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Live Updates: Jeremy Hunt To Stay But Michael Gove Sacked As Theresa May Wields Cabinet Axe

Hunt will remain as health secretary, but Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, and John Whittingdale are making way for new appointments.

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  • Theresa May entered 10 Downing Street as prime minister after meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Cameron held his last PMQs before leaving Downing Street accompanied by his family.
  • In her first remarks as PM, May said her government would "forge a bold new role" for Britain on the world stage and not work "for a privileged few, but every one of us".
  • May has been appointing her cabinet. Philip Hammond, formerly foreign secretary, is now chancellor of the exchequer. His predecessor, George Osborne, has resigned from the government.
  • In the biggest surprise, Boris Johnson has been appointed foreign secretary. Amber Rudd will head up the Home Office, Liam Fox has been appointed into a new position heading international trade, and David Davis will oversee the UK's exit from the EU.
  • Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, John Whittingdale, and Theresa Villiers have lost their cabinet jobs. Liz Truss is the UK's first lord chancellor, Jeremy Hunt remains as health secretary, Gavin Williamson will be chief whip, and Patrick McLoughlin moves to Tory chair.
  • Meanwhile, the Labour party has continued to fracture.
  • Angela Eagle and Owen Smith have both announced bids for the leadership, triggering a bitter contest with incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has continued to refuse to resign. He will automatically appear on the leadership ballot following a decision by the party's national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday evening.

Updates

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It's been a long day. But Downing Street has just confirmed that Conservative MPs aspiring to join the government can leave their offices and step away from their phones.

In a brief press release announcing that Ben Gummer, former health minister, will be made minister for the cabinet office, there was also a note telling us we can all go home.

"There will be no further ministerial appointments this evening."

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As Europe minister, Lidington was at the forefront of negotiations that the deal former prime minister David Cameron took to the nation before the referendum over whether the UK should leave the European Union.

He's now been promoted to leader of the house, replacing Chris Grayling.

Downing Street has also confirmed that Jeremy Wright will continue in his role as attorney general.

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Gauke, who has worked as financial secretary to the Treasury since July 2014, gets a small promotion and will now sit in the cabinet.

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Amid the rolling appointments, it has emerged that Priti Patel – formerly of the Department of Work and Pensions – had called for the department she is now heading to be scrapped.

In 2013, she told the Daily Telegraph the government should consider scrapping DfID and replacing it with a new department to help businesses invest in the developing world.

She told the newspaper at the time: "A long-term strategic assessment is required, including the consideration to replace DfID with a Department for International Trade and Development in order to enable the UK to focus on enhancing trade with the developing world and seek out new investment opportunities in the global race."

She also criticised the department in the Sun newspaper, suggesting that the funding for overseas staff could be better spent helping people in the UK.

Political editor Jim Waterson reports.

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Karen Bradley is the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, elected at the 2010 general election, Bradley appears to be relatively unknown. She is the eighth woman so far appointed, out of 22 positions.

Cairns has held the position since March of this year, when Stephen Crabb was promoted to secretary of work and pensions.

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Formerly in the Department for Work and Pensions, Patel replaces Justine Greening, who has moved to head up Education. Patel will head up the Department for International Development.

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Clark's new department appears to merge a number of old ones together. He has been MP for Tunbridge Wells since 2005.

In a statement, Clark said:

"I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading Government's relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change."
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The MP for Bexley and Sidcup was a Remain campaigner. He will take over the position of secretary for Northern Ireland from Theresa Villiers, who resigned from her position earlier today.

In a statement, Villiers said although she had been offered a role by May "it was not one which I felt I could take on".

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Formerly secretary for the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills, Javid had pitched alongside Stephen Crabb for his leadership campaign. Instead, he will head up the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

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May's former leadership rival Andrea Leadsom she will head up the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Leadsom quit the Tory leadership race on Monday, clearing the way for May to become prime minister.

So @andrealeadsom gets promoted. She becomes DEFRA minister. A Cabinet job. 6 days after *that* @thetimes interview

Much of Leadsom's new role will focus on helping farmers across the country who will lose European Union subsidies as a result of the Brexit vote. The MP for South Northamptonshire was a prominent Leave campaigner, and suggested during the campaign that these subsidies could be replaced by "environmental credits" from the UK government.

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Green, MP for Ashford since 1997, takes over at the Department for Work and Pensions from Stephen Crabb. Crabb resigned from the government this afternoon, saying it was "in the interests of his family" to do so.

Green was police minister in the coalition government, but was sacked from the position in the 2014 reshuffle. He is known to be one of May's oldest allies.

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Grayling replaces Patrick McLoughlin, who was appointed chairman of the Conservative party earlier today. Grayling was one of May's strongest supporters, and ran her (brief) leadership campaign. Many had speculated he would be rewarded for his work with a higher-profile position.

