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Boris Johnson overhauls UK cabinet, appoints hard Brexiteers

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 July 2019, 10:54 IST

Hours after taking charge as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on Wednesday overhauled the cabinet, giving key roles to leading Brexiteers and firing supporters of his rival former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

He appointed Indian-origin Priti Patel, who was the key face of the 'Vote Leave Campaign', as the home secretary.

"I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Home Secretary by our new Prime Minister @borisjohnson. Looking forward to working @ukhomeoffice to prepare our Country for leaving the EU, leading on matters of national security & public safety & keeping our borders secure," tweeted Patel.

Born to Gujarati parents who fled to Uganda in the 1960s, Patel is a controversial figure who has advocated bringing back of death penalty and had previously asked foreign aid target to be scrapped.

She held international development secretary portfolio in the former Prime Minister Theresa May government but she was forced to resign for a highly ill-advised freelance trip to Israel.

Apart from Patel, Domin Raab also returned to the government as foreign secretary and effective deputy prime minister. He will replace Jeremy Hunt, who was defeated by Johnson in Tory leadership contest.

Jeremy was offered the post of defence secretary in the new cabinet but turned down a demotion and instead chose to return to the backbenches.

Johnson also appointed Sajid Javid as Britain's new chancellor of the exchequer and Michael Gove as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Johnson, who replaces May, has reiterated that Britain will exit from the European Union on October 31.

He asserted that his 'new and better deal' will pave the way for Britain to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.


First published: 25 July 2019, 10:54 IST