Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has resigned and been replaced by the former chief secretary to the Treasury as part of today’s cabinet reshuffle.

Javid reportedly resigned this morning after prime minister Boris Johnson insisted he sacked his advisers and replaced them with officials chosen by Number 10, according to numerous news outlets.

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak

Javid has been replaced by former chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak, in what will be his first cabinet position.

The announcement comes less than a month before the scheduled spring Budget on March 11.

Only today, more than 50 retailers co-signed a letter to Javid, authored by BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson, calling on the chancellor to take urgent action on business rates reform, particularly around removing downwards phasing of transitional relief, which has cost the UK retail sector over £500m since it came into effect in 2017.

Prior to the reshuffle, the government had flagged it would look to extend the discount on retail business occupying property with a rateable value of less than £51,000 from one third to 50% in the upcoming Budget.

However, the proposal has been roundly criticised by the industry as it will do nothing to alleviate the burden being felt by large retailers, which employ the majority of the UK’s retail workers.

In the reshuffle, former business secretary Andrea Leadsom has been replaced by the former international development secretary Alok Sharma.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the ministry responsible for overseeing the retail sector, the UK’s largest independent employer.