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Boris Johnson fires up his new Cabinet with ‘half-time pep talk’ ahead of poll battle 

‘Now let’s get ready to deliver… and I’ve seen a few delivery rooms’: Boris Johnson fires up his new Cabinet with ‘half-time pep talk’ ahead of poll battle

  • Boris Johnson gave his overhauled Cabinet a ‘half-time pep talk’ yesterday
  • The PM said it was time to get on with delivering on his manifesto promises
  • The meeting at Downing Street was the first since the Cabinet reshuffle


Boris Johnson gave his overhauled Cabinet a ‘half-time pep talk’ yesterday as he hinted at the possibility of an early election.

The Prime Minister said it was time to ‘spit out the orange peel’ and get on with delivering on his manifesto promises.

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Downing Street officials briefed ministers on plans to use data to show the public how well they are performing against the Government’s targets.

The meeting was the first since the reshuffle when Gavin Williamson, Robert Jenrick and Robert Buckland were all sacked. New Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan took their seats around the table for the first time.

Boris Johnson gave his overhauled Cabinet a ‘half-time pep talk’ yesterday as he hinted at the possibility of an early election

Dominic Raab, demoted to Justice Secretary, looked uncomfortable next to his successor as Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss.

Mr Johnson, who was in a buoyant mood, told his team it was time to redouble their efforts to deliver for the public. ‘I’m just thinking about delivery… I’ve seen a few delivery rooms, probably seen as many delivery rooms as anybody in this room… with the possible exception of Jacob (Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader).’

Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie is pregnant with their second child but he refuses to say how many children he already has – although it is thought to be six – while Mr Rees-Mogg has six children.

The PM added: ‘I know that delivery normally involves a superhuman effort by at least one person in the room. But there are plenty of other people in that room who are absolutely indispensable to that successful outcome.

The Prime Minister said it was time to ‘spit out the orange peel’ and get on with delivering on his manifesto promises

The Prime Minister said it was time to ‘spit out the orange peel’ and get on with delivering on his manifesto promises

‘To mix my metaphors, this is, if you like, the half-time pep talk.

‘This is the moment when we spit out the orange peel, we adjust our gum shields and our scrum caps. We get out on to the pitch in the knowledge that we’re going to have to do it together and we’re going to have to do it as a team.’

Presenting himself as head of a government that can take on issues that have ‘bedevilled’ other administrations, Mr Johnson pledged they would ‘get social care done’ and would enable the NHS to ‘bounce back from the pandemic’.

He said: ‘We are going to fulfil our fundamental project of uniting and levelling up across the whole country, because that is what the mission is. And by sheer force of argument and sweet reason, we are going to prevail against those who want to break up our country and I know we are going to strengthen our Union.’

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Downing Street officials briefed ministers on plans to use data to show the public how well they are performing against the Government’s targets

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Downing Street officials briefed ministers on plans to use data to show the public how well they are performing against the Government’s targets

The next election must be held by May 2024, but it is thought Mr Johnson could go to the country earlier, and yesterday’s ‘half-time pep talk’ will do nothing to dispel those suspicions.

Mr Johnson told his Cabinet they must ‘work even harder’ to deliver on the Government’s priorities following the reshuffle.

In a briefing afterwards, his spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister opened Cabinet by congratulating members on their appointment, saying he was delighted to have such a strong team in place to build back better from the pandemic and deliver on the priorities of the public.’

The Cabinet received an update from Emily Lawson, the head of No 10’s delivery unit, ‘who provided an overview of how her team will help drive forward the work needed to deliver the people’s priorities, including health and social care, crime, skills, climate change and levelling up’.

It also emerged yesterday that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will commit to stop borrowing to fund day-to-day spending within three years as part of a Treasury crackdown

It also emerged yesterday that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will commit to stop borrowing to fund day-to-day spending within three years as part of a Treasury crackdown

The spokesman added: ‘Cabinet agreed that shared data would be vital to this work, enabling ministers and the public to clearly see what progress is being made on each challenge.’

It also emerged yesterday that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will commit to stop borrowing to fund day-to-day spending within three years as part of a Treasury crackdown.

Mr Sunak is said to be planning to use next month’s Budget to set out new fiscal rules to demonstrate Tory discipline with the public finances ahead of the next election.

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