Boris Johnson has been appointed Britain’s new Foreign Secretary in a shock development tonight, as Theresa May started to build her new Cabinet.
She named Philip Hammond as her new Chancellor and sacked George Osborne in a historic evening in Westminster less than two hours after she was officially sworn in as the UK’s second female Prime Minister.
Amber Rudd was appointed the new Home Secretary, a job made vacant after Mrs May left the department after six years in charge.
Long-time Eurosceptic Tory David Davis has been handed the big role of chief Brexit negotiator, a new Cabinet position, while fellow Leave campaigner Dr Liam Fox is also set for a top job in the new-look Government.
Mr Osborne was brutally sacked by Mrs May, bringing an abrupt end to his six years in charge of the Treasury. There were also reports that all of David Cameron’s political advisors had left Downing Street – a sign Mrs May is determined to break with the past.
The early developments of Mrs May’s first hours in charge are a clear sign of Mrs May’s attempts to unite the Conservative party after months of bitter infighting during the EU referendum campaign.
By bringing in several high profile figures from the right of the party – including Mr Davies and Dr Fox, Mrs May has handed an olive branch to Brexit supporters who feared she would backtrack on leaving the EU having campaigned on the Remain side.
In other developments tonight, Michael Fallon was re-appointed as Defence Secretary, while Mrs May’s close ally and leadership campaign manager Chris Grayling was yet to be handed a new job and remains as Leader of the Commons for now.
She used a key speech on Monday to promise a major break from Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne’s economic policy, promising to deliver ‘serious social reform’.
Tonight Mrs May pledged to battle ‘social injustice’ and create a ‘country that works for everyone’ after being officially been installed into 10 Downing Street.
Setting out her stall as a ‘one nation’ Tory outside No 10 after being sworn in by the Queen during a short trip to Buckingham Palace this evening, Mrs May said she was determined to listen ‘not to the mighty’ but to the members of society who were struggling and disadvantaged.
Mr Hammond moves to the Treasury after serving as Foreign Secretary for more than two years.
Speaking outside No 10 this evening after being appointed Britain’s second female Prime Minister, Mrs 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 will think not of the powerful, but you.’
Mrs May became Britain’s second female premier, following in the footsteps of fellow Tory Margaret Thatcher, after a 34 minute audience with the Queen in Buckingham Palace. The monarch invited her to form a government just minutes after Mr Cameron had been in to tender his resignation.
She went on: ‘Not everybody knows this, but the full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. That word Unionist is very important to me.
Mrs May said: ‘It means we believe in the Union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It means something else that is just as important.
‘It means we believe in the Union not just between the nations of the United Kingdom but between all of our citizens, every one of us, whoever we are and wherever we are from.’
‘if you went to state school, you are less likely to reach the top professions than if you are educated privately. ‘If you are a woman, you will earn less than a man.
‘If you suffer from mental health problems, there is not enough help to hand. ‘If you are young, you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home.’
Mrs May said the ‘mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these injustices’. ‘If you are from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise,’ she said. ‘You have a job but you don’t always have job security. You have your own home but you worry about paying the mortgage.
‘You can just about manage but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school. If you are one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly.‘I know you are working around the clock, I know you are doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. ‘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 will think not of the powerful, but you.
‘When we pass new laws, we will listen not to the mighty, but to you. ‘When it comes to taxes, we will 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.’
Delivering a warning about how tough process of Brexit could be, Mrs May said: ‘We are living through an important moment in the country’s history.
‘Following the referendum we face a time of great national change. I know because we are great Britain, we will rise to the challenge.
‘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 the 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.’
Mrs May paid tribute to Mr Cameron for his work tackling the deficit and getting people into work. ‘I follow in the footsteps of a great modern Prime Minister. Under David’s leadership, the Government stabilised the economy, reduced the budget deficit and helped more people into work than ever before,’ she said.
‘But David’s true legacy is not about the economy but about social justice. ‘From the introduction of same sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of tax altogether, David Cameron has led a one nation government and it is in that spirit I also plan to lead.’