British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to shake up his Cabinet as he attempts to move on from a series of political missteps and U-turns

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was shaking up his Cabinet on Wednesday, attempting to move on from a series of political missteps and U-turns.

Johnson’s office said the prime minister would appoint “a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was the first to confirm he had been fired. He tweeted that it had been “a privilege to serve” in the job and “I look forward to continuing to support the prime minster and the government.” There was no immediate word on his replacement.

Williamson has been under fire for his performance during the pandemic, which has seen long periods of school closures, sudden policy shifts and the cancelation of major exams to get into university two years in a row.

Last week Williamson said he had made a “genuine mistake” by mixing up two Black athletes, soccer star Marcus Rashford and rugby player Maro Itoje, who both campaign for more government help for poor children. Williamson told a newspaper he held a Zoom meeting with Rashford; in fact it was Itoje.

Several other underperforming ministers in the Conservative government could lose their jobs, including Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who faced strong criticism last month for delaying his return from a holiday in Greece as the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

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