RISHI Sunak is set to announce a sweeping shake-up of his Cabinet top table and Whitehall departments.
Rishi Sunak is set to announce a mini Cabinet reshuffle this morning[/caption]
And he’s expected to confirm the break-up of the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The news was first reported by The Sun in a major exclusive last night.
Trade Minister Greg Hands is tipped to replace Mr Zahawi, after the ex-Chancellor was found to have broken the ministerial code over his tax affairs.
BEIS will be broken up into a standalone Energy department, with Business and Trade merged and a new Science and Digital unit.
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Culture and Sport would be left as a separate department, with major implications for the make-up of the Cabinet.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps was being tipped by senior Tories to be party chairman, but others said he was likely to stay in a big ministerial job.
Mr Sunak pledged to form a standalone Energy department when campaigning to be Tory leader in August last year.
No10 wants the UK to be energy independent by 2045 so Brits no longer have to rely on tyrants like Putin for gas and electricity.
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But a merging of Business and Trade would trigger speculation over the future of International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, a former leadership contender.
One source said: “These changes will put a lot of noses out of joint. There will be winners and losers with some very upset egos.
“Where does Kemi fit in?”
Another source said: “The focus is making government work better but in reality it leaves senior ministers looking over their shoulders.
“And it leaves a question over the future of Dominic Raab, who faces a bullying inquiry.”
The Deputy PM, who is currently being investigated over multiple bullying allegations, is understood to be staying in his post.
The PM wants to wait until the inquiry into his treatment of civil servants has concluded before potentially moving him.
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A Ministry of Justice source said: “A reshuffle where Raab remains in post shows that Rishi either does not care about victims, or that he actively condones this behaviour.”
Formal reshuffle announcement are set to begin in the next hour, with the PM hosting the first meeting of his new-look Cabinet this afternoon.