Chris Grayling is the new Transport Secretary. First item: new runway. His constituency is halfway between Heathrow and Gatwick.

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Crabb, formerly secretary for work and pensions, said his resignation was "in the interests of his family", according to Press Association.

Crabb gone - not clear if he was offered something more junior and refused or was sacked

Less than a week ago Crabb was found have exchanged sexts with a woman who was not his wife, The Times reported.

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Theresa Villiers has quit as Northern Ireland secretary. She posted on Facebook to say she had been offered a new role by Theresa May, "but it was not one which I felt I could take on".

"I wish the prime minister well in the great task on which she and her government are about to embark to seize the many positive opportunities presented by the Brexit vote," Villiers, who backed Andrea Leadsom as Tory leader, wrote.

"They will have my full support in that vital work. I look forward to continuing to represent the interests of my Chipping Barnet constituents in Parliament with enthusiasm and diligence."

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It was reported earlier that Jeremy Hunt would be leaving the Department of Health, perhaps for another job in government, but it can now be confirmed that he is definitely staying as health secretary.

Official confirmation: Jeremy Hunt 100% WILL DEFINITELY be staying as health secretary.

Jeremy Hunt staying on as health secretary, despite initial rumours otherwise.

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Patrick McLoughlin has been named the Tory party chair and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

That leaves a vacancy at the Department for Transport.

Patrick McLoughlin is Tory chairman and chancellor of duchy of lancaster, so that means someone new at transport to deal with HS2/Heathrow.

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Gavin Williamson, former parliamentary private secretary to David Cameron, has been made chief whip by Theresa May.

Speaking to Sky News outside Downing Street, he said he felt "very surprised, very privileged".

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Greening, the former international development secretary, has been named as the new education secretary, replacing Nicky Morgan who tweeted earlier to confirm she was leaving the government.

As with Morgan, Greening will also hold the position of minister for women and equalities.

She recently revealed she was in a same-sex relationship.

Justine Greening has been appointed education secretary & minister for women and equalities, replacing Nicky Morgan.

Morgan wished her successor well in a tweet.

Congrats to my successor @JustineGreening - she's committed to excellence in education, equalities and did great work for women at DIFID

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Justice secretary is a relatively new cabinet role created in 2007. Truss, the former environment secretary, is the first woman to hold the position.

Here she is talking about pork markets at the Tory party conference in 2014.

View this video on YouTube

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Jeremy Hunt, who earlier this year said being health secretary was probably going to be his "last big job in politics", has reportedly lost his job.

Jeremy Hunt has lost his position as Health Secretary

However, according to the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg, he has not been sacked, but about to be moved into a different department.

Hunt not sacked, getting a different job

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Letwin had overall responsibility for the Cabinet Office as well.

In a written statement, Downing Street also confirmed that Gove, Morgan, and Whittingdale had left their cabinet posts.

Oliver Letwin is no longer in the cabinet, Downing Street has confirmed.

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Has been a privilege to serve as Culture Secretary. I wish my successor every success & will continue to support creative industries

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Education secretary Nicky Morgan has tweeted to confirm she is not retaining the position in May's cabinet.

Disappointed not to be continuing as Education Secretary & Min for Women & Equalities - two wonderful roles it's been a privilege to hold

She will also relinquish the role of minister for women and equalities.

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The former Tory leadership hopeful hasn't been offered a job by prime minister Theresa May and will instead join David Cameron and George Osborne on the backbenches.

He later tweeted to say it had been an "enormous privilege" to serve in government over the last six years.

It's been an enormous privilege to serve for the last six years. Best of luck to the new government - MG

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Eagle gave a speech bashing the Tories at a pro-Europe event in London last night.

"Oh Boris is fun, he's great, isn't he, bouncing around, going to be the next prime minister and all of that," she said, before someone from the audience informed her Johnson had just been made foreign secretary.

Her reaction speaks volumes.

View this video on YouTube

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Weekend editor Matthew Champion reports.

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Reaction to Boris Johnson's appointment as foreign secretary has started

Senior French government source on BoJo as foreign secretary: the word used by colleagues at Quai d'Orsay yesterday evening was "incredible"

In Germany, Angela Merkel declined to comment on the appointment, but other politicians were less reticent.

Green party co-leader Simone Peter said putting Johnson in the position was akin to "trusting the cat to keep the cream", according to The Guardian.

Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt had this to say:

I wish it was a joke, but I fear it isn't. Exit upon exit.

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In his first remarks on Thursday morning, Hammond indicated to Sky News the government had no intention of implementing an emergency Budget, as outlined by former chancellor George Osborne ahead of the referendum vote.

"The prime minister made clear we will do an Autumn Statement in the usual way - in the autumn – and we will look carefully over the summer at the situation.

"I'm seeing the governor of the Bank of England this morning and we will take stock," he said.

