Raab, who was widely criticized for his handling of the UK withdrawal from Afghanistan, was also named chancellor in the reshuffle at the helm of Johnson’s government.
The former foreign secretary was on holiday in Greece as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. He faced demands for his resignation after it turned out that not long before the fall of Kabul, he asked an MP to receive an urgent phone call with the Afghan foreign minister regarding the evacuation of translators who had worked with the British armed forces. The call never happened.
Raab said he was not considering his position, but he acknowledged that “with the benefit of the mirror” he would not have gone on holiday as the Taliban advanced on Kabul.
He also denied allegations that he was seen relaxing on the beach the day the Afghan capital fell.
“Things for me while driving, nonsense, the sea was actually closed,” Raab told Sky News.
Liz Truss will replace Raab as foreign secretary, and will also remain minister for women and equality.
Other key moves include the departure of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who has drawn criticism for his brief handling of education since taking office in July 2019.
Last week he appeared to confuse two Black stars of British sport, telling an interviewer that he had spoken to Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford – who campaigned for free school meals for children in need during the pandemic – when in fact he had met rugby player Maro Itoje.
Williamson later said he had made a “real mistake” in mixing the two athletes, according to a statement reported by the BBC, the UK’s public broadcaster.
In May 2019, Williamson was fired from his previous role as defense secretary due to the leak of a key decision regarding Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from a meeting of the UK National Security Council.
Williamson confirmed his departure in a tweet.
“It has been a privilege to serve as Secretary of Education since 2019,” he wrote.
“Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, I am particularly proud of the transformational reforms I have led in Post 16 education: in further education colleges, our skills agenda, teaching practices and more.”
Williamson has been replaced as education secretary by Nadhim Zahawi, the former vaccines minister, Downing Street confirmed in a tweet.
Robert Jenrick also lost his role as Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government. He has been replaced by Michael Gove, who along with Johnson led the pro-Brexit campaign in 2016 and has held a number of ministerial roles, most recently as Minister for the Cabinet Office.
Robert Buckland resigned as secretary of justice to make way for Raab.
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