In February, 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.
The special adviser and Brexit guru reportedly feared that, as a fiscal hawk who believes in keeping a tight grip on public spending, Mr Javid could have undermined his plans for a dramatic increase in spending.
His 39-year-old replacement, Rishi Sunak, was said to “tick the right boxes” and proved to be nothing but a “fiscal hawk” as he delivered his first Budget in March and during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Office for Budget Responsibility said the unprecedented round of state intervention to shield the economy from the impact of coronavirus will cost the Treasury more than £100billion in extra borrowing this year.
According to former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell, Mr Sunak’s appointment brilliantly represented Mr Cummings’ grip on power and argued that it is thanks to him, if there is a more cohesive structure between the Treasury and Number 10.
Mr Carswell told Express.co.uk in February: “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.
“But I think that what is really significant is that now, you finally have a coherent centre.