Boris Johnson set for major reshuffle to promote Northern MPs… and Gove could be at risk

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Amid threats of a party rebellion over his handling of the pandemic, allies of the Prime Minister have claimed he will use the reshuffle to reassert his power within the party. It is expected Mr Johnson will also look to bring in MPs from Northern seats to freshen up his Cabinet. While the date of the reshuffle has not yet been decided, the Prime Minister will also look to MPs elected in 2015 and 2017, who have shown to be rising stars within the party.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister could also be set for a move during the reshuffle.

Due to the influence and power he has gathered in his position, one insider warned the Prime Minister does not yet trust the man whom he competed against for the Tory leadership.

A source said: “Boris still doesn’t trust Michael and he’s concerned about the power base he has built at the Cabinet Office.”

This claim was rejected by a Whitehall source.

A second insider told the Financial Times: “The whipping operation has found a hard stick.

“It’ll be made very clear that voting against the government means two years in the wilderness.

“If the 2019 intake wants to be promoted, they can’t rebel for the sake of it.”

Following the exit of advisers Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings, it is also understood Mr Johnson will use this as an opportunity to reset his Cabinet following the internal power struggle within No10.

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One MP tipped to be promoted is leader of the Northern Research Group and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry.

Mr Berry has called for further funding for the north during the pandemic and controversially claimed Southerners prioritise ballet over football, unlike the North.

Of a more recent vintage of MPs, Laura Trott and Claire Coutinho, both from the 2019 election, may win places in Government.

Both Foreign Office Minister, James Cleverly and health minister Edward Argar have also been highlighted as potential long-term allies of the Prime Minister.

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Treasury minister and rising star of the party, Kemi Badenoch is thought to be in the running to be given a promotion.

It is also thought former Cabinet ministers, Sajid Javid and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who’s Department for International Trade was abolished, could also return.

Despite the need to reset his tenure, it is thought the reshuffle will not happen until the well into the new year.

One suggestion could be May’s local election whereby Mr Johnson may be forced to step in if the party performs badly.

The last Cabinet reshuffled took place in February of this year and famously saw Mr Javid resign after refusing to sack one of his advisers.

Both Mr Cleverly and Mr Berry, tipped to return, both left the Cabinet at the time.

The news of the reshuffle comes after Dan Rosenfield took the position as Mr Johnson’s chief of staff.

With Mr Rosenfield at the helm, it is thought Mr Johnson will look to repair relations with certain media outlets and members of his own party.

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