Mon | Sep 25, 2017

New British PM fires another Cameron supporter

Published:Sunday | July 17, 2016 | 7:00 AM
New British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, wave from the steps of her official residence at 10 Downing Street in London, last Wednesday.


British Prime Minister Theresa May has made more changes to the government, removing another key supporter of predecessor David Cameron and appointing several new ministers.

Downing Street said yesterday that arts minister Ed Vaizey, a friend of Cameron, had left the government. Ros Altmann, Cameron's minister for pensions, was also dismissed, along with business minister Anna Soubry, a leading voice on the "remain" side during Britain's recent European Union (EU) referendum campaign.

May also backed staying in the EU, but has appointed both "leave" and "remain" supporters to her Conservative government.

She has removed several veterans of the Cameron years, as well as rivals, including Michael Gove, who ran against her for the party leadership after betraying his erstwhile ally Boris Johnson whom May made foreign secretary. Yesterday, she removed Gove supporter Dominic Raab from his job as a justice minister.

Remaining old members

Some members of the old administration remain, including Jo Johnson brother of Boris who keeps his role in charge of universities and science.

May took power last Wednesday after Cameron resigned following Britain's vote to leave the EU.

The new prime minister has made dramatic changes, placing leading proponents of a British exit from the EU in charge of foreign affairs, international trade and EU negotiations.

All the same, May has signalled she's in no rush to start exit talks. She said last Friday she would not launch formal negotiations until there is a "UK approach" involving Scotland, which strongly backed remaining in the bloc.

The pro-independence Scottish administration has said it could seek a new independence referendum if Britain takes Scotland out of the EU against its will.

May has indicated she will not invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, which will trigger a two-year countdown to leave the 28-nation bloc, before the end of the year. Some EU leaders and British euroskeptics are pressuring her to begin the process earlier.