, including Britain’s decision to allow the Chinese telecoms company Huawei a limited role in its mobile network, a proposed digital services tax, and the Iran nuclear deal.

Mr Johnson was expected to visit Washington early this year.

This has now been postponed until June when a summit of G7 leaders is due, according to the newspaper.

Downing Street has not yet provided a comment.

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