May appoints Hammond, Boris Johnson to key Cabinet posts

May appoints Hammond, Boris Johnson to key Cabinet posts

May appoints Hammond, Boris Johnson to key Cabinet posts
Philip Hammond today became Britain's new finance minister while Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who spearheaded the 'Leave' campaign in EU referendum, was appointed foreign secretary in Prime Minister Theresa May's new government.

May hit the ground running and had announced some of her key frontline Cabinet posts within minutes of walking into her new Downing Street office.

In her first move, she replaced UK Chancellor George Osborne with close friend Hammond, whose role as foreign secretary in David Cameron's Cabinet will be taken over by Johnson.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Rt Hon George Osborne MP has resigned from government," a Downing Street statement said on Wednesday evening.

Osborne will have to vacate his 11 Downing Street office after six years as well as his living quarters above 10 Downing Street – which has been traditionally occupied by the UK’s finance minister to give the Prime Minister of the day the larger apartment of the two.

While Osborne's exit came as less of a surprise, being a close Cameron aide, Johnson's appointment as foreign secretary was more unexpected. He had led the charge for the Brexit camp in last month's European Union referendum and had been widely expected to step into Cameron’s shoes as Prime Minister.

He had also come out strongly in support of Andrea Leadsom, May's last remaining opponent to the post of Conservative party leader before she withdrew on Monday.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Boris Johnson MP as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs," said the official statement, which indicates he will be working closely with India as his role involves Commonwealth countries.

As was expected, May also created a new portfolio of so-called "Brexit secretary" and appointed David Davis, a former shadow home minister, to head the new department in charge of Brexit.

Another new department is that of international trade, indicating the importance of striking new trade agreements in the wake of Brexit, and the man in charge will be Liam Fox – who had also been among the contenders for the post of Conservative party leadership.

With many of the Cabinet announcements still being finalised, May’s new frontline team so far is being described as the rise of the Brexitiers and indicates her attempt to bring together MPs from different sides of the Conservative party divide.
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