Monday, 16 July, 2018

United Kingdom prime minister fights to stop Cabinet exodus over Brexit

Face of Brexit Boris Johnson resigns, plunging May into crisis Matt Hancock named as new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 20:41

UK Attorney General Jeremy Wright replaces Hancock as the new culture secretary, with backbencher Geoffrey Cox replacing him as the new Attorney General. His reward in January was promotion to culture secretary.

Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May has sought to curb the growing turmoil around her leadership with the appointment of United Kingdom health secretary Jeremy Hunt as the new foreign secretary to replace Boris Johnson. "I can't wait to get started".

But the illusion of Cabinet unity when the pair resigned yesterday saying they could not commit themselves to promote the plans.

Some euroskeptic lawmakers dream of replacing May with a staunch Brexiteer such as Johnson, a populist, polarizing figure who has never made a secret of his ambition to be prime minister.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said in response: "We share the mayor's concerns about the potential benefits of improved cab design and we want to see changes in the industry".

Johnson was said to have decided not to quit over May's soft Brexit plan because he wanted to remain in Cabinet and fight for the divorce he wants, a person familiar with his thinking said after the Chequers meeting.

"How can anyone have faith in the prime minister getting a good deal with 27 European Union governments when she can't even broker a deal within her own Cabinet?" he asked.

And she insisted her deal fulfilled the promises of the Tory manifesto to "deliver an independent Britain able to take back control of its laws, borders and money".

Sir Graham has consistently refused to say whether he had received any such letters.

Nevertheless, many Brexiteers were furious after Downing Street said it would be be briefing Labour MPs on the Chequers plan.

And asked whether Mrs May would fight a no-confidence vote if one was called, a senior Number 10 source said simply: "Yes". In her statement to members of Parliament, May acknowledged the splits in her government and the departures of her ministers.