Osborne, who resigned from the government last night to make way for Hammond, had warned throughout the referendum campaign should the UK decide to leave the EU there would be an economic reckoning. He told the public that in the event of a Leave vote, the Treasury would push through £30 billion of tax hikes and spending cuts, including taking £2.5 billion from the NHS.

"The No. 1 challenge is to stabilise the economy, send signals of confidence about the future, the plans we have for the future to the markets, to businesses, to international investors, Britain is open for business, we are not turning our back on the world, we are determined to maintain our outward-looking stance," Hammond told Sky News this morning.

"We will do whatever we need to do to restore confidence."

The new chancellor, who will meet Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, later, told BBC Breakfast that the country's decision to leave the EU had "rattled" confidence. He said there was a need to distinguish between the short and long-term effects of the EU referendum vote.

"It isn't about making people who are already fantastically rich, richer," he said. It is about ensuring rising prosperity for the great bulk of people in the country.

"Success is measured in having rising standards of living, rising numbers of jobs in the economy, increasing economic security for the great majority of people in the country. That's our aspiration and we are determined to deliver it."

'It's not about making the fantastically rich richer' Hammond's pledge for 'rising prosperity' for 'ordinary people' https://t.co/KnjjjCSsGS

Hammond, a staunch ally of new PM Theresa May, was her first appointment last night. May is expected to announce more cabinet appointments in the course of the day.

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The biggest surprise of the evening came when Theresa May, just hours after she became Britain's second female prime minister, appointed Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.

David Davis given the crucial job of overseeing Brexit. Liam Fox, another leading Brexiter who ran for the leadership himself, will head a new international trade department.

Amber Rudd received the position of home secretary, occupying the role once held by May. It's a huge promotion for Rudd, who previously served as energy secretary. May also appointed long-time ally Philip Hammond as chancellor of the exchequer.

Michael Fallon will stay on as defence secretary. And George Osborne, once touted as a possible prime minister, has "resigned" from the government, according to a statement from Number 10.

Senior political correspondent Emily Ashton reports.

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The prominent Leave campaigner, and MP for Haltemprice and Howden, was Europe minister in the 1990s. The new position refers to "exiting" the European Union, according to the official statement from Number 10:

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon David Davis MP as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
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The former UK defence secretary put himself forward as a candidate for the Tory leadership, but was one of the first to bow out of the campaign. Fox, MP for North Somerset, resigned in disgrace from the previous Tory government in 2011.

Fallon will remain in the position he has held since 2014.

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The third appointment of the evening from the new PM, Rudd was secretary of state for energy and climate change. Addressing reporters outside Number 10, Rudd said she was "very pleased" with the appointment.

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The prominent Leave campaigner takes over from Philip Hammond, now chancellor of the exchequer. A statement from Number 10 read:

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Boris Johnson MP as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The appointment of the former London mayor, who May took a swipe at in her speech launching her campaign for the leadership, has been received with surprise. The Foreign Office cat, Palmerston, had the following to say about his office's new occupant:

Farewell @PHammondMP. I'm on the way to meet the new boss @BorisJohnson

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Hammond, formerly foreign secretary, takes over the position from George Osborne. The new chancellor is seen as a safe pair of hands, and has been transport secretary and defence secretary before his previous role heading the Foreign Office.

Osborne was once spoken of as a possible prime minister, but in just over two tumultuous jobs Osborne is no longer even part of the government.

A year ago Westminster consensus had Osborne as favourite to be next prime minister and now he's not even in the government. Strange times.

Breaking: George Osborne was sacked. Theresa May told him she didn't want him in her Cabinet. Wow.

Here is the press release from Number 10.

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Rt Hon George Osborne MP has resigned from Government.

Further ministerial appointments will be announced this evening.

In the hour following his departure from the government, Osborne has put out this tweet:

It's been a privilege to be Chancellor these last 6 yrs. Others will judge - I hope I've left the economy in a better state than I found it.

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Britain's new prime minister Theresa May has pledged to fight against "burning injustice" and govern for everyone "not for the privileged few".

Standing outside her new home in Downing Street, the Conservative PM vowed to protect "ordinary working-class families" and help everyone achieve their dreams no matter their background.

May's first speech as prime minister had echoes of Thatcher's debut speech in 1979, which quoted from St Francis of Assisi: "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony."

.@Theresa_May puts social justice at the heart of her first speech as Prime Minister https://t.co/k6GnvnhTRW

With her husband Philip standing behind her, May said: "The government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

"When we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful, but you. When we pass new laws, we'll listen not to the mighty, but to you. When it comes to taxes, we'll prioritise not the wealthy, but you.

"When it comes to opportunity, we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few, we will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you."

She concluded: "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.

"That will be the mission of the government I lead. And together, we will build a better Britain."

Senior political correspondent Emily Ashton reports.

