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25 July 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 3:20pm

Five things you need to know today: Johnson names most right-wing cabinet for decades

By New Statesman

Johnson names hardline cabinet as he prepares for no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson has named the most right-wing cabinet for decades as he seeks to fulfil his pledge to deliver Brexit by 31 October with or without a deal with the EU. The new Prime Minister appointed the free-marketeer Sajid Javid as Chancellor, hardline Brexiteer Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary and de facto deputy prime minister, Priti Patel (who has advocated the restoration of the death penalty) as Home Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg as Leader of the House of Commons, Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary, Andrea Leadsom as Business Secretary, libertarian Liz Truss as International Trade Secretary and Michael Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In a piece for the New Statesman, George Eaton notes that four of the five authors of the 2012 free-market book Britannia Unchained will now attend cabinet (Patel, Raab, Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng). 

In total, the new Prime Minister sacked 13 cabinet ministers, including Jeremy Hunt, Greg Clark, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Karen Bradley. Johnson, who many expect to soon trigger an early general election, has also returned Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings to government as a senior adviser. Former Conservative MP Nick Boles, who resigned from the party earlier this year, tweeted that “The hard right has taken over the Conservative Party. Thatcherites, libertarians and No Deal Brexiters control it top to bottom.”

UK set for hottest day ever 

The UK could experience its hottest day on record on Thursday, with temperatures of up to 39C (102.2F) forecast in southern and eastern England. The Met Office said there was a 70 per cent chance of temperatures reaching this level, surpassing the UK’s July peak of 36.7C and the all-time high of 38.5C, recorded in 2003. Commuters have been advised to avoid travelling on major rail routes in London and the south-east as the heat could cause tracks to buckle and a speed limit has been imposed on trains. 

North Korea launches two missiles

North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea, South Korea’ s Joint Chiefs of Staff has said, after warnings from Pyongyang over military exercises between Washington and Seoul next month. The missiles travelled a distance of 430km (270 miles) and reached an altitude of 50km before falling into the Sea of Japan. North Korea has warned that the war games between the South and the US could affect the planned resumption of denuclearisation talks. 

Trump vetoes bill blocking $8bn arms sales to Saudi Arabia 

Donald Trump has vetoed resolutions in Congress to block the sale of $8.1bn (£6.5bn) worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The US President said the three resolutions “would weaken America’s global competitiveness” and damage its relationship with its allies. Congress members feared the weapons could be used on civilians in the Yemen conflict and also wished to condemn Saudi Arabia’s role in last year’s murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi of the Washington Post

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Boeing could halt production of 737 Max after record loss

Boeing has warned it could halt production of the 737 Max jet if regulators do not soon lift the ban on the plane. The company reported its largest-ever quarterly loss of $3bn (compared to a profit of $2.2bn last year) following two fatal accidents involving the model. Boeing has predicted that the plane will fly again by the end of the year, but the US government and industry officials reportedly believe a return date of January 2020 is more likely.

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