British Finance Minister Sajid Javid resigns

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid attends a session during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Sajid Javid has resigned as the head of the U.K.’s finance ministry, surprising financial markets and political pundits in the country.

He has served as finance minister (known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the U.K.) since July, when Boris Johnson was first appointed prime minister.

Javid was due to present Britain’s budget in March, the U.K.’s first after its departure from the EU last month. The resignation comes as Johnson was making changes to his Cabinet on Thursday. The U.K.’s attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, has also resigned.

Media reports suggest that Javid was offered the chance to remain finance minister on the condition that he fires all of his advisors. He reportedly said no and opted to resign himself.

The U.K. left the European Union on January 31 and it is set to embark on intense trade negotiations with the other 27 EU countries over the coming months.

U.K. debt markets were under pressure following the resignation. Market players are concerned that the move follows additional spending pressure from the prime minister and his top advisors. 

Sterling, meanwhile, rose against the U.S. dollar by 0.4% following the surprise move. Rishi Sunak, who has served as chief secretary to the Treasury since July 2019, is set to step into the role.

—CNBC’s Willem Marx contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *