Boris Johnson will carry out a Cabinet reshuffle to appoint a “strong and united” team, No 10 sources have confirmed.
A shake-up of the Prime Minister’s top team has been long expected in Westminster.
“The PM will today conduct a reshuffle to put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic,” A No 10 source said.
“Yesterday, the PM set out his plan for managing Covid during the autumn and winter.
“But the Government must also redouble our efforts to deliver on the people’s priorities.
“The PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.”
Confirmation of the reshuffle came as Johnson was on his feet in the Commons taking Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Prime Minister’s presence in the Commons could allow him to sack ministers in his private office, away from the cameras in Downing Street.
The scale of the reshuffle remains unclear, but it could be extensive – with senior ministers including home secretary Priti Patel and foreign secretary Dominic Raab among those rumoured to be at risk of demotion or the sack.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson has also come in for criticism over his handling of his departmental responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, chancellor Rishi Sunak and home secretary Priti Patel were sat to Johnson’s left and Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to his right – with other heavy hitters in the Cabinet not seen in the chamber.