Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
26 June 2021updated 09 Jun 2022 3:44pm

Sajid Javid is having the last laugh over Dominic Cummings

The former chancellor’s return as Health Secretary shows how the balance of power in No 10 has fundamentally changed.  

By Ailbhe Rea

Sajid Javid has returned to the cabinet, just over a year after resigning as Boris Johnson’s chancellor following a power struggle between him and Vote Leave aides in No 10, including Dominic Cummings.

Javid’s return to Johnson’s top team has been widely anticipated for months, but has happened sooner than expected owing to the vacancy created by Matt Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary.  

Javid’s appointment as his successor is expedient for the Prime Minister in multiple respects: it averts any immediate need for a wider reshuffle and will please MPs and figures across the Conservative Party, including some who have been less keen on Johnson’s premiership. 

“He is very popular with colleagues, especially after resigning as chancellor,” said one Conservative MP with a track record of speaking out against some of the government’s decisions. Other MPs and advisers have spoken warmly of Javid’s appointment and the high regard he is generally held in. 

But while the appointment is largely being viewed as positive by Conservative MPs, there has been one dissenting voice. Cummings has taken to Twitter to describe Javid as “hopeless”, arguing that the furlough scheme introduced under Rishi Sunak would not have happened had Cummings not “tricked” the Prime Minister into firing Javid. Cummings has also suggested that the appointment was influenced by Johnson’s wife Carrie Symonds, a special adviser to Javid while he was communities secretary. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Your guide to the best writing across politics, ideas, books and culture - both in the New Statesman and from elsewhere - sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

But whether they welcome the appointment or not, the analysis from Cummings and Conservative MPs is not so very different: everyone is in agreement that the balance of power in No 10 has fundamentally changed: the Vote Leave gang is out and Sajid Javid is having the last laugh.

Content from our partners
A better future starts at home
How to create an inclusive workplace and embrace neurodiversity
Universal Credit falls short of covering the bare essentials. That needs to change

Hear from the UK’s leading politicians on the most pressing policy questions facing the UK at NS Politics Live, in London. Speakers include Sir Keir Starmer, Ben Wallace, Lisa Nandy, Sajid Javid, Professor Sarah Gilbert, Jeremy Hunt, Layla Moran and Andrew Marr. Find out more about the New Statesman’s flagship event on the 28 June here.