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Boris Johnson fired Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom as he reshapes his administration, making way for new blood following the U.K.’s split from the European Union. Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and housing minister Esther McVey have also confirmed their dismissals.

Others have met with the premier at his office in Parliament, where he was expected to carry out sackings before announcing appointments from his Downing Street office later.

Read more: Women Set for Junior Jobs in Johnson’s U.K. Government Reshuffle

Key Developments:

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan is expected to leave Cabinet, as is Attorney General Geoffrey CoxChancellor Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps all expected to stay in top teamOfficial says changes likely to be more moderate than the sweeping overhaul Johnson had been mulling in recent weeks

McVey Fired From Cabinet (9:55 a.m.)

Esther McVey has been fired as housing minister, she said on Twitter, before pledging her continuing support to the government.

“I’m very sorry to be relieved of my duties as Housing Minister,” she wrote. “I’m very grateful to the Prime Minister for having given me the opportunity to serve in his government & he will continue to have my support from the back benches.”

McVey, a prominent Brexiteer, was appointed to the role by Johnson when he took office in July.

Smith Confirms He’s Left Cabinet (9:40 a.m.)

Julian Smith confirmed by phone that he’s been sacked as Northern Ireland Secretary, clarifying his Tweet earlier suggesting that was the case (see 9:35 a.m.)

Smith Suggests He’s Been Fired (9:25 a.m.)

Julian Smith indicated on Twitter he’s been dismissed as Northern Ireland Secretary.

“Serving the people of Northern Ireland has been the biggest privilege. I am extremely grateful to Boris Johnson for giving me the chance to serve this amazing part of our country,” Smith wrote. “The warmth & support from people across NI has been incredible. Thank you so much.”

Nightmare on Downing Street as Team Johnson Fears Brexit Mutiny

Smith appears to have been sacked from the role despite being credited with bringing the opposing parties in Northern Ireland together to restart the province’s power-sharing executive last month after a three-year hiatus.

Tory Party’s Challenge With Women (8:45 a.m.)

While Boris Johnson plans to promote more women to junior roles in Thursday’s government reshuffle, a look at the makeup of the Parliamentary Conservative Party shows the challenge it faces in pushing women up through the ranks.

While a record 87 women were elected Conservative Members of Parliament in December’s election, that’s still just 24% of the party’s 365 MPs. The opposition Labour Party, by contrast, has 104 women among its 202 MPs.

Currently, seven out of the Cabinet’s 22 full members are women; of the 32 ministers who attend Cabinet (including full members), 8 are women.

Pickles: Reshuffle Vital for Getting Things Done (Earlier)

Former Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles urged Boris Johnson to select people who can deliver on policies by effectively running their departments, rather than just because they are good media performers.

“Who can get things done? You can be the greatest communicator in the world, but if you can’t get things done you’re not that much use to a government,” Pickles told Sky News. “The big question is what is the government going to be like for Boris over the next two years, because ff he gets this reshuffle wrong, he isn’t really going to be able to change very much.”

Meanwhile Tobias Ellwood, Tory chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, said the prime minister needs to ensure there are dissenting voices around the cabinet table. “A good confident prime minister needs people round the table who will take collective responsibility but also tell perhaps the things he doesn’t want to hear,” he told Sky News.


Women Set for Junior Jobs in Johnson’s U.K. Government Reshuffle

Johnson Heralds U.K. ‘Golden Age’ as He Pushes On With Brexxit

To contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Penny in London at [email protected];Alex Morales in London at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at [email protected], Stuart Biggs

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