Theresa May appoints cabinet in first move as PM

One of May’s first decisions will be on when she plans to trigger Article 50, the formal procedure for withdrawal from the EU.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The new leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May (L) is greeted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) in Buckingham Palace in London on July 13, 2016 where the Queen invited the former Home Secretary to become Prime Minister and form a new government.

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May has appointed a new cabinet soon after taking up office at 10 Downing Street, replacing David Cameron as he stepped down on Wednesday.

The new cabinet will see Phillip Hammond, who was previously foreign secretary to David Cameron, taking up the post of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position that was previously held by George Osbourne who has since resigned.

Boris Johnson, former London mayor and a popular advocate of the “Leave EU” campaign is expected to take up the post of Foreign Secretary, with fellow “Leave” activist David Davis filling up the newly-created role of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, a position that involves him leading Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union.

Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson waves as he leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on July 13, 2016 after new British Prime Minister Theresa May took office.

Liam Fox will be taking up the newly formed post of International Trade minister, a position that reflects the need to build stronger trade ties with non-EU countries such as China and India after the Brexit vote.

Former Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has been appointed to fill up Theresa May’s former post as Home Secretary whilst Michael Fallon will retain his position as Defence Secretary.

A New Agenda

One of May’s first decisions will be on when she plans to trigger Article 50, the formal procedure for withdrawal from the EU, which would set a two-year deadline for completing exit negotiations.

May said last month that if she became Prime Minister, she would not invoke Article 50 this year, despite pressure from EU leaders to do so swiftly.

May spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande shortly after entering office to tell them that her government would need time before beginning talks concerning Britain’s exit from the European Union.

May, who was a supporter of the "Remain" campaign emphasised on Monday that Britain will forge a bold international role outside the European Union and that “Brexit is Brexit and we are going to make a success of it.”

May has additionally noted that she wishes to lead the country in the direction of civil justice, that she will govern for the people instead of the “privileged few” and has stressed the need to “build a better Britain,” during her speech on Wednesday.

“Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change.

I know because we are Great Britain that we will rise to the challenge.

As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us,” May said in her first public address after taking government.

David Cameron Bids Farewell

The appointment of a new cabinet comes after Theresa May stepped up when David Cameron tendered his resignation in to the Queen following his final session of Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons earlier on Wednesday.

Cameron made the move to resign last month after a referendum revealed that 52 percent to 48 percent of the country voted to leave the European Union, a bloc that Britain has been a key player in for the past 43 years.

Cameron lead the unsuccessful “Remain” campaign.

Outgoing British prime minister David Cameron speaks beside his family outside 10 Downing Street in central London on July 13, 2016 before going to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

In his last parliamentary session as leader, Cameron took the opportunity to trumpet his government’s achievements in generating one of the fastest growth rates among western economies, chopping the budget deficit, creating 2.5 million jobs and legalising gay marriage.

Challenges To Corbyn’s Labour Leadership

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn now faces more than one challenger for his job as head of Labour Party with an announcement from MP Owen Smith.

Smith, Corbyn’s former work and pension policy chief, will vie with Angela Eagle, a former minister under former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Labour’s ruling council said on Tuesday that Corbyn must be allowed on the ballot to face his challengers.

The vote will be taken by grassroots members, many of whom are believed to favour Corbyn who has lost support among fellow Labour members of Parliament.

The fear is that this will split the Labour party.

TRTWorld and agencies