The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Truss set to avoid the axe as PM defies No 10 aide

- By Glen Owen and Harry Cole

BORIS JOHNSON is expected to defy influentia­l adviser Dominic Cummings by refusing to sack Liz Truss in a Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday and scaling back plans for a ‘St Valentine’s Day massacre’.

There is also likely to be a major boost for powerful Cabinet Office boss Michael Gove, who is expected to bring responsibi­lity for November’s UN climate summit in Glasgow into his Whitehall empire.

And Mr Gove wishes to use the

Cabinet Office for cross-department­al No Deal Brexit planning to speed up the decision-making process.

Chancellor Sajid Javid is likely to be spared the axe despite a series of power struggles with No10 – but insiders have threatened to sack Mr Javid’s advisers and replace them with

Downing Street loyalists.

The reshuffle will be Mr Johnson’s first chance to mould the Cabinet in his preferred image since winning an

80-seat majority last December.

Ms Truss, the Internatio­nal Trade Secretary, is tipped to stay in the Cabinet, although perhaps not in her current role.

There had been briefings – blamed by her friends on Mr Cummings – that she would be fired.

‘Dom is taking it out on the kids ... it’s bullying’

On Friday Mr Johnson also dampened speculatio­n that Jacob Rees-Mogg would be sacked by heaping praise on the Commons Leader after he spoke at a constituen­cy dinner in the PM’s Uxbridge seat.

Meanwhile, Downing Street enforcer Mr Cummings faces increasing opposition to his ‘control freak’ management style in No10 and over his threats to sack staff.

Ministers and aides vented their fury after Mr Cummings told a meeting of ministeria­l advisers on Friday night that he would only ‘see half of them’ next Friday.

One source said: ‘Dom has lost on his big reorganisa­tion and big reshuffle so he’s taking it out on the kids.

‘There’s a word for that. Bullying.’ Plans for a major upheaval of Whitehall have been shelved for now, although the Foreign Office is expected to take control over the overseas aid department.

Another idea being canvassed in No10 is to create a new powerful Office of the Prime Minister that would combine the Downing Street and Cabinet Office operations – and assume some of the powers of the Treasury.

The source said: ‘Both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair regretted not using their majorities to clip the wings of an over-powerful Treasury.

‘My hunch is that Boris will not make the same mistake.’

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