BORIS Johnson last night crowned Liz Truss Foreign Secretary as he sacked four Cabinet ministers who helped put him in No 10 — including bungling education chief Gavin Williamson.
Ms Truss was given the job after Dominic Raab, a close ally of the PM, botched Britain’s exit from Afghanistan last month.
Mr Raab becomes Justice Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister.
Nadhim Zahawi has been rewarded for his work as vaccines minister by taking over from Mr Williamson as Education Secretary.
Meanwhile, best-selling author and former I’m a Celebrity contestant Nadine Dorries becomes the new Culture Secretary.
But three other key Boris-backers in the 2019 leadership election joined Mr Williamson in being axed — Robert Buckland from Justice, Robert Jenrick from Housing and Amanda Milling as Tory Party boss.
Renowned reformer Michael Gove has been tasked with fixing Britain’s housing woes as well as handling demands for a another Scottish independence referendum.
After weeks of speculation about a reshuffle, Downing Street hailed a new look team to fix Britain from the devastation of the pandemic and wrestle day-to-day politics back on to Mr Johnson’s winning agenda from two years ago.
Last night he said: “The Cabinet I have appointed will work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country. We will build back better from the pandemic and deliver on your priorities.”
But the PM’s big day hit an early wobble after terse talks with Mr Raab over his demotion.
Mr Raab had been heavily criticised for being on holiday as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan.
While the blow was sweetened with a symbolic title of Deputy PM, allies say he was aggrieved at being blamed over the Kabul extraction and “got a lot off his chest” during a lengthy one-on-one.
Elsewhere, devout Brexiteer Anne-Marie Trevelyan was promoted to Trade Secretary, and former Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay was elevated to Cabinet Office chief.
Red-waller Simon Clarke — who resigned earlier this year as a junior minister after falling for a young aide — returned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
But the biggest promotion of the day was for trade deal queen Ms Truss, who became Britain’s top diplomat and only the second female Foreign Secretary.
She had been the butt of Westminster jokes for years over her strange speeches about cheese and over-enthusiastic use of Instagram — and had been widely tipped for the axe a year or so ago.
But her success signing up Britain to a slew of rollover trade deals after Brexit and a landmark new free trade accord with Australia made her an instant Boris favourite.
As the longest continuously serving Cabinet minister for seven years, she now holds a Great Office of State and is the clearest female leadership contender to one day replace Mr Johnson.
On the flip side, the biggest casualty of the day was sacked Education Secretary Mr Williamson.
He got the boot after a string of fiascos while in charge of Britain’s schools, including closing them for the first time in modern history and delays getting pupils back.
He also oversaw the exams fiasco and got sucked into an ill-fated war with footballer Marcus Rashford over free school meals.
Teaching unions delighted in his demise, but Downing Street said he had “played a key role” and that Mr Johnson was “grateful for his loyalty and service.”