Boris Johnson in new UK cabinet
Theresa May has lost no time in appointing her new team since being confirmed as the UK’s new prime minister
In a surprise announcement — and certainly the most eye-catching — the leading pro-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson was named as Foreign Secretary.
Having quickly fallen out of the race to be prime minister following the referendum vote to leave the European Union, the appointment promises a high-profile role on the world stage for the man who vowed repeatedly that Britain would ‘take back control’ outside the EU.
Johnson — the former mayor of London — is however not necessarily known for his diplomatic skills, and his every move will be closely watched. At least one of his supporters has pointed out that as London’s figurehead, he travelled the world in search of inward investment into the British capital.
The previous foreign secretary Philip Hammond — who wanted Britain to remain in the EU — has been granted the job he wanted, as finance minister. He will replace George Osborne, another ‘Remainer’, who is leaving the government. His warnings about Brexit’s consequences on the economy led many ‘Leave’ campaigners to accuse him of scaremongering.
The detailed and complex task of negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU could be beyond Johnson’s remit, with the creation of a new government department responsible for ‘Brexit’.
The man appointed to take charge is David Davis, who becomes Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The 67-year-old is a strong supporter of Brexit who has said Britain should take its time before formally starting the divorce process.