May Loyalist Jeremy Hunt Named as Foreign Secretary

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Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been appointed as the foreign secretary, replacing Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson who resigned Monday afternoon.

Mr Hunt is a Theresa May loyalist, and speaking to Sky News shortly after his appointment, the MP for South West Surrey said: “My principle job at a time of massive importance for our country is to stand foursquare 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 Checquers.”

“The world is looking at us as a country wondering what type of country we’re going to be in a post-Brexit world. What I want to say to them is Britain is going to be a dependable ally. A country that stands up for the values that matter to the people of this country.”

Mr Johnson stepped down earlier on Monday, criticising Prime Minister Theresa May in his resignation letter, warning that Brexit is “dying” and Britain is “headed for the status of a colony”.

Johnson’s ministerial resignation followed that of former Brexit secretary David Davis (who was replaced by fellow Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab) and Steve Baker. Brexiteer Chris Green also resigned Monday evening from his post as Parliamentary Private Secretary.

The new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs had supported the campaign to stay in the European Union during the 2016 vote and had backed a second referendum on the terms of the deal. However, in October 2017 Hunt told LBC that he had changed his mind due to the “arrogance” of the EU.

Hunt, who served as health secretary for six years, earned himself the nickname the “shock absorber” for his ability to “take a lot of flak for the government”.

Politico website described his “unwavering loyalty” to Prime Minister May, particularly following the Tory Party’s greatly unpopular manifesto pledge to make elderly people pay for the cost of their home care costs from the value of their property, called by its detractors the “dementia tax”.

His former role as health secretary has gone to Matt Hancock. In other Cabinet reshuffles, Jeremy Wright has been appointed culture secretary, and the new attorney general will be Geoffrey Cox.

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