British finance minister quits in reshuffle shock Feb 14, 2020 0 1215 12345 AFPLondonSajid Javid quit as Britain’s finance minister on Thursday just weeks before the scheduled annual budget statement, in a shock move provoked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempts to shake up his cabinet after Brexit.The chancellor of the Exchequer said he had “no option but to resign” after Johnson offered to keep him on but only if he got rid of all his political advisers.“I was unable to accept these conditions,” he told reporters outside his home.“I don’t believe any self-respecting minister would accept such conditions and so therefore I felt the best thing to do was to go.” Javid was immediately replaced by his 39-year-old deputy, Rishi Sunak, a former investment banker and Brexit supporter who is seen as close to Johnson.Former Brexit minister Steve Barclay took over Sunak’s position as chief secretary to the Treasury.The pound briefly retreated on Javid’s departure but soon recovered as analysts said the new chancellor could open the way for more public spending and growth.Sunak appears more aligned with Johnson than his predecessor in backing a looser fiscal policy, noted Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics.“The move seems designed to allow the government to push through even bigger increases in public investment and perhaps resuscitate tax cuts that previously looked dead in the water,” he said.But Javid’s decision to quit rather than buckle to pressure also presents a challenge to Johnson’s authority, just as he seemed at his strongest.After his election victory in December, Johnson fulfilled his pledge to get Britain out of the European Union on January 31 -- but the country’s future ties with the bloc remain uncertain.Johnson began his cabinet reshuffle by sacking his ministers for Northern Ireland, business, housing and the environment, as well as his attorney general.Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Johnson’s de facto deputy Michael Gove and several other key ministers stayed in post -- and Javid was widely assumed to be safe.But there have been reports that the former City of London banker, born into a working-class Muslim family, had clashed with both the prime minister and his influential adviser, Dominic Cummings. Javid refused to say whether the pressure came from Cummings.Johnson’s spokesman said a new economic team of special political aides had been formed to jointly advise both the prime minister and the chancellor.Asked whether the planned Budget statement would still take place on March 11, he said only: “Extensive preparations have already been carried out for the Budget and they will continue at pace.” The main opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell said the government was “in crisis”. Cummings had “won the battle to take absolute control of the Treasury” and appointed a “stooge”, he added. RELATED ARTICLES Greek islanders take anti-camp protest to Athens Feb 14, 2020 0 87 Macron visits retreating glacier, urges ‘fight of the century’ Feb 14, 2020 0 99 UK PM names minister to take over UN climate talks Feb 14, 2020 0 80 N Macedonian police intercept van with 53 migrants inside Belgrade: North Macedonian police have intercepted a van with 53 migrants crammed inside and arrested the driver, the Makfax news agency reported on Thursday. The vehicle was stopped on a regional road near the village .. Trump, Bloomberg trade barbs as ex-NY mayor rises in polls AFP New York US President Donald Trump and White House hopeful Mike Bloomberg locked horns on Thursday in a blaze of caustic tweets as the former New York mayor climbs in the polls in his drive to capture the Democratic .. Brazil’s Bolsonaro lashes out at Pope Francis’s Amazon text Brasília: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out at Pope Francis on Thursday after the pontiff pleaded for the protection of the Amazon rainforest. “Pope Francis said yesterday the Amazon is his, the world’s, .. Mexican billionaires contribute to presidential plane raffle Mexico City: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that business leaders had pledged to buy 80 million dollars worth of tickets in a raffle he organised to fund the upkeep of his predecessor’s .. Senate passes measure to curb Trump on military action against Iran Washington: The US Senate passed a bipartisan resolution on Thursday to curb President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran without congressional approval. The move comes amid growing concern ..