Boris Johnson, the man who led Britain out of the European Union, has been given the job of Foreign and Commonwealth secretary.
Few expected Boris to be given such a senior position in the new Prime Minister’s cabinet – Theresa May was a prominent Remain campaigner and her decision to offer one of the biggest jobs in government to someone who was instrumental in the Brexit campaign was unexpected – and the decision to offer a controversial figure like Boris Johnson the job was even more unexpected.
The reaction from the media has been mixed – many on the left are aghast that Boris Johnson, the man who argued that Barack Obama’s comments on the Brexit Referendum were illegitimate because of Obama’s ‘Part-Kenyan ancestry’, is being put in charge of pursuing diplomatic relations with countries around the world.
Boris Johnson has a history of controversial comments – in a 2006 Daily Telegraph article he argued that Iran should be given access to nuclear weapons because ‘it might make the regime more pliable’.
Just when Britain was starting to become a laughing stock around the world,
Boris Johnson is appointed foreign secretary.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 13, 2016
The previous holder of Boris’ new job, Philip Hammond, was given the brief of Chancellor of the Exchequer, often considered a job that is second only to Prime Minister. There has been speculation that the removal of George Osborne from the treasury is a sign that Theresa May’s new government is set to ease up on austerity.
Theresa May’s cabinet was commended by some pundits on the left for being more female-friendly than past Tory cabinets – Amber Rudd was given May’s previous brief of Home Secretary. At Prime Minister’s Questions, the outgoing PM, David Cameron, quipped that the Conservatives are now winning by two to nothing when it comes to having female leaders.
Two new cabinet positions were created, the ‘Minister for Brexit’, and the ‘Minister for International Trade’, which are to be filled by David Davis and Liam Fox, two prominent campaigners for Britain’s exit from the European Union. By having so many Brexit campaigners in her cabinet, Theresa May is making it clear that she does not plan to exacerbate the divisions in the Conservative Party over Brexit.
What do you think about the appointment of Boris Johnson to the brief of Foreign Secretary? Vote in our poll as to whether the former Mayor of London was a good choice or not.
Will Boris Johnson make a good foreign secretary?
— Nigh Side (@NighSide) July 13, 2016