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Dominic Cummings swings ax over cabinet leaks


Dominic Cummings swings an ax over Liz Truss, Ben Wallace and Robert Buckland, who will be at the top of Boris Johnson's hit list for his next makeover

  • Friends of Ms. Truss are very pessimistic about their career opportunities
  • There followed the leakage of a letter she wrote to Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove
  • Ann-Marie Trevelyan will replace Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace

Cabinet ministers suspected of being in the media are at the top of Boris Johnson's hit list for his next reshuffle as advisor Dominic Cummings is increasingly flexing his political muscles.

International Trade Minister Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, and Justice Minister Robert Buckland are all concerned about their chances of staying in the cabinet after the reshuffle expected in the fall.

The rumored appearance of a whiteboard in No. 10, with which the names of the way were written down, did not help to calm the nerves.

Cabinet ministers suspected of being in the media are at the top of Boris Johnson's hit list for his next reshuffle as adviser Dominic Cummings (pictured) is increasingly flexing his political muscles

Friends of Ms. Truss (pictured) are particularly pessimistic about her career prospects after being called 10th on Thursday morning because of a source that Mr. Cummings described as "totally insane"

Friends of Ms. Truss (pictured) are particularly pessimistic about her career prospects after being called 10th on Thursday morning because of a source that Mr. Cummings described as "totally insane"

Ms. Truss' friends are particularly pessimistic about her career prospects after being called 10th on Thursday morning because of a source that Mr. Cummings described as "totally insane".

This was followed by the publication of a letter she wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster last week.

In it, she told the ministers that she was writing "to outline my main concerns regarding border policy and willingness to end the transition period, and to ask for your assurance that the concerns will be resolved."

She further argued that plans to carry out gradual six-month customs and health checks on EU goods would risk increasing smuggling.

According to a source, Mr. Cummings accepted Ms. Truss's protests that she hadn't leaked it herself – but said she should have realized that the civil service would have leaked it.

Another source, however, questioned Ms. Truss's version of the events, claiming to the newspaper that cabinet ministers had read the letter in Business Insider before it even got to their offices.

Mr. Wallace, of whom No. 10 believes he was responsible for a number of leaks – which his friends emphatically deny – is also considered at risk.

Mr. Wallace (pictured), who No. 10 believes was responsible for a number of leaks - which his friends emphatically deny - is also considered at risk

Mr. Wallace (pictured), who No. 10 believes was responsible for a number of leaks – which his friends emphatically deny – is also considered at risk

International Development Minister Ann-Marie Trevelyan is asked to replace him if her department is scrapped in autumn and taken up with the Federal Foreign Office.

In a meeting with government advisers on Friday, Mr. Cummings expressed his determination to fix leaks when he referred to "the media snakes and reptiles that are crawling all over the government".

A source said, "The reshuffle must fit Dom's grand plan – reduce public service power, centralize control in No. 10, and silence the press."

Ms. Truss declined to comment, while sources nearby said, "Liz is focused on her job."

A Tory MP who agreed with Ms. Truss said, “I suspect Liz regrets writing a letter instead of picking up the phone.

The chance of licking something like this is a golden opportunity for the Brexit-blocking civil service, and that's why Cummings rightly promises a new world order. "

A high-level government source said: "It is true the Prime Minister is very frustrated with leaks, but there is no whiteboard and a change is not imminent."

The Department of Justice headquarters became a courtroom because the cases were lagging behind. Social distancing measures have dramatically reduced the capacity for litigation and hearings

By Harry Cole for the Sunday mail

The huge headquarters of the Ministry of Justice is to be converted into a labor court to relieve the creaking legal system.

Social distancing measures have dramatically reduced the capacity for litigation and hearings – which was tight before the pandemic began – with London being the most affected area.

Now ministers will approve plans to use their own Westminster building to relieve the pressure on the capital's civil and family courts.

And across the country, various city halls, some of which still have historic courthouses including cells, are set to be turned back into temporary criminal facilities.

The mail from Sunday found out that the tenth floor of the cave-like building of the MoJ in small France, which currently houses 75 press officers, is due for the new facilities. Last week, government communications chiefs outlined a plan to drastically reduce department press size and instead centralize Whitehall PR in the cabinet office.

Ironically, a huge courtroom at 9 Downing Street is said to be transformed into a broadcaster as part of the same reforms.

Until 2009 the Privy Council Justice Committee was located in the ornate wood-paneled room and is the highest court of appeal for some overseas territories. From autumn, television meetings for the media will take place in the room.

A Whitehall source said: "Space is scarce across London and the MoJ will be at the forefront of eliminating the massive backlog of cases."

Last month, the Crown Prosecution Service warned: “The backlog of cases in the system is increasing daily. Cases that go to trial last hours or days longer than normal circumstances.

"The challenges of social distancing and protecting those in the judicial environment should not be underestimated."

The CPS added: "It would take ten years to resolve the current level of pre-pandemic residue increase."

A spokesman for the HM Courts and Tribunals Service said: "We kept the judicial system running throughout the pandemic and initially identified ten buildings that we could use as courts while the rules for social detachment apply."

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