Boris Johnson quickly fills vacancies, including the health secretary, trying to stabilize his government in crisis.

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved quickly to plug the holes in his cabinet caused by Tuesday’s resignations of two senior ministers, including the critical job of chancellor of the Exchequer, which went to Nadhim Zahawi, who had been the education secretary.

In moving quickly to replace the two cabinet ministers who resigned, Mr. Johnson sought to stabilize his government at a moment of acute crisis by naming replacements seen as having solid track records.

The appointment of Mr. Zahawi is a significant promotion. He was only brought into the cabinet last year, having previously overseen the successful rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. He now assumes the arduous task of leading economic policy just as inflation soars into double figures and Britain faces the possibility of a recession.

Mr. Zahawi was replaced as education secretary by Michelle Donelan.

The job of health secretary went to Steve Barclay, who had been a minister in the Cabinet Office, which plays a coordinating role in government, and was recently made Mr. Johnson’s chief of staff.

But the stunning departures of Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sajid Javid, the former health secretary, forced an emergency reshuffle on a prime minister who has lurched from crisis to crisis. He still has not replaced Oliver Dowden, who quit last month as co-chair of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Barclay had only been made Downing Street chief of staff in February, in a move designed to improve the running of Mr. Johnson’s office following the “partygate” scandal involving illicit gatherings during coronavirus lockdowns. That will leave yet another gap to plug.

Related Articles

Back to top button