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UK prime minister demotes foreign secretary in cabinet revamp

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street in London on September 15, 2021. (Photo by AP)

Lizz Truss has replaced Dominic Raab as the new foreign secretary as part of a sweeping cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Moments after Raab left the Downing Street on Wednesday, the UK government announced in a report on its official website that he had been moved to a lesser role of justice secretary, being also assigned as the deputy prime minister, and Lord Chancellor, as an apparent sweetener to soften the blow of demotion.

His demotion comes in the wake of heavy criticisms over his holiday stay as the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan.

Apart from under-fire Raab, several other ministers were replaced or demoted, in an attempt to tackle economic inequality and supply chain crisis, which has been surging all over the country.

Truss gave her position as the international trade secretary to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who had lost the same seat when her Department for International Development was merged with the Foreign Office.

Adding to the number of demotions, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove was appointed as the housing, communities and local government secretary, replacing Robert Jenrick who returns to the backbenches. His position in the Cabinet Office was filled by Stephen Barclay, a former Brexit minister.

Raab's and Gove's moves followed the sackings of under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, and Justice Minister Robert Buckland. Williamson was facing repeated opposition calls to quit, or be sacked, over his handling of disruption to schools and exams during the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Priti Patel keep their jobs, while Nadine Dorries, who has never sat in the cabinet before, joins the government as culture secretary, replacing Oliver Dowden, who was appointed a Cabinet Office minister and Tory Party chair.

Ending regional inequality is key to the agenda set in 2019, but the problem has been in place since then, as blunders by cabinet ministers have buffeted the government.

The UK has been struggling with several economic challenges, such as the supply chain crisis, lack of lorry drivers and workforce, stock shortages and higher prices.


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