'Useful fall guy': a preview of Boris Johnson's minister ratings | John Crace

What does the PM think of Saj, the Gover and the rest, and who will keep their cabinet posts?

Boris Johnson has reportedly told ministers he intends to give them marks out of 10 before deciding whether to keep or cull them in a reshuffle next month. John Crace has been given an exclusive preview of the prime minister’s scorecards …

Stephen Barclay, Brexit secretary – 10/10 The absolute dream cabinet minister. Someone who understands his job is to keep himself so uninformed there is never any danger of him saying anything that might be construed as news. A vital asset in his department. Have several times tried to explain to him that his department is being wound up and he will be promoted to the backbenches, but I am still none the wiser whether he has taken in this information. What a guy! A true professional to the last. Verdict: GOES

Sajid Javid, chancellor – 6/10 After a tricky start during which he imagined he was running the economy, Saj has settled down and realised now is not the time for fiscal responsibility and that his job is merely to say yes and write cheques for any project I happen to dream up. He has also made huge improvements in saying anything about Brexit that he thinks I want to hear, and there is little doubt he would be happy to change his mind again if it’s convenient for me to change mine. STAYS

Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – 3/10 It goes without saying that the Gover is the most slippery, least trustworthy person in government, present company excepted of course, but it’s probably better keeping him on the inside in a non-job rather than having him cause trouble from the backbenches. Has so far managed to keep his head down and do nothing. Let’s hope he stays that way. Things work so much more smoothly like this. Could still be a useful fall guy if Brexit goes tits up. STAYS

Matt Hancock, health secretary – 7/10 Though it can be tremendously tiring to be around someone this needy (barely a day goes by without him sending a text message saying he’s always been 110% behind me and can I guarantee he won’t be sacked?), Matt has had a good first term as health secretary. Primarily because he’s the only person in the UK who believes me when I say we will be building 40 new hospitals, recruiting 50,000 new nurses and scrapping A&E targets to improve performance. He’s going to be terribly disappointed when he learns the reality. But that’s really not my problem. STAYS

Dominic Raab, foreign secretary – 5/10 Although Dominic still has acute anger management problems and has been forced to take out a non-disclosure agreement with his entire department in regards to the whereabouts of several members of staff who were found floating face down in the Thames, he did just about manage to prevent himself from propelling the UK into a third world war after the US took out Qassem Suleimani while I was necking cocktails with Carrie in Mustique. STAYS.

Priti Patel, home secretary – 4/10 A round peg in a round hole. The ideal home secretary is someone who is both vicious and dim, and Priti Vacant is blessed with an abundance of both qualities. STAYS

Thérèse Coffey, work and pensions secretary – 0/10 I have literally no idea who she is or if she has done anything. GOES

Julian Smith, Northern Ireland secretary – 6/10 What a jammy sod. I only gave him the job because I thought it would be easy to sack him when he screwed up. Then I surprise myself by getting an 80-seat majority, meaning the DUP and Sinn Féin soon realised they were better off restoring the Stormont assembly rather than continuing their squabbles, and Jules gets all the credit even though he did next to nothing. STAYS

Ben Wallace, defence secretary – 3/10 It hurts me to say this as Ben was so far ahead of the game that he was touting me as the next prime minister even before I was. But he is an inveterate gossip; half the Sunday papers would have no stories without his help. He also made the schoolboy error of telling the truth about how we can no longer rely on the US. Enough’s enough. GOES

Nicky Morgan, digital, culture, media and sport secretary – 4/10 Nicky has taken to her new role of being in the House of Lords like a duck to water. In cabinet meetings she now refuses to speak unless she is addressed by her full title of Baroness Morgan of Cotes. Having finally obtained an audience with her ladyship, I have to conclude that Nicky now believes the culture department is rather infra dig for a person of her status in life. GOES

Robert Jenrick, housing, communities and local government secretary – 2/10 Poor chap rather embarrassed himself by not knowing the difference between a town and a city when he launched his Town in Bloom competition. But one doesn’t want to be too hard on a 12-year-old who is still only on work experience. STAYS

James Cleverly, minister without portfolio – 9/10 Every prime minister needs a James. Someone who can be trusted to drop everything and go out on the Sunday politics shows at a time when everyone else is tucked up in bed to spout any old bollocks. Better still, he can do it convincingly as he doesn’t know it’s bollocks. Only the other day he told the country we were thinking of moving the Lords to York. We aren’t, of course, but it makes the people up north feel as if we care about them. STAYS


John Crace

The GuardianTramp

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