On February 14, Sajid Javid shocked Westminster by quitting as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the middle of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle. Mr Javid rejected the Prime Minister’s order to sack his team of aides in favour of a joint Number 10-Number 11 team, explaining that “no self-respecting minister” could have accepted such a condition. His resignation followed rumours of tensions between him and the Prime Minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings – later vindicated by several Downing Street sources.
Sources claimed Mr Cummings plotted Mr Javid’s downfall as the former Chancellor was “seen as an obstacle in Downing Street’s economic strategy”.
His 39-year-old replacement, Rishi Sunak, is said to “tick the right boxes” and will deliver his first Budget later today – after only four weeks into the job.
Some elements have already been revealed, including more than £600billion for infrastructure projects over five years and extra money for potholes.
Changes to tax, pensions, housing and social care are all likely to feature, as well.
As Mr Sunak prepares to deliver the 16-month financial plan, former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell told Express.co.uk why today’s address brilliantly represents Mr Cummings’ grip on power.
The Brexiteer argued that the adviser’s Treasury masterplan is what will ultimately make the Government more “effective”.
He said: “There is an understanding that in order to make the UK more effective in terms of the way we are governed, we need to address several things.
“The centre of Government, and by that I mean Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury need to be more cohesive and united.
“That is understood by the Prime Minister.
“A lot of people focussed on the soap opera of Sajid Javid leaving.
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“But I think that what is really significant is that now, you finally have a coherent centre.
“The Budget setting out elements, the Treasury, Downing Street and the Cabinet office working as one.”
At a talk organised by the Institute for Public Policy Research six years ago, Mr Cummings had already made his intentions to reform the Cabinet and to “break the power of the Treasury” clear.
He said: “The whole Cabinet structure is completely broken and everyone who has to deal with it knows it is absolutely dysfunctional.
“That needs to change very quickly.
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“It is on my to do list if I successfully get control of Number 10.”
Mr Johnson’s special adviser added: “Then I would shrink the Cabinet.
“The idea that a Cabinet has 30 people is completely vast. It should be a maximum of six or seven.
“I would also break the power of the Treasury.
“The Treasury doesn’t care about saving money.
“The Government’s account system is based on finding money.The spending review process does not work at all.
“If you try to do the spending review with the current process it is going to be an absolute nightmare for whoever close to do it.”
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