Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor amid reports of clash with PM

UK finance chief quits on day Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reshuffling cabinet.

Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor amid reports of clash with PM
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid

UK Treasury chief Sajid Javid has resigned in a shocking development on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson is shaking up his right-wing Conservative government.

Chancellor Javid had been widely expected to keep his job in the cabinet shake-up. His resignation on Thursday follows reports he had clashed with Johnson's powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings.

Javid had been due to deliver his annual budget next month.

His resignation comes against the backdrop of Brexit, as the government faces challenges of negotiating a new relationship with the 27-nation European Union by the end of this year.

Johnson will replace Javid with Rishi Sunak, the government confirmed.

First elected to parliament in 2015, Sunak previously served as chief secretary to the treasury, the second in command to the chancellor, overseeing public spending.

In his shake-up, Johnson fired and appointed ministers to key cabinet posts.

Several high-profile women in Johnson's government, including Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Housing Minister Esther McVey, all said they had been fired on Thursday morning.

Johnson also sacked Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith - a surprise move.

Smith had been widely praised for helping to end the political deadlock that left Northern Ireland without a regional government and assembly for three years.

After pressure from the British and Irish governments, the main Irish nationalist and British unionist power-sharing parties returned to work last month.

As well as reworking his cabinet, Johnson needs to appoint a new leader for the United Nations climate change conference that the United Kingdom is due to host later this year. The summit - the 26th Conference of the Parties, or COP26 - is scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November.

Planning has got off to a rocky start, with Johnson last week firing Claire O'Neill, a former British minister appointed last year to head up the event.