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Theresa May becomes UK’s second female prime minister

The former home secretary has become Britain's second female PM, formally accepting the position from Queen Elizabeth II after David Cameron resigned.

May and the Queen spent just short of half an hour together in Buckingham Palace. The new PM's husband also meet the Queen.

In the moments after the news was announced, London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, offered his "warmest congratulations" to May. "Theresa takes on the role at a critical time in our history and I look forward to working constructively together in the interest of London and the whole UK," he said in a statement.

Looking forward to working with our new PM, @theresa_may, in the best interests of our city and country

The White House has also released a statement congratulating May on her appointment, as did Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, who wished May "every success in the task ahead".

My warmest congratulations to @theresa_may - I look forward to working closely with you and wish you every success

Other congratulations swiftly rolled in. Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Alex Salmond, former leader of the Scottish National Party, both wished May well in her new role. Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau said he looked "forward to working closely" with May, and offered her his congratulations.

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David Cameron has left Downing Street for the last time as prime minister.

As his wife Samantha and their children Elwyn, Nancy, and Florence looked on, Cameron said it had been the "greatest honour of my life" to serve as prime minister for six years and Tory leader for a decade.

"And as we leave for the last time," he said, "my only wish is continued success for this great country that I love so very much."

Cameron praised his successor, Theresa May: "I am delighted that for the second time in British history the new prime minister will be a woman – and, once again, a Conservative. I believe Theresa will provide strong and stable leadership in fulfilling the Conservative manifesto on which we were elected, and I wish her well in negotiating the best possible terms for Britain's exit from the European Union."

In his farewell speech, the outgoing PM thanked his family, his team in No. 10, civil servants, and his political advisers.

He also praised Britain's armed forces, intelligence agencies, and police, as well as people who volunteer in their communities.

Cameron has arrived at Buckingham Palace, where he will formally resign in the presence of the Queen ahead of being replaced by May later this evening.

It's been a privilege to serve the country that I love.

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The prime minister's approval ratings have fallen to their lowest ever level, according to research published on his last day in office.

David Cameron, who will resign as prime minister this afternoon, is seen unfavourably by more than 50% of the public. His satisfaction ratings have taken a sharp hit after weeks of economic and political uncertainty following the decision by voters to leave the European Union.

Polling conducted by Ipsos Mori has revealed that Cameron's net satisfaction rating has fallen to -38, with the share of the public who say they are dissatisfied rising by 8%. This is similar to public dissatisfaction with former prime minister Gordon Brown in 2009.

Sixty-five per cent of voters say that they are dissatisfied with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is facing a leadership challenge in his own party.

But there is good news for Theresa May: Fifty-five per cent of those polled said they believed the home secretary would make a good prime minister.

This is strikingly different to the reaction to former mayor of London Boris Johnson. Seventy per cent said they don't think he has what it takes to be a good prime minister.

Political correspondent Siraj Datoo reports.

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The Labour party has established the rules on who gets a vote in their leadership election. The details are pretty complicated, but here's the summary.

  • Any Labour member who joined before January 2016 gets a vote.
  • People who support Labour (and aren't members/supporters of another party) can pay £25 to become a registered supporter. This is only open between 18–20 July.
  • Members of any union affiliated to Labour can sign up for a vote before 8 August.
  • Members of groups affiliated to Labour by 8 August – such as LGBT Labour and BAME Labour – have a vote.

Special correspondent James Ball reports.

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As the UK's home secretary since 2010, Theresa May has been responsible for pushing through the UK's surveillance laws, as well as enforcing rules on deporting failed asylum-seekers and being the tough face of government policies to tighten immigration.

But some campaigners contacted by BuzzFeed News have pointed to a second Theresa May: the May who in her early days as home secretary, after her surprise appointment to the role, repealed Labour's ID cards and control order policies.

"There is some promise," Dr Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International, told BuzzFeed News. "We look forward to seeing which May shows up to Number 10 Downing Street.

"We could see the authoritarian who uses any opportunity to decry human rights laws as the bane of our existence even as she builds systems that fail; or the liberally minded politician who when she was in opposition sought to repeal identity cards and wanted to see civil liberties at the centre of policymaking, and whodestroyed the previous government's databases."

What comes next

Hosein said that on balance he wasn't holding out much hope, telling BuzzFeed News the country could be a facing a "dark illiberal period". "We are not optimistic," he said.

Jim Killock, the executive director of Open Rights Group, said his main concern was May's attitude towards EU-granted rights and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

"Theresa May has been a critic of human rights courts, and until this week said she wished the UK to exit the ECHR," he told BuzzFeed News. "She has ignored the implications of key EU legal judgments that have set the standard around data retention.

"From this view, one of the big dangers is that Theresa May will see benefits in moving away from the EU legal regime, particularly where it protects fundamental rights."

Special correspondent James Ball reports.