A POLITICAL bombshell has exploded in Westminster, where Sajid Javid has resigned from his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer, reportedly after refusing a request from Boris Johnson to sack his own advisory team, and come under the direction of the Dominic Cummings-led contingent leading Number 10's policy decisions.

With just four weeks before the scheduled Budget setting out how the electorally victorious Conservative government will exercise its newfound majority in Parliament – with some bold fiscal moves under discussion – the schism with Javid arrives as a major and unexpected setback to Johnson, although Westminster commentators had previously noted tension between Mr Javid and Mr Cummings.

Aside from all the other policy areas affected by Javid's departure, from an agricultural perspective, he was the Chancellor who confirmed that nearly £3 billion of funding would be allocated to support farmers once the UK left the EU's Common Agricultural Policy – and it is his name on the guarantee that the current annual budget to farmers will be maintained in every year of this Parliament.

Downing Street has already named Javid's replacement – Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond in Yorkshire, who took the seat in 2015, and has held the post of chief secretary to the Treasury since Boris Johnson came to office in July 2019.

Mr Sunak was both a Brexit supporter, and a supporter of Mr Johnson in his leadership campaign. Depending on political outlook, he was today being described variously as a 'loyal and reliable performer' in his government work so far, or a 'Number 10 stooge' who would do what Mr Cummings told him to do.