By ITRAT BASHIR
Theresa May becomes the UK’s second female British Prime Minister, after she was invited by the Queen to form the government, with a pledge to fight ‘burning injustice’ and ‘build a better Britain’.
Her appointment came shortly after outgoing PM David Cameron’s visit to the Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation. The top seat became vacant after Cameron decided to step down following his rejected plea from voters to remain in the European Union.
Having arrived in the office, the new PM went straight to work to appoint new cabinet members. She made six appointments last night through which she showed her determination to call her own shots and seriousness about Brexit. More appointments are expected today.
Of all the appointments, Boris Johnson is the most surprising pick and his selection shocked many; he was given the portfolio of Foreign Secretary, replacing Philip Hammond. The lead architect of Brexit movement, interestingly, was the main rival of the new boss during the party leadership election and May had been critical of his negotiating skills in the past. Now he has been entrusted with the task of taking Britain out of the Europe Union.
In another surprise move, the PM sacked George Osborne from the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer and replaced him with Philip Hammond. Many political pundits see this move as show of assertiveness by May and departing ways from her former boss. Osborne had been the Chancellor of the Exchequer since 2010 and a close aide of Cameron.
In his twitter farewell message, Osborne said: “It has been a privilege to be the Chancellor these lest six years. Others will judge- I hope I have left the economy in a better state than I found it.”
In other appointments, Amber Rudd is made Home Secretary, succeeding May, who served in this position for the last six years before becoming the Prime Minister.
Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, returns to the Cabinet as International Trade Secretary, and Eurosceptic David Davis has been made the Brexit Secretary. Michael Fallon continues as Secretary of State for Defence.
During the initial selection, the PM has accommodated three members each from the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ camps in the new cabinet. It seems that she is making an effort to repair the cracks emerged in the Conservative party during the Brexit referendum.
Meanwhile, in her first speech outside the 10 Downing Street, the new PM praised David Cameron for taking steps to ensure social justice in the country. She laid a strong stress on the unity of the UK by saying that ‘David Cameron led a one nation government and in that very spirit I also plan to lead’. “My party and I strongly believe in union. Not just union among the nations of the UK, but between all of our citizens; every one of us, whoever we are, wherever we are from,” she added.