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UK’s Johnson welcomes new cabinet after Sajid Javid exit

LONDON (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson greeted his new cabinet of senior ministers on Friday, a day after British Chancellor Sajid Javid quit in a surprise move, shattering the premier’s choreographed government reshuffle.

Johnson, addressing the new cabinet, vowed to repay the trust of voters by improving infrastructure, cutting crime, and building more hospitals.

“It’s great to see you all here and congratulations to you all on achieving, or indeed retaining, the great offices of state that you hold,” Johnson told cabinet before posing for photographs.

“We have to repay the trust of people who voted for us in huge numbers,” he said.

Javid’s reported resignation on Thursday came over what a political editor claimed was a disagreement over his advisers, throwing Johnson’s plans off kilter. Media reported that Rishi Sunak — the 39-year-old Chief Secretary to the Treasury — had been offered the job as finance minister.

The British PM had wished to lead a reshuffle that would stamp his authority over a government he hoped would deliver his vision for the UK beyond Brexit and heal the divisions in his Conservative Party and the country.

But his first sacking — that of Northern Ireland minister Julian Smith, who, only a month ago — had helped broker the restoration of a government in the British province, had prompted criticism from politicians north and south with the border with Ireland.

Smith was the first minister to lose his job in the reshuffle and was later joined by business minister Andrea Leadsom and environment minister Theresa Villiers.

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