Refocusing priorities, UK PM Johnson reshuffles his top team
Dominic Raab demoted but appointed deputy prime minister
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed his party's first female foreign secretary on Wednesday in a reshuffle, replacing ministers who had drawn criticism with the declared aim of tackling economic inequality after Covid-19.
Ending regional inequality is key to the agenda set in 2019 when Johnson won the biggest Conservative Party parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher. But the issue has been eclipsed by COVID-19 and headlines about ministerial gaffes.
The replacement of Dominic Raab with former trade minister Liz Truss at the foreign office underlined the rationale behind the reshuffle, move those whose blunders have buffeted the government and promote those who have avoided crises.
"We know the public also want us to deliver on their priorities, and that's why the prime minister wants to ensure we have the right team in place for that," Johnson's spokesman told reporters.
A source in Johnson's office said the British leader would appoint ministers "with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country". Finance minister Rishi Sunak remains in post.
Truss, a favourite in the Conservative Party, moves to the foreign office from the trade department where she has completed a number of trade deals since Britain left the European Union. Anne-Marie Trevelyan moves to trade after being a climate minister.
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