Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Boris Johnson resigns in major Brexit blow to UK PM Theresa May

Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 08:57

Theresa May is still the prime minister and is due to chair a meeting of her new-look cabinet.

The ex-Foreign Secretary left the foreign secretary's official residence at Carlton Gardens, central London, late in the evening, accompanied by his wife Marina Wheeler, and without speaking to waiting reporters.

The British government says Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has resigned, amid a widening split in the Cabinet over Brexit.

But most of the top jobs in government are now held by ministers who had backed Remain - including the new Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

While International Development Secretary Penny Morduant immediately welcomed the decision saying Rabb is "highly capable, across the issues, attention to detail, Leave supporter and pragmatist", others said Davis' resignation has plunged Britain into "absolute chaos".

But leading pro-Brexit legislator Jacob Rees-Mogg said "I don't think a no-confidence vote is immediately in the offing".

"What the Prime Minister needs to do is to give up on the Chequers proposal. which does not actually deliver Brexit", he told LBC Radio.

Johnson said he accepted his side of the argument lacked support to win out at Cabinet on Friday.

In his first comments as foreign secretary, Mr Hunt said he would be standing "four square" behind the prime minister "so that we can get through an agreement with the European Union based on what was agreed by the cabinet last week at Chequers".

It was in the "ludicrous position" of offering to accept huge amounts of European Union laws that for decades British governments have argued against, yet with no say in how they are made.

When asked whether May would contest any vote on a confidence motion in her leadership, her spokesman said: "Yes". "The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find they stick in the throat", he wrote.

Labour MP Andrew Adonis said Raab's appointment could spell the "death" of the Tory leader, while writer and editor Hitcham Yezza said Brexit has now become even more "shambolic".