By Michael Settle

IT was only three months ago that Boris Johnson pledged his total loyalty to Sajid Javid.

The Prime Minister told the Confederation of British Industry (CBI): “I’m going to give you an absolutely categorical assurance that I will keep Sajid Javid as my Chancellor…He’s a great guy and he’s doing a fantastic job and I’m proud to count him as a colleague.”

As Mr Javid walked up Downing St yesterday morning, smiling and relaxed, no one outside of the inner sanctum of Downing St had a clue what was about to happen.

Within minutes Mr Johnson was laying down an ultimatum to his colleague to hand over the power of the Treasury into his hands by agreeing to the sacking of all of his advisers and the formation of a new team serving a combined economic unit in Downing St.

It seemed that after months and months the power struggle between Mr Javid and Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s key strategist, had come to a head and the Chancellor was about to lose out.

The Midlands MP made clear the price was too high, resigned and left Downing St after just seven months as Chancellor and barely a month before his first Budget.

Later Mr Javid told reporters he was asked to replace all of his political advisers to stay on in the role.

“I was unable to accept those conditions and I do not believe any self-respecting minister would accept those conditions,” he declared, adding: “I felt I was left with no option but to resign.”

His replacement is his deputy Rishi Sunak, a former investment banker, whose father-in-law is an Indian billionaire.

Arriving at the Treasury, the Yorkshire MP said he was “delighted to be appointed” Chancellor and had “a lot to get on with”.

But John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, branded him Mr Cummings’s “stooge” and claimed the No 10 strategist now had complete control of the Treasury.

His Labour colleague, Ian Murray, the MP for Edinburgh South, added: “This extraordinary reshuffle has revealed who is really in charge of this government: Dominic Cummings.”

Controversy surrounded other moves.

The sacking of Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland Secretary, who had helped restore Stormont after years of inactivity was met with dismay and surprise on either side of the border.

Colum Eastwood, who leads the Nationalist SDLP, tweeted: “Sacking the most successful SoS in a decade shows Johnson’s dangerous indifference to us.”

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister, told Mr Smith: “Without your leadership I don’t believe NI would have a Govt today.”

The Scots-born Mr Smith was replaced by Brandon Lewis, the Security Minister.

Meanwhile, the appointment of Suella Braverman as Attorney General, succeeding Geoffrey Cox, caused consternation in some quarters.

Last month, the Hampshire MP wrote that Parliament had to “retrace power ceded to the courts,” arguing: “Traditionally, Parliament made the law and judges applied it. But today, our courts exercise a form of political power.”

The Liberal Democrats insisted Ms Braverman was “unfit to serve as Attorney General”.

Daisy Cooper, the party’s Justice spokeswoman, said: “Liberal Democrats will not allow this dangerous, authoritarian Conservative Government to undermine the rule of law and erode individual rights and freedoms.”

One key appointment was Alok Sharma, the International Development Secretary, who was promoted to Business Secretary but will also take on the role of Minister for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

With controversy shrouding the preparations for the UN-sponsored event, not least the wrangling between London and Edinburgh over policing costs, one of Mr Sharma’s early tasks will be to pour diplomatic oil on raging political waters.

It is expected that one of his first tasks will be to travel to Scotland for a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon to try to repair relations and end the damaging stand-off between the two governments.

In other reshuffle moves:

*the little known Amanda Milling replaced James Cleverly as Minister without Portfolio and the Conservative Party Chairman, attending Cabinet;

*Stephen Barclay, the former Brexit Secretary, became Chief Secretary to the Treasury;

*Oliver Dowden, the Cabinet Office Minister, was promoted to the role of Culture Secretary, replacing Baroness Morgan;

*George Eustice, the Farming Minister, moved upwards to replace Theresa Villiers as Environment Secretary;

*Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Armed Forces Minister, was promoted to Cabinet as the International Development Secretary;

*Penny Mordaunt, the former Defence Secretary, returned to the frontline as Paymaster General.

As expected Dominic Raab and Priti Patel retained their respective high offices of state at the Foreign Office and Home Office while those also keeping their Cabinet posts include Matt Hancock at Health, Ben Wallace at Defence and Grant Shapps at Transport.

Michael Gove will continue his key strategic role at the Cabinet Office while Liz Truss stays on as Trade Secretary. However, the EU trade talks negotiations will be carried out by top official David Frost reporting directly to the PM.

Alister Jack retained his position as Scottish Secretary and said: “I’m honoured to have been reappointed as Scottish Secretary by the Prime Minister.

“I look forward to helping to deliver a bright future for Scotland, and to continue to stand up for the majority of Scots who voted in 2014 to remain part of a strong United Kingdom.”