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Boris Johnson appointed Britain's foreign minister
July 14, 2016, 8:39 am

Hammond replaces Osborne as UK finance minister; David Davis appointed Britain's 'Brexit minister'

Boris Johnson, the former London mayor and "Leave" campaign figurehead in Britain's EU referendum, was appointed foreign secretary on Wednesday in new Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

In a surprise announcement Johnson, who had been seemingly cast into the political wilderness after the June 23 referendum, was handed a task that will inevitably be dominated by handling Britain's departure from the European Union following last month's vote to leave.

Johnson had been widely expected to stand for the leadership of the governing Conservative Party after "Remain" campaign leader David Cameron announced his resignation as prime minister in the wake of the referendum.

Johnson had been the bookmakers' favourite to become prime minister. However, his running mate Michael Gove decided to stand for the job himself and Johnson swiftly pulled out in a shock statement which had been expected to announce his candidacy.

It is the first role in government for Johnson, who was London's mayor from 2008 to 2016, a spell which included overseeing the 2012 Olympic Games.

The appointment amounts to a remarkable comeback for the mop-haired 52-year-old, whose career was thought to have crashed and burned after what was seen as a political assassination by Gove.

"The queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Boris Johnson MP as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs," Downing Street said in a statement.

On leaving the prime minister's Downing Street office, Johnson immediately got into a ministerial car and went to speak to staff at the Foreign Office.

Hammond replaces Osborne as UK finance minister

Philip Hammond has become Britain's new finance minister, Downing Street announced Wednesday, replacing George Osborne who quit the government after Theresa May was appointed prime minister.

Hammond had been the foreign minister in the outgoing government of David Cameron since 2014.

"The queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Philip Hammond MP as chancellor of the exchequer," Downing Street said in a statement.

As the second lord of the Treasury - the prime minister is the first - he takes over 11 Downing Street, the office next door to the prime minister at Number 10.

The flat above Number 11 is bigger than the flat above number 10. Prime ministers Cameron and Tony Blair opted to take the Number 11 flat and May could well follow suit, leaving Hammond living above Number 10.

"George Osborne MP has resigned from government. Further ministerial appointments will be announced this evening," the statement added.

Osborne was Cameron's closest minister and, before the referendum, had been widely viewed as a likely successor.

However, his aggressive campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU riled Conservative party colleagues and members, and when Cameron stepped down after the vote for Brexit, he declined to run.

After Hammond, other figures including former London mayor Boris Johnson - the "Leave" campaign figurehead in the referendum - Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon were seen walking into 10 Downing Street.

David Davis appointed Britain's 'Brexit minister'

David Davis, a prominent "Leave" campaigner in the EU referendum and a former Europe minister, was made Britain's chief Brexit negotiator on Wednesday by new Prime Minister Theresa May.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon David Davis MP as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union," Downing Street said in a statement.

Ministers in Britain's new cabinet

  • Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister): Philip Hammond
  • Foreign Secretary: Boris Johnson
  • Home Secretary (interior minister): Amber Rudd
  • Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union: David Davis
  • Defence Secretary: Michael Fallon
  • Secretary of State for International Trade: Liam Fox
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