Boris Johnson has been accused of pandering to the hard-right, as he convened his cabinet and faced MPs in the Commons for the first time as prime minister.

After a brutal reshuffle – clearing out the vast majority of Theresa May‘s ministers – it became clear the new prime minister had built his new government around the team that delivered the Brexit result in 2016.

Some of the ministerial appointments in Mr Johnson’s new administration were met with dismay, including the promotion of Priti Patel to the Home Office.

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The prime minister also used the reshuffle at minister of state level to promote allies and clear out MPs who oppose his stance on Brexit.

The first changes announced included Nigel Adams, who returns to government after resigning over Ms May's Brexit tactics.

He has been a loyal supporter of Mr Johnson and was rewarded with a role at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Lucy Frazer moves from solicitor general to the Ministry of Justice.

Kit Malthouse, who was Mr Johnson's deputy mayor for policing during their time in London's City Hall, has become a Home Office minister.

Conor Burns has been appointed a minister at the Department for International Trade.

Nick Gibb retains his role at the Department for Education and Jesse Norman stays as financial secretary to the Treasury.

Follow how the day in Westminster unfolded:

Johnson tells MPs he wants the "abolition of the backstop", and says in the 98 days that remain the country must turbo charge preparations for a no-deal Brexit. This is possible with a "national effort" he says.
He says he has instructed Michael Gove to make this his priority, and the chancellor Sajid Javid has confirmed all necessarily funding is made available. 
Preparing for leaving the EU without an agreement, is also about grabbing the opportunities. "It is about having a clear economic strategy," he adds.
"Our national participation in the EU is coming to an end," he says.
Johnson now seems to be repeating his domestic pledges made yesterday, including increasing police presence on the streets of the UK. 
More here on the statistics of privately educated cabinet ministers from our Education Correspondent
Jeremy Corbyn is now speaking - he says the new PM overestimates himself, and has been part of a government that has decimated local authorities through a decade of austerity.
"Austerity was always a political choice - never an economic necessity," he says. 
He accuses Johnson of hastily throwing together a "hard right" cabinet. 
Given the home secretary is the first to support capital punishment in years, Corbyn asks for reassurances that there will be no return of capital punishment. 
He asks Johnson how he will succeed where his predecessor failed on Brexit, as he plan sounds remarkably familiar.  
No deal would be the height of economic lunacy, the Labour leader adds, saying his party will oppose any deal that fails to protect jobs, workers' rights and environmental protections. 
This is from the shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer.
Jeremy Corbyn, repeating the US president's comments, refers to Mr Johnson as "Britain's Trump".  He also asks to make sure the NHS is not on the table in a post-Brexit trade deal.
"We have a hard right cabinet, staking everything on tax cuts for the few... our country needs competence," he adds.
Boris Johnson says in response that under no circumstances the NHS will be on the table. "I struggle to see his description of the UK," he adds.
He says McDonnell was sacked for being "too left wing" and "fabricating" a budget by Ken Livingstone while he was London Mayor.
Johnson says Corbyn has been "reprogrammed" and captured as a Remainer. "This party that is on the side of the people who voted so overwhelmingly in 2016.
"We are the party of the many, they are the party of the few. We will take this country forwards, they will take it backwards."
Despite the theatrical performance, however, Boris Johnson seems to be following in the footsteps of Theresa May in avoiding questions. Ignored points raised on death penalty, Huawei, divorce bill.
SNP's Ian Blackford welcomes Boris Johnson as the "last prime minister of the United Kingdom". 
"Try to take Scotland, try to take the UK out of the EU on a no deal basis, we will stop the PM from doing so."
He says Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, is reviewing the timetable for a second independence referendum.
The DUP's Nigel Dodds says he looks forward to conversations with the Conservatives in the coming weeks over the revision of the supply and confidence.
He says the alternative as economic destruction - in an apparent reference to the Labour leader taking power.
Asked whether fixing the social care system needs an urgent "injection" of cash by the Labour MP Liz Kendall, Johnson says he agrees very strongly with the thrust of what she said.
He urges parties to work together to think of the good of the nation to fix the social care crisis. This might have something to do with his wafer thin majority.
Kendall also had this jibe at the PM
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, says few will forget Johnson's pledge to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. She asks him to scrap the runway.
He says he shares her concerns about air quality and is following the court cases with great interest.
Asked whether he has always been an "honest" politician in career by the Labour MP Angela Eagle, Johnson says he has always delivered on what he has promised.
Some interesting facts about Boris Johnson's cabinet:
  • 33 ministers are entitled to attend cabinet meetings - up from 29 under Theresa May. 
  • The average age of the new ministers is 48, down from 51 for the previous cabinet.
  • There are eight female ministers, meaning women make up 24 per cent of the cabinet. This is lower than the proportion of women in Theresa May's last Cabinet, which was 31 per cent.
  • The new cabinet is much less experienced than the last one. The combined cabinet experience of all 33 ministers adds up to around 57 years. This is about half the equivalent number of Ms May's last Cabinet, which had combined experience of 109 years.
  • 14 of the 33 ministers in Mr Johnson's cabinet Leave the 2016 EU referendum - more than double the number (six) in the previous cabinet.
  • Six of the new cabinet ministers come from a BAME background: James Cleverly, Kwasi Kwarteng, Sajid Javid, Priti Patel, Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak. This is a significant increase on the one BAME minister (Sajid Javid) in Theresa May's last cabinet. It is the first time ever that two of the big four offices of state have been filled by BAME people. -
  • Almost two-thirds of the new Cabinet (64 per cent) went to private school - up from 30 per cent under Theresa May.  Only nine attended a comprehensive school. The current cabinet includes four old Etonians: Boris Johnson, Jo Johnson, Kwasi Kwarteng and Jacob Rees-Mogg.


Boris Johnson's brutal cabinet reshuffle suggests he is planning an early general election, writes chief political commentator John Rentoul 

Opinion: This reshuffle suggests Boris Johnson is heading for an early election

This was a ‘throw everything at the problem and hope it works’ reshuffle
Boris Johnson has suggested that he would only enter into negotiations with the EU if Brussels agrees to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement.
This is the key part from his statement - note the bit in bold, where he says negotiations would have to take place "on this basis".
He said: 
"The Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by my predecessor has been three times rejected by this House. Its terms are unacceptable to this parliament and to this country.  No country that values its independence and indeed its self-respect could agree to a treaty which signed away our economic independence and self-government as this backstop does. A time limit is not enough.  If an agreement is to be reached it must be clearly understood that the way to the deal goes by way of the abolition of the backstop.
For our part we are ready to negotiate in good faith an alternative, with provisions to ensure that the Irish border issues are dealt with where they should always have been: in the negotiations on the future agreement between the UK and the EU. I do not accept the argument that says that these issues can only be solved by all or part of the UK remaining in the customs union or in the single market. The evidence is that other arrangements are perfectly possible, and are also perfectly compatible with the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, to which we are of course steadfastly committed. 
I, my team, and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union are ready to meet and to talk on this basis to the Commission or other EU colleagues whenever they are ready to do so."
An interesting bit of fact-checking here from the BBC's Danny Shaw...
Cabinet minister James Cleverly said there are no plans for MPs to be given a vote on a no-deal.

The minister without portfolio and Conservative Party chairman was asked on the BBC's World at One if there was a plan to offer MPs a vote if no new deal is brokered.

He replied: "The Prime Minister has made it clear. The two options are: leaving with a deal or leaving without a deal on October 31."

Johnson is expected to hold calls with EU leaders over the coming days, Downing Street has said.

The PM's official spokesman said he had already spoken to Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte as well as Australia's Scott Morrison.

"I think calls with EU leaders will take place over the next couple of days or so," the spokesman said.

Ex-foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who was sacked by Boris Johnson yesterday, is off on holiday. Throughout the campaign for the Tory leadership contest he employed the #HastobeHunt hashtag. That has now changed slightly.
This is awkward. Stanley Johnson, the father of the new prime minister, has appeared on Press TV - the Iranian state controlled network. In the Commons earlier, the PM was berating Jeremy Corbyn for appearing on the programme several years ago.
In his statement in parliament, Mr Johnson said:  "How on earth could he ask about Iran?

"The right honourable gentleman who has been paid by Press TV of Iran.

"Who repeatedly sides with the mullahs of Tehran rather than our friends in the United States over what is happening in the Persian Gulf."
Downing Street has declined to commit the new Government to maintaining Theresa May's target - which she never achieved - to get net migration to the UK down below 100,000-a-year.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said that Mr Johnson had made clear during the leadership campaign he was not interested in a "numbers game".

"His view is that we need to introduce an Australian points-based system that allows us to take back control of our borders," the spokesman said.

Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has reiterated his government's support for the Withdrawal Agreement. "The position of the European Union and the position of Ireland has not changed," he said.

"The backstop is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement, without the backstop there is no Withdrawal Agreement, there is no transition phase, there is no implementation phase and there will be no free trade agreement until all those matters are resolved.

"So I hope that the new UK Prime Minister has not chosen no-deal, but that will be up to them."


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