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Rishi Sunak is safe in his job until the autumn but Priti Patel could be ousted in a summer reshuffle, Boris Johnson has hinted.

The Prime Minister gave his beleaguered Chancellor his full support, but refused to do the same for the Home Secretary.

Miss Patel’s failure to stop small boats crossing the Channel has angered Tory MPs, but her controversial play to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda impressed backbenchers.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor has endured a torrid few weeks in which his family’s tax affairs have come under scrutiny, and he was fined for breaking Covid rules.

The Prime Minister did not rule out carrying out a reshuffle of his Cabinet in June, as he battles to remain in No 10 after being fined over breaching his coronavirus laws.

But on a visit to India, Mr Johnson told reporters that Mr Sunak will still be the Chancellor in the autumn. ‘The answer to that is yes,’ the PM said.

The Prime Minister did not rule out carrying out a reshuffle of his Cabinet in June, as he battles to remain in No 10 after being fined over breaching his coronavirus laws.

The Prime Minister did not rule out carrying out a reshuffle of his Cabinet in June, as he battles to remain in No 10 after being fined over breaching his coronavirus laws.

The Prime Minister did not rule out carrying out a reshuffle of his Cabinet in June, as he battles to remain in No 10 after being fined over breaching his coronavirus laws.

Mr Sunak had been on resignation watch after the fines were issued, but chose to stay on, in a move seen as helping the Prime Minister stay on to fight another day

Mr Sunak had been on resignation watch after the fines were issued, but chose to stay on, in a move seen as helping the Prime Minister stay on to fight another day

Mr Sunak had been on resignation watch after the fines were issued, but chose to stay on, in a move seen as helping the Prime Minister stay on to fight another day 

Miss Patel's failure to stop small boats crossing the Channel has angered Tory MPs, but her controversial play to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda impressed backbenchers

Miss Patel's failure to stop small boats crossing the Channel has angered Tory MPs, but her controversial play to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda impressed backbenchers

Miss Patel’s failure to stop small boats crossing the Channel has angered Tory MPs, but her controversial play to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda impressed backbenchers

Mr Sunak had been on resignation watch after the fines were issued, but chose to stay on, in a move seen as helping the Prime Minister stay on to fight another day. 

However, he refused to give the Home Secretary the same assurance.

‘You’ve just reminded me of rule number one which I totally forgot about,’ the PM said. 

‘Rule number one: don’t talk about politicians, talk about what politicians can do for the electorate.

‘Let’s talk about what we’re doing and let’s not talk about who’s going to do it.’

Asked why he was guaranteeing Mr Sunak’s job but not the Home Secretary’s, Mr Johnson said: ‘Well there you go. Well, c’est la vie.

‘Do you know, to repeat what I’ve just said, I am saying no more about personnel, the prosopographical approach is not right.

‘This is about, it’s about what you’re doing for people, and that fundamentally why I think it’s right to get on this plane and why it’s right for the Government to get on with what it’s doing.’

The Prime Minister appeared exasperated when pressed for a third time. ‘Oh for heaven’s sake,’ he told reporters.

‘I’m sorry I broke my rule, you’re not going to get any more out of me about politicians or Westminster politics narrowly conceived. 

‘We’ve got to focus on the agenda for the country.’

Mr Johnson has stuck by Ms Patel despite an investigation by his then standards chief finding in 2020 she broke the ministerial code with behaviour towards civil servants that amounted to bullying.

Mr Johnson told reporters that Mr Sunak will still be the Chancellor in the autumn. 'The answer to that is yes,' the PM said

Mr Johnson told reporters that Mr Sunak will still be the Chancellor in the autumn. 'The answer to that is yes,' the PM said

Mr Johnson told reporters that Mr Sunak will still be the Chancellor in the autumn. ‘The answer to that is yes,’ the PM said

British Home Secretary Priti Patel reacts at the Conservative Party Spring Conference in Blackpool, Britain March 19, 2022

British Home Secretary Priti Patel reacts at the Conservative Party Spring Conference in Blackpool, Britain March 19, 2022

British Home Secretary Priti Patel reacts at the Conservative Party Spring Conference in Blackpool, Britain March 19, 2022

She was last week behind the eye-catching announcement of sending some asylum seekers arriving by unauthorised means 4,000 miles to Rwanda on a one-way ticket.

The policy was seen as an offer to shore up support among Conservative hardliners, as Mr Johnson suffers from the fallout of breaches of coronavirus rules in Downing Street.

Mr Johnson praised the Home Secretary for doing an ‘outstanding job’ on the asylum scheme, which’s critics ranging from refugee charities to Tory MPs to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Questions will now remain over whether the Prime Minister will choose to go ahead with a cabinet reshuffle in the summer. 

He did however vow to stay on in No 10 himself despite how many additional fines he gets for breaking Covid laws.

Asked on the plane to Gujarat if he will fight the next general election, he replied bluntly: ‘Of course, yes.’

Source: Daily Mail

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