Sajid Javid is the new health secretary, in a dramatic return to the cabinet for the former Chancellor who quit in a clash with Dominic Cummings.
Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove were tipped to replace Mr Hancock, but the prime minister has instead turned to Mr Javid after a healing of relations between the pair, following Mr Cummings’ departure last year.
The appointment avoids the need for a wider reshuffle, by bringing in somebody currently on the Tory backbenches.
Mr Javid resigned in February 2020, in protest at Mr Cummings demand for him to sack his advisers to end a briefing war in Downing Street – making him the shortest-serving chancellor for more than 50 years.
Tensions had been rising between Mr Johnson and Mr Javid over spending plans and the power of the two offices, reaching a tipping point with a demand for him to accept advisers picked by No